Hungry and tired.

My initial excitement and enjoyment of J4450 is still going relatively strong, but the class is starting to take a toll on my body and emotional state.

Last night was my second consecutive 11:30 p.m. night in the newsroom, and I reported for duty again this morning at 8 a.m. I recently covered…

Lately, when asked how I am, I reply without hesitation: “Hungry and tired.” Seriously. Every single time.

I am still proud of producing good journalism and continuing to get to know the community. I am finally comfortable with the issues in the district and I feel I can confidently explain and understand them. Budget meetings don’t scare me anymore, and I have learned a whole new set of school jargon. It has become commonplace to speak with the CFO or superintendent. I spend more time at the district administration building than in the dining halls.

Speaking with my ACE recently, we agreed that no other major could do as much to connect us to Columbia as journalism can. Sure, we are only here a short time, but the experience is more vibrant when I have ties beyond campus. It’s hard to leave the place I grew up in for 19 years for a new town.

There’s a lot to be said for being thrown in feet-first into a new situation; it’s a shock at first, but I don’t think the Missouri School of Journalism would be nearly as reputable without its practical method of practicing journalism. I can’t imagine learning just the theory and being expected to be prepared for a job.

Despite all this, I am coming down from the journalism high I felt a couple weeks ago.

Maybe it’s just the doldrums before spring break, but this week has been especially busy. Meetings every day, multiple big deadlines looming, midterm papers, interviews piling up: I could really use a break. Spring break, to be exact.

I don’t advocate using a blog to whine, and I hope I have managed to keep it to a minimum, but I think it’s important for other reporting students who stumble across this to understand the demands of the class.

Sometimes, this class is harder than all of your others combined. Sometimes, your head will spin from the professional expectations and everything you are learning. Sometimes, the class demands all your free time in a given week. And sometimes, that means you subsist entirely on pretzels and coffee.

Ask me on almost any other day, and I’d say I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Right now, I might. Maybe for a full night’s sleep and a sandwich.

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