Sunday, August 30, 2009

I have been having the absolute worst dreams. Within the last week, I've been a victim in a mass shoot out between an ongoing mob war, my car has been stolen by a young boy holding a lime green ed hardy bag, took a shower in this HUGE warehouse.. like seriously, I can't even describe this warehouse but it was a really scary place.. and a bunch of other crazy stuff I can't remember right now. They're messin' up my shit. I'm serious. I wake up really late because apparently the dreams are so overwhelming that I don't wake up. My dreams have made me wake up late almost every day this week. I know it sounds stupid, but, it's driving me crazy.

But, as for my waking hours, I just finished my first offical week as co-editor of the paper. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. I'm actually not sure what I thought it would be. I knew it would be a lot of responsibilty, I would be really busy and stressed out. But, there are just so many things to keep track of. I think I'm doing a good job so far but I guess we'll see when the first issue comes out.. if we can find a layout editor in time. If not, I'm going to have to learn page design reeaaaal quick.

Ah. It's late. I don't know why I started writing this when I knew I had to go to bed. Psh. I'll write more tomorrow and let you know what crazy ass dream I had tonight.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I am sure I've made one of the biggest mistakes. And that is not blogging the entire time I've been in South Dakota. I know I'll regret it when I want to remember exactly how I felt while I was here.

So, here is my last chance.

Today I went to work -- no surprise there -- and it was one of those boring days. These are usually the days I go into work without anything to do. I went to lunch early because I was so hungry I couldn't take it anymore. I went and shot a video, went back to work and read about the craziness surrounding Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and militia groups rising in the country. That got me really pissed off and I stayed that way throughout the day.

I came back to the dorm with full intentions of pre-packing to go home. I put this off until 10:45 because I was on facebook doing nothing. I really hate when facebook does that to me. So then I cleaned the dishes piling up in my bathroom sized sink, packed clothes I knew I wasn't going to wear, threw away bad food, took a lot of boxes to the recycling bin and packed the toiletries I don't need. It's not a lot but it's less than I'll have to do tomorrow or Friday.

First thing tomorrow morning I have to go on a video assignment. Then, I have to rush back the the office, call this guy to tell him sorry I'm calling late, I'll call you after lunch, go shoot another video, go to lunch with Chuck, come back, call the guy back, call another guy, start writing my story and then go to a listening post at Lewis from 4 to 6 p.m. with the exec. editor and editorial editor, all the while shooting video and taking names (and lots of comments, I hope).
THEN I have to meet this lady who used to work for Argus because she's selling me a digital voice recorder for $8. I can't turn it down.. not when it means I can make my very own soundslides whenever I want.

THEN, I come back to the dorm to do more packing. Then, with any hope, passing out for my last day at the Argus.

Hopefully by Friday night everything will be packed because I want to leave by 7 a.m. on saturday. Hmm.. if I drive 12 hours on Saturday and 9 on Sunday, I can get home by at least 5 p.m. Sunday night. MAYBE. I'll either be really excited to get home so drive even when I get tired or be so tired that I don't want to keep driving. I'll keep you posted.

So that's my attempt at documenting my internship.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Just finished reading the last Harry Potter book. Now, I suppose, I'll need to buy another one. Actually, I should probably just buy my textbooks and start reading those. It has been an interesting day. It was one of those days when you can feel things shifting around and evolving -- or, feel yourself changing. I walked from my desk, across the newsroom when I, for some reason, thought of what I always said I wanted to be. Where I wanted to be. I might not have forseen being in South Dakota, but, I always said that I wanted to be at an internship. An internship, I thought, would give me everything I needed to escape. As I walked across the news room, I couldn't help but feeling like "It's really happening."
Those moments, when you can acknowledge that you are in them, are extremely rare. It seems that you only recognize these moments years after they have passed. I haven't been able to come up with a good reason for doing journalism yet. At least not until today. I was describing everything I had to do to my mom, and she said, "I guess journalism is more than just writing stuff down. There's a lot more to it, I guess."
I replied to a text message that asked "What is the highlight of the internship." It took me a day to respond, to come up with a good enough highlight, or, to discover the highlight. I responded that it was getting to meet, talk to and learn so much about other people. People that I would have never met otherwise. Stories I could have never heard if I would not have been given this internship.
Every job, or task, is going to have flaws, I think. I have spent most of my time here waiting for my internship to start. Now that next week will be my last in South Dakota, I think that my whole life has been leading up to this point. I am no one special in this unfimilar state. I am not the best journalist or even intern to sit in that newsroom. But I try really hard to be. I try really hard and even though that sounds really trite, it's the best I could conjure up.
Sometimes, if not always, people see things in me that I do not see. They see potential and perserverance and talent. These things, I have yet to encounter in myself, but they must be there.
This, I am starting to realize, is not going to be the hardest task in my life and it really is, just the beginning. I am truly excited to see where I end up, what I end up doing and who I end up meeting, because I have no idea. I can make plans to do more internships and plans to attend certain colleges, but I cannot plan the rest. I never planned to get accepted into AIJI and I certainly never planned to do an internship in South Dakota. I can't wait to see what fate is going to indulge in next.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I am quite proud of myself today: Instead of going to get fast food that I could undoubtedly afford -- well, sort of -- I came back to my dorm and ate Chef Boyardee. In all honesty, I crushed it like it was the best cuisine I've ever tasted. Take that, wormy wormers.

