Honest and Unmerciful

It’s hard as hell to fall asleep to the sounds of honking taxis and city buses. I’m used to hearing the faint sound of a train a half-mile away from my house or the light snores of my fraternity brothers a few feet away. Though I hadn’t necessarily had a restless night yet in the city, the combination of city sounds and an eventful day kept me up ’till the wee hours. I’m a college student, though. Running on little-to-no sleep is my forte.

For those who know me well, you’ve probably already heard about why I decided to become a journalist enough times to make you want to jump off a building. But for those who don’t, today was the first step into the real world of journalism that I’ve taken since that fateful day that I first watched Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous. I’ve really lucked out, too. Most people’s first step into media might occur at a podunk county newspaper or a small newswire website. Having shaken the right hands and impressed the right people, I’m taking mine into one of the largest online publications in the country: The Huffington Post.

I'm corporate now. (Gotta frat for the badge picture)

The HuffPo offices moved into AOL’s building in Greenwich Village a few months ago, and their facilities are absolutely astounding. Around every corner is a large LCD television hanging from the ceiling that showing some form of the news, there’s ping-pong tables and fancy furniture everywhere and everyone in the office, whether working for AOL or HuffPo, is extremely welcoming and kind. Thank God it was that way, because I was as a little nervous schoolboy on the elevator up. I report to one of the editors there, but he assigned me to assist and contribute to the stories of a reporter named Saki Knafo. He’s a brilliant writer that spent a lot of time at other publications and freelancing before his move to HuffPo, so he had a lot of insight and advice to give about the many facets of the journalism world.

After eating lunch at Katz’s (probably the best Jewish deli I think I’ll ever eat at in my life), I dove into my predominant responsibility as an intern: research. Normally research bores the hell out of me, but today it didn’t, and as long as I am sitting in that newsroom, I don’t think it ever really will. If I work hard enough and get the chance to get published in such a huge publication, it’ll all be worth it.

As much as I’d like to talk about the stories that I will be contributing for with Saki, it isn’t right for me to give them away before they are published. Rest assured though, as they come out, I will link to them here.

After today, I finally understand why my parents would be opposed to going out to eat or taking me to do certain things after they got off of work; sitting in a chair all day is surprisingly tiring. I did force myself to go to the gym tonight, but I think the overwhelming feeling of finally realizing that I’m working for one of the websites that I read on a regular basis is what’s conked me out so much. Those first-day jitters are gone, though. It’s time to work.

(The title to this one is from this clip in Almost Famous. This is the ultimate journalism-nerd movie scene.)

All the best
AJ

(P.S. I’ve never said “University of Kansas” this much in my life. People from the East Coast have NO idea what “KU” is. No, I don’t go to Kentucky.)

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