“Hi, would you like to fill out a survey?”
That’s not a question I can say “no” to without some semblance of guilt. Like many of us, I’ve been stopped countless times on the South Lawn by eager U.Va students assigned the selfless task of polling random strangers. Nor will I refuse to do an interview or poll over the phone. After all, I’m a reporter and I know how awkward it can be to request interviews from random students — especially in person. However, my editor was Tom Madrecki, so I learned to suck it up and power through it for the sake of a story.
Actually, a young lady from Tom Periello’s campaign just called to ask me whether I was going to vote for him, what issues I care most about, and what my political affiliation is. I asked about his thoughts on Tiger Woods. (No answer.)
Earlier this summer, someone stopped me on McCormick Rd. to interview me about my plans for the summer and whether I’d be interested in playing an intramural sport. The interviewer was visibly nervous, but it was interesting to be on the other side of the notebook and having someone copy down my quotes. More than anything, it made me wonder what people thought during my early days as a beat reporter and during my first Council meetings. I was probably really awkward and certainly overwhelmingly intimidated, but it helped me — as an individual — become more than just a wallflower. I certainly didn’t imagine, however, how much I would love my job and just how much I care about everything surrounding my beat. It made all those awkward phone calls, countless interviews, and late nights in the office entirely worthwhile. Maybe that’s why it was so hard to let go once it came time to appoint the new News associates.
Thanks Tom and Christina for assigning me to such a great beat, and for pushing and inspiring me to become a better reporter and editor.
(Originally posted July 18, 2010)