Wednesday, November 12, 2008

REPORTER BLOG: Sick day realization

By Amanda Fondriest

When I went to choose a college, the first thing my parents told me was to pick a career—not a job. This little piece of advice seemed like a nuisance to a nerdy seventeen year old whose only concern was earning a college degree. Yet three years later, it has proven to be a resounding gong, echoing through my being each and every day.

Sick, sick, sick
I spent last Tuesday evening curled up in the fetal position in my bathroom, battling a severe 24-hour stomach flu. Yes, when my children ask me what I did the night the first African American president was elected, I will get to say, ‘using a bath towel for a blanket, the rug for a pillow, and the bottle of Maalox for a cuddle buddy.’ However, when my mother’s 7AM text message came in, I got up, showered, and came to MidDay. Did I want to be there? Not for one second: I would have much rather spent the day lounging on the couch watching The Tudors and whining to my roommates about how ill I was.

But, I got up.

The Difference Between a Job and a Career
Despite the flu that raged on well into Wednesday evening, I got up, delivered a solid day's work, and passed out on the couch when I got home.

The moral of the story: if journalism were just my job, I would not have come to class. I will not claim to have a pristine college record: I have skipped many a class in my day. (Sorry, Mom and Dad.) However, I have never skipped a course in my major or minor, and it's because I love what I do.

It’s a funny feeling: adulthood. I often wonder how I got here.

Maya Angelou said, "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." When did this quote become more than just something I have written on my dry-erase board? When did I get to the place where an upset stomach doesn’t necessarily mean a sick day? When did confidence replace self-consciousness? When did I grow up? When did I become an adult?

Where to go from here
I said that my parents told me to pick a career, and I have. Does that necessarily mean I will be the next Katie Couric? Probably not: I have plans to attend either law or graduate school upon my spring graduation. However, I will always be a journalist.

Journalists aren’t just the talking heads that enter your home each evening via the television. We aren’t just members of the common scapegoat ‘media’ so often referenced in sweeping and typically grammatically incorrect generalizations that make me cringe. And we surely aren’t those willing to sacrifice anything for a headline as we are also often stereotyped to be.

I Guess, There's only One Thing Left to Say
No matter where I go in life, no matter what title fills my business card, I am a journalist. By nature, I desire to learn. Through my upbringing, I know the value of a hard day’s work and have felt the love needed for such a demanding career. And my educators have taught me to apply all of life’s lessons in my work, not just those learned in their classrooms.

If it weren’t for this realization, my couch would have a large Amanda shaped dent from where I spent my Wednesday. If it weren’t for everyone, I would have skipped out on the possibility to do what was arguably my best work for a measly stomach flu. So, thank you.

The Result
Below, you will find my story as aired. We had a few technical difficulties with the audio levels during the show. I apologize for any inconvenience.

My report as aired.

No comments: