Southeast Missouri State University student publication
May 18, 2013
First day of the Working Press InternshipPosted Monday, September 24, 2012, at 12:04 PM
This is the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Photo by Rachel Weatherford
I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., at noon-ish, since I flew. I met several very friendly people on the plane, including one guy who was trying to psychoanalyze me, I think.
I departed from the plane and found the Go Shuttle, which whom SPJ had made an arrangement to offer transportation to the attendees. At the Go Shuttle, the workers and I had a few problems understanding each other and finding my hotel. But, I met my very first fellow internship member, one of the two copyeditors, who ended up on the shuttle with me. What a blessing!
We checked in together. We found out SPJ had arranged to have our WiFi fee, which was a charge in the room. The front desk worker, Natasha, suggested where to eat, how to get to the beach and where to check in.
My fellow worker and I went our separate ways to get settled into our rooms.
I met my roommate and fellow page designer. There was one more page designer we had not yet met.
We walked to the nearest and cheapest restaurant, which was moderately priced apparently for Ft. Lauderdale. I ate a bacon, egg and cheese bagel, which was delicious.
We had our first official staff meeting at 4:30 p.m., where we met Reginald "Reggie" Stuart, journalist, past President of SPJ and Wells Key Scholar recepient, Darlene from the New York Times and Jennifer from the Associated Press. They were our editors. I also met Nikki, the photo editor essentially, and Laura, the person in charge of the page designers.
We met the others and everything but their names escape me now.
We broke into our respective groups after the staff meeting. My group began to plan the pages, but first we went to a delicious seafood restaurant with the entire group, paid for by Reggie. There I met more of the fellow staff members on a more personal basis, and had a very adorable waiter I'm not afraid to admit I flirted with. I felt it was mutual.
I also tried jumbalia made in the South by southerners for the first time ever. Yes, Dr. Reiger, I actually went to the South and found jumbalia at a New Orleans-based restaurant and ate it. I had to. It was absolutely delicious. Spicy, but delicious. Our waiter goes, "It's very spicy."
I said, "Mexican spicy?"
He said, "Spicy."
I said, "Spice it up!"
After dinner the others went where they wanted to go. The page designers had a different game to play.
We had to begin deciding layout questions, fonts, styles, theme (apparently, which I do not think we stayed to) and everything. We had no guides. It was exciting, but scary. Naturally we all tried to stay with what we knew - our school newspapers or magazines. But that was three different schools of varying sizes with varying levels of staff. And magazines and newspapers are not married well to each other.
We spent from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. figuring stuff out, and then the male page designer took over a few things (literally just took them away from us) from 2:30-8 a.m. when we re-met to begin our first day on the job.
We decided on a body, headline and subhead font. I had to drill into their heads that italics do not work because audiences have a hard time reading it.
We settled on old-school, over-used Helvetica Nue as a headline and Hoefler Text for body. It's a readable font.
We settled on a flag that the male page designer came up with.
I realize now I've had opportunities I maybe wouldn't have gotten at other schools by going to Southeast, and I'm on par with people from much bigger schools.
The students are really nice, the others, photographers, reporters, copyeditors. They know their stuff (at least mostly). I love the professionals and the guidance. They're people too. They're amazing and awesome and know what they're doing. And, best of all, they're old school. I love working with them. They're very positive. So far, it's been interesting, but a little aggravating. I almost wish I had come down as a reporter now. I had to chose something, and I chose page designing back before I was managing editor. I don't regret it, of course. Doing everything here on such a demanding schedule would have made meeting deadline nearly impossible.
I'm learning so much and walking a lot too.
Thank you to everyone who has supported my trip!
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A college student who ponders about life, college, faith, hope and love! Follow me @rmweatherford1s and @rachelwarrow
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