Archived Story

Ten things I learned in Alex City

Published 7:47pm Wednesday, July 16, 2014

By Alethia Russell
Outlook Staff Writer

This summer was my first but definitely not last internship, and I had the opportunity to come a little closer to home to fill the job.  I’m wrapping up my last few weeks here and am trying to think of everything I’ve learned. It was so much bottled into 10 weeks that I’m trying to refrain from laughing uncontrollably at some of it.
So here goes nothing – In no particular order, 10 things I learned in Alex City.
1. “Yeah, I love them Snickers:” My infatuation with a certain chocolate, peanut and caramel candy bar can in fact do two things for the office. My attempts at inconspicuously swiping a few bars can make a certain sports editor (cough, Ed Bailey) laugh, or it can completely be the difference between sleeping on the keyboard during a midday slump. You really aren’t you when you’re hungry.
2. It really is a small world: I’ve mentioned maybe one million times my parents are from Alexander City. If I ever needed confirmation that I am a spitting image of my parents, I definitely got it from tons of complete strangers.
3. “It’s by the Lake:” Almost any time I’ve asked a person where’s something fun to do, it was at, by, near or going toward the lake. Everyone really loves Lake Martin.
4. It’s rappelling, not repelling: Well, you remember Austin Nelson, my former editor right? Well I agreed to go rappelling with him at the fire station once. I did it, but not without sticking my bare feet in 10 lb firefighter boots and taking great pictures but also spelling the word “rappel” wrong. I still haven’t lived that down.
5. My next editor has to be as cool as, if not cooler, than my last: Why? Because my former editor showed me the side effects of coffee in journalism, an endless supply of Internet searches gone hilarious and most importantly, I got my InDesign time down a few hours from when I first started. Thanks, Austin (and Robert for always fixing my spacing).
6. Put the GPS down: Seriously, after a week or two it was pointless. It took more time to type in an address than it did to just get in the car and ride on the directions I could get from someone in office.
7. I still want to tell stories: When I was seven, I decided that if I could tell stories for a living, I would have my dream job. Well, I’ve told stories every single day for an entire summer on top of three years in college – and I still want to tell stories. That’s kind of a big deal.
8. Anybody can be a good reporter, but not everybody is a good writer: Well, our new editor, Mitch Sneed, said something similar to this one day after he reworked a lede for me. It made the story more interesting than what I had originally written and it was a real eye-opener for me.
9. Take lots of photos: When in doubt, just point and click. The most experience I’ve had with a camera is my iPhone and Instagram filters, but of course I can’t put a selfie in the newspaper.
10. Don’t forget one second of this: This was an amazing experience, and I hope my next one is as rewarding as this one.
Russell is a staff writer for The Outlook.