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Your Turn, Interns 

by TIM BROSS, TAMMY MARSHALL and KELLY McCRILLIS & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & M & lt;/span & y first encounter with The Inlander began harmlessly enough. I was -- ironically -- writing a research paper for Gonzaga political science professor and Inlander columnist Robert Herold about the River Park Square debacle and the controversial coverage it received from the Spokesman-Review. My investigation first led me to Larry Shook, former editor of the now-defunct Camas Magazine. Shook indicted the Cowles family as "economic Baathists."


So when my research brought me to Ted McGregor, I expected similar rhetoric. But McGregor was thoughtful, kind, perhaps a little too sympathetic. "There is always a knee-jerk resentment for people with a lot of money," he said in regard to the Cowles family.

McGregor was on deadline during our interview, and yet he still found time to chat with a tweeby college student. Impressive.

My enterprising but poorly written expos & eacute; was well received by Herold. And the experience contributed to a troubling self-realization: I wanted to be a writer.

I considered professional help. Yet during my junior year, I applied anyway for this internship. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Before my first day began this summer, I was nervous. Was this the right move? Journalists are exploitative and obnoxious; I expected callous pedantry, liberal maniacs and information robots.

But perception's conflict with reality became the underlying theme of my Inlander experience. I was presented with a mentor (Kevin Taylor), two young writers I respect the hell out of (Luke Baumgarten and Joel Smith), a news editor patient and helpful enough to be a college professor (Doug Nadvornick) and a weird old guy who needs to clean up his office (Michael Bowen). And even though Ted still intimidates me a bit (he's tall -- and witty), he allowed me to write some downright fun stories.

In the end, the internship was the best experience I have ever had. It was fun, engaging and educational. And best of all? It reinforced that truth. I want to be a writer.


& lt;span class= "dropcap " & E & lt;/span & ven though I've been out of college for two years, I chose to do an internship as a final decision-maker. I had wanted to go into journalism since I was, like, 9 and it wasn't until I got out of college that I went, "Oh my God, I so don't want to do this." For the past two years, I dove into social work thinking it might be my calling. It took me that long to figure out it wasn't. It was now time to find out if journalism was something I could actually stomach.

I made a few calls and got an internship. I was excited yet tense. I'm notoriously incapable of making decisions, and it was finally time for me to make one, a big one.

I came in every day saying I wouldn't do anything stupid, and, well, every day I pretty much did something stupid. In my first article, I misspelled the names of three of the four composers I wrote about. I found out quickly that writing isn't a field you can go in and out of. I was rusty.

So The Inlander found out the one thing about me that I didn't want them to know. What did I find out about my internship? That despite the daily misery of being reminded that I'm spacey, confused and ultimately indecisive, the time flew by. It was the last thing I thought about when I went to bed and the first thing I thought about when I woke up. This is it for me, and I thank The Inlander for giving me the opportunity to iron out my wrinkles and realize that journalism is what I'm supposed to do.


& lt;span class= "dropcap " & E & lt;/span & ase into an internship, blah blah, get a great job, work for Bill Gates, earn a couple million and kick it...

If only being an intern produced as many good consequences as portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada. Running blocks for coffee is real, and so is the dirty work: Researching endless amounts of contact information turned out to be, um, quite entertaining.

But seriously, an internship is a great way to learn a trade. Writing for people who know many different styles of journalistic writing has been an important step for me. I'm not sure I'll work for an alternative newsweekly or a magazine again, but I know writing is in my future.

My summer internship -- though unpaid for the most part -- unearthed ideas and styles that not only improved my prospects for future employment, but also taught me about the googleplex of information that can be learned from people if you work to find it.

For instance, asking for this job was easy, but obtaining it required persistence and a face of willing earnestness. My original editor told me that the reason for my hire had little to do with my academic or communicative achievements -- rather, it was the fact that I hounded him over the phone, the Internet and in person. His response? "Sometimes you have to be a bit of a stalker."

So few of us really want to strive and succeed -- most of us would rather skip the striving part. So roll up your sleeves, dial some numbers, and taste the delicious phad Thai of this "free-food Monday" world. Man, I'm going to miss the free food when school starts again.


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