“Is it starting to feel like school yet?”
One of my editors, a former Missourian copy desk editor, asked me this at work today.
I replied, “Yes and no.”
In one sense, it is because I’ve very much established a routine on workdays.
I wake up at 9:30 or 10 a.m., throw a Mizzou shirt and some Nike shorts on and head to our apartment complex’s gym, where I’ll run and use the weight machines (nothing like MizzouRec’s or ACN’s, mind you, but they work) for about 45 minutes.
Then, I go back to the apartment, clean up and prepare brunch. (Anything microwavable or toastable is preferred.)
Then, I’ll check email, Skype with friends, go to the pool, read the news, write letters, read a book, go to Trader Joe’s and/or Ralphs, work on my website or something journalistic, do something school-related (that I’ve inevitably put off) or just hang out until I leave for work at about 2:30 p.m.
Once I’m there, I find the first available seat (or what was the cake table before I showed up); load my desktop, Sametime, Register email, AP Stylebook, Register stylebook, OCRegister.com and CCI; and get to work.
Business is always first priority, then news, then advance content or special sections. I often also copy edit a Charles Apple Focus page, and sometimes I look at A1.
The time I get off depends on the night and the amount of content in the next day’s paper. I’ve gotten off as early as 9 p.m. and as late as 10:55 p.m. But it’s always dark when I emerge from the building and into the parking lot, making it sometimes difficult to discern which car’s mine. (On Saturdays, it’s easy; mine’s one of probably five in the lot.)
Then, I leave the Register, taking the 5 to the 55 to the 405 (yes, I realize this makes me sound like a native, and I have zero problems with that) to get back to my apartment, where there’s a 90 percent chance at least one of my roommates is asleep. If it’s a weekend night, I’ll go hang out with friends; if not, I’ll check social media, watch TV or read until I get tired enough to go to sleep.
Sleep. Wake. Repeat.
But at the same time, it’s not school.
I don’t have homework or tests or projects. (Unless you count Principles of Management, which I’m supposedly taking online this summer, but let’s not kid ourselves.)
I get enough sleep each night so that I wake up feeling rested, and I exercise enough so that I feel good and in shape.
I live in an fully furnished apartment in beautiful Southern California with no black mold, flooding or insect problems.
My off days consist of going to the beach. (And I’m working on a tan to show it.)
The only places I don’t drive to are the apartment complex’s pool and gym, the mailbox and the adjacent apartment complex that houses some of the other interns.
The biggest drama here seems to be where college graduates will be employed after the internship ends.
But it’s been so nice, and I’ve felt so welcomed, and I know I’ve learned a lot. (And although I’m far from the world’s best headline writer, I’m beginning to feel like maybe I don’t completely suck. Maybe.)
So, this concludes my wah-I’m-halfway-done post.
I’d think of a better ending, but I’ve had to come up with enough sentences today. You know, to avoid redundant captions and all.