Rebecca Schimmel

Rebecca SchimmelCrittenden Press
Murray State University

From day one of interviewing and working out the details of coming to work at The Crittenden Press I have had the full support of the staff. I am encouraged to write stories how I feel they should be written. They care about the individual writer’s voice and it always stays intact. Although my commute was an hour and 15 minutes one way I looked forward to it because of the people. I’ve learned that a good work environment can make all the difference in how hard I work and how well I write.

The people in Crittenden County were nice and excited to have someone new visiting for a while. It was a pleasure to listen to their stories and be trusted to tell those stories. I was impressed by the community’s dedication to the paper. After my first column was printed someone came into the office to talk to me and thank me for writing what I did. It was a rewarding experience to have an effect on the community in the way that I did. The Crittenden Press is a weekly paper that comes out on Thursday’s.

I covered a range of stories with the bulk of them being features. I was able to appreciate the different lives that people in this town have lived. I sat and soaked in their passion for what they do and did.

I was asked if I wanted to write a column by the editor of The Press. I had never written a column before and I learned that it is harder to come up with a topic I want to talk about than a story the readers might want to read.

The Friday that my first column was due the Same-Sex Marriage decision came down and I was elated. So I knew exactly what I was going to write about. I talked about what it meant for me and for my friends and how excited I was that it had finally been legalized. I was met with some support but also some anger.

My column was surrounded with support as well as controversy this summer. Even when my column was met with distaste I enjoyed the feedback because the controversy meant people were reading and they cared about what I was saying. Even if they didn’t agree with me. Some people even cared enough to come in and talk to me about what I wrote.

I became more comfortable interviewing people and asking the questions that needed to be asked. I learned not to be shy about having to go back and ask another question after I had already finished my interview. I spent a lot of time on my stories and as the summer went on my writing improved.

I learned a lot about myself and my writing style. I would say that it was a valuable experience and it will help me in my career. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and it taught me a lot about what I need in a work environment.

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