On my first day at the office of The LaRue County Herald News, I was expecting a graceful little transition period from nothing-to-intern. This was my first job in a newspaper office, so I wasn’t really expecting to be given full-grown responsibilities yet. On my first day, the staff would show me where everything was in the office, give me some busy work and tell me to come back tomorrow.
Linda Ireland, my wonderful editor, handed me a stack of six stories to get working on that day, including the interview of a soon-to-be 100-year-old woman, a Teddy Bear picnic sponsored by the library and a feature story on a local hog farm (I’m vegetarian).
Oh hey, real world.
The best part about my internship with the Herald News, by far, was that I didn’t feel remotely like an intern. I wasn’t making copies, fetching cups of coffee or cleaning the toilet. Instead, I was doing exactly what I wanted the chance to do this summer, and that was to tell people’s stories.
I covered sports, feature stories, school board meetings, features on interesting people, community events and basically everything else there is to cover in a town like Hodgenville. I was given responsibilities I never would have imagined possible at the beginning of my summer.
This summer was the summer of writing for me, because I did virtually nothing else (that’s a good thing!). I spent countless hours with all my stories, trying to make them as perfect as I could. That’s not the kind of intern experience you get with many other places. You’re too busy with that coffee pot to worry about such things as writing or pagination.
In the end, I have nothing but positive things to say about my experience in LaRue County. When I was first told I was going to be working in a town as small as Hodgenville, I was admittedly a little nervous about plastering my name all over the Herald News’ pages. It’s one thing to have an article or two in the newspaper of a huge city, where you’re relatively anonymous, but something quite different to have seven or eight a week in the newspaper that is the absolute lifeblood of a community.
However, never before had I received such positive feedback from my stories as I did when I was in LaRue County. It was the time of my life, and it made me a better writer – that is all I could have asked for.