What’s left to learn, what’s been learned

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(This post re-blogged from the spring 2013 advanced reporting blog.)

By the time this post is due on Friday, I’ll have published my first story for the semester. Right now, I’m breathing a sigh of relief before waiting to talk to the photo desk about some captions.

The first hurdle, so to speak, has passed. I’ve started getting my bearings. I’m starting to realize the ways I want to grow this semester:

Write more precisely.

Tell stories.

Improve my interview questions.

Enjoy myself when I report and write — really, journalism can be fun.

Keep calm and carry on. (I know it’s cliched. I like it anyway.)

I’m still a student. I’m still learning. I’m still growing.

Don’t apologize so much.

If I were to explain the million and one things I’m trying to take away from my first two weeks in advanced, I’d write a blog post so long that even I wouldn’t want to read it.

The past two weeks have been good — stressful, busy, at times almost panic-inducing (note the “almost;” I’ve actually kept myself rather composed) , but good.

With the exception of spending all my time on one story, the past couple of weeks have been reminiscent of my first semester at the Missourian, essentially living in the newsroom, eating lunch in five minutes, working frantically to get my story ready in time.

And yet, I’m also starting to see the ways I’ve grown since I stepped into the newsroom a year ago as a half-kid-half-adult who had no idea what I was doing. I know more about how to report and tell stories. I’m learning to generate my own ideas. I’m learning to keep my cool in the newsroom and while I’m writing and reaching deadline. I’m trying to figure out how to be less of a half-kid-half-adult and more of, well, an adult.

I’ve got a long stretch of semester left. I’m pretty sure that the real challenge of this spring is yet to come. I’m acutely aware that I’ll be pushed beyond my limits. I’ll likely be forced to grow more than I think is possible.

But after a couple of weeks of already having to learn a lot and bearing up under the workload, I think I’m ready for it.

P.S. Because life likes to test the things I say about being challenged and growing — shortly after posting, I ran into an difficulty with the photo desk after a misunderstanding meant I didn’t have everything I needed. We solved it, but I wanted to use the bottom of this space to take responsibility and apologize for the frustrations I caused and to note that I’ll do everything in my power to prevent those frustrations from happening again.

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New story: Returned volunteers in Columbia further Peace Corps’ goals

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