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.
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
(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.)