I am really disappointed that John Hughes died last night. For those of you who do not know me, or know my taste in movies, his films basically make up my top 1o lists. I did not grow up in the eighties, but, that's the thing about his movies: They were timeless and even years later, they still had a profound effect on teenagers. I watched Sixteen Candles last Friday and Pretty in Pink on Sunday. (Obviously prior to his death). I'm not just saying all of this because he died and that's what people do: pretend they really loved someone when they died even if they didn't care about them while they were alive. I really, really did love John Hughes. And I am much more sad that he died than I was that Michael Jackson died.

Anyway, I am near the end of my internship and it's quite bittersweet. I am finally getting to do stuff and really be confident in what I am doing, but at the same time, I am ready to see my family and my friends. So, there's that. I am down to my bottom dollar and I'm kind of glad. It's teaching me how to be somewhat of an adult.

My nephew turns 3 on Aug. 17 -- so happy early birthday to my buddy!! I can't wait to see him.
I want to get him a swingset for his birthday but Chris thinks I should start a college fund for him instead. I think I'll go with the swingset.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Because of You.

I never realized how much my mom did for us until tonight. I told her, I don't have any food, I'm tired of eating McDonalds and I basically spent all my money. So she asked, "Ok, well, what do you have?" I told her. She gave me a meal to make: BBQ Chicken, chicken lipton noodles and green beans. I needed some stuff from the store but had less than $30 for it. She told me to know what I needed before I ever went to the store and to buy the absolutely cheapest stuff -- I know it seems like a simple task, but I've never actually been able to do it. I spent 20.61 and bought 18 things.
I'm telling this because this summer, my Dad has enlightened me that I was a mistake. He first said it when he was drunk and I was willing to let it go. But, every time it's been brought up since, he has confirmed it. He said that there was never supposed to be a second child, that he didn't want us to grow up in that environment, that he wanted better for us. I asked him why would he ever tell me that; especially 20 years later. He did not have a justifiable answer for me and I didn't expect him to. He's never been the one for explanations. He's never been the one to apologize or admit mistakes. I asked him if he remembered what he said to me when I was eight years old and he decided he was finished being our father. He said:
"I've washed my hands with this."
"You remember that?"
"Of course I remember that. How could I not remember?"
My father told me he was done with us. He gave up. He walked away.. and the worst part is that you don't care. All you can do is point the blame, saying it's all her fault, she did this. He told me he never realized how much pain he caused and I told him that until I was sixteen years old, I thought it was all my fault.
The thing is, after 20 years of fighting for him, it all makes sense. If he thinks I'm a mistake and I was never supposed to be here, then of course he would be missing most of my life. Of course he wouldn't call to make sure I made it to South Dakota safely, or to see how my trip with, or to make sure I had everything I needed. Of course.
That is why, my Mom, no matter what he or anyone thinks, is the most important force in my life. Despite her fear, regrets and mistakes, she has and always will be by my side. I never feel like I don't belong in my house. I never feel like I'm calling at a bad time. I call her crying because I miss home so much and sometimes, I don't know what I'm doing here and even though she wants me to come home, she gets me through it.
While my Dad was giving up on us, building his self-proclaimed trucking empire and building a haunted and terribly dysfunctional family, my mom was looking through cabinets desperately trying something to feed her four kids. She was working through the night to make sure that we had school clothes every fall. No, she is not perfect and I'm sure there are faults to pinpoint, but at the end of the day, she didn't walk away.
I miss her. I miss Saturday mornings and I miss home. I can't wait to be back home.