First Meeting

Sorry for not posting yesterday. It was pretty hectic.

I walked into Mike assigning me two stories. One of those is done, but the other is taking me a bit longer than I had thought it would to finish. Sources weren’t getting back to me and, just today, did I actually get a hold of someone.

Yesterday, I covered my first meeting, Andover Board of Education. I arrived early, as usual, and ended making friends with the janitor there. The meeting itself wasn’t boring. For those that don’t know, Andover, has only one school, Andover Elementary School because they combine with Hebron and Marlborough in both the Middle School and High School, forming RHAM.  The superintendent went over the school’s budget line by line. At first I wasn’t too excited about it, but it really got interesting.

That probably sounds weird, but it was nice to have someone go over numbers and explain to the board exactly why that line item went up or down in the next fiscal year’s budget. The board, who had had the budget for over a week, literally asked no questions. There wasn’t anything to really argue with on their side. The changes that the new budget has are pretty unavoidable. It will be interesting to see what the Board of Finance in Andover thinks about it in a month or so.

After the meeting I spoke with the superintendent and chairman of the board about newspapers, life and who I was. They both thanked me for coming and I told them that they hopefully will be seeing more of me in the near future. The superintendent used to work in Vernon and since I live here now he asked how things were. We talked about former Mayor Jason McCoy and his situation with taking OT money during the October Snowstorm and subsequent power outage and it was pretty awesome. They made me feel comfortable and I was glad that they welcomed me in like that. I really wasn’t expecting it.

When I got home, I made sure to write the story. I spent an hour and a half writing it before I went to bed and got it up to about 850 words.

When I got into work today, I told Mike and he just looked at me and said, “You have to cut that.” I looked at my story for a good 2o minutes after that and cut only 100 words, but I knew I had to get it down more. Sarah asked me what happened and gave me some advice as to how she would write it. I did what she said and cut out a lot more of my story, while still adding the things that I really wanted to focus on. I got it down to around 16 inches and was pretty happy with how it eventually came out.

After I did that I quickly finished a Special Olympics story that Mike had given me yesterday. That turned out great, too. The story  was about the need for volunteers for the upcoming Special Olympics swim meet this March. It was a real fun story and I can’t wait to see it in print.

Today, I did an interview for my first feature. I don’t want to give a lot away, but it should be a great story and should really get people fired up. Fired up in a good way that is. I was worried about the interview. It wasn’t the easiest of topics, but I know I won’t let Mike down.

Thankfully, Mike gave me a lot of time to work on that feature. I won’t feel pressured finishing it. I just hope that I get enough time to make the story into what I want it to be. I know that sounds weird, but lately I have been really trying to take the stories that Mike gives me and make them my own. By that, I mean put my “fingerprint” on the story. That way, if you don’t look at the byline you would be able to tell it’s me by the way I wrote the story.

I have to admit that I didn’t really sleep last night. I was all excited to write the board of ed story that I only slept about four hours. I know that that is really bad for me, but I’m glad I spent the time writing it. I should have gotten more sleep, but I’ll make it up tonight I hope.

Tonight I am going to work on the museum story and maybe start the feature story. I need to finish the museum story as soon as I get in tomorrow because I am covering an event at ECSU. I can’t really describe the event because I’ve never heard of anything like it. Third graders from four different towns across the state are coming to ECSU to learn about diversity. It should be a pretty neat.  Some big names will be there so it’ll be a nice story for Saturday’s paper.

I don’t think that I am nervous yet for the event tomorrow because I am too tired. I’ll be nervous tomorrow morning. I’m sure of that.

In case you missed it: I have another clip up that I missed from earlier in the week. See that here.

-Jon

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