Ok, so as journalists I would think we have pretty interesting jobs. Relatively speaking, of course. I mean, being in a journalist in Shreveport doesn’t compare to being a journalist in New York City, or even Dallas for that matter.
But on average, we’re always into something. Always learning something. Digging into something. Going somewhere. Meeting folks. Never a dull moment.
So when they announced earlier this week that Friday was job shadow day and asked for volunteers, I gladly said “Sign me up!”
But I didn’t remember until my job shadow student was sitting right next to me that today wasn’t going to be one of those kinda days. I mean Fridays are generally slow days in the world of journalism and media, especially in the business journalism world, which is my beat.
Fridays are like the cool down part that follows a rigorous workout, which usually starts Tuesday (and sometimes Monday) and peaks out by Thursday. You basically spend Friday tying up loose ends, finishing up any lingering stories, maybe cranking a daily or two, depending on what’s happening and then getting prepared for stories you’ll be doing in the coming week.
Fortunately, my job shadow student - a bright-eyed, sweet and intelligent 8th grader with a name that was amazingly similar to mine – was a good sport about the whole thing.
In fact, we found out we had about as much in common as any two girls with more than a decade between them in age could have. She attends my old middle school (shout out to Caddo Middle Magnet!) and she’s hoping to begin high school at my alma mater, C.E. Byrd (Go Jackets!)
But one of the things I always enjoy most about these kinds of experiences is seeing the enthusiasm in the student’s eyes as you’re showing them processes, routines and procedures that have become second nature to you.
And I liked that she wasn’t afraid to ask questions or share her own opinions about certain issues. Even jotted down some of her own story ideas. Makes me feel good about the next generation of journalists out there.