Writing VII and the internship paper.

Reno wild horse expo comes as mustangs threatened
Reno officials christen fire truck
Big Carson freeway bridge on schedule
New citizens vote with help from state group
Therapy program pairs horses, children
Magazine puts local girl in spotlight
Hot cars share stage with hot dogs
Stars and stripes adorns shining 1957 Chevrolet
Washoe primary turnout could be lowest in decades

If I include today, 10 days left. Time just seems to have flown on by this summer.

Last week, I had to turn in a paper to the j-school on “what I learned during my summer internship.” I took it in a very literal sense. And here it is for your reading enjoyment.

It’s been a busy summer. Ever since I walked through the doors at the Reno Gazette-Journal in May and had my press pass created by human resources, I’ve learned a lot about this field.

I learned how students built an eco-friendly house from scratch in the course of one year. I learned how people will drive from Verdi or stop in the middle of their vacation to listen to John McCain speak at the Boys and Girls Club. I learned how the Native Americans care about what’s going to happen with this election. I learned how one doctor uses his Harvard medical degree to prescribe alternative medicines to people who dislike the pharmaceutical companies.

I learned how one man made the decision to quit the Marines and become a teacher at Sage Ridge School – and was happy with that decision. I learned how one nondenominational church wanted to affect the community around them for the better by starting a kindergarten program. I learned parents are willing to pay a lot of money so their kids can attend a science summer camp instead of sitting around the house watch TV all day.

I learned that even schools that only have a few students still need renovations. I learned that once you’ve written enough education articles, you start getting solicitations from people about writing stories. I learned how Abraham Lincoln and Florence Nightingale influenced others during the Civil War era – through a children’s play. I learned how the University of Nevada, Reno engineering students made their concrete canoe float when their only goal was to beat the University of California, Berkley.

I learned another university student decided there wasn’t enough positive reinforcement for young girls out there, so she started a princess story time program to show girls that it’s not all about Disney. I learned that cicadas come out in Nevada every four to seven years, unlike the ones in the Midwest that appear every 17 years. I learned that a lot of people play volleyball in Reno each year. I learned that the green trend is going, and people out there want to bank on it.

I learned regular people really appreciate the arts, especially when it’s free. I learned that there are 20 places outside of Reno that I can drive to for a day on one tank of gas. I learned that some people are willing to run from Alaska to Peru in order to show and create unity among Native America tribes. I learned there was a Nixon, Nev. (though I didn’t learn why it was named Nixon). I learned that you can create your own paradise in your backyard if you have enough money. I learned that 100 degrees in Reno is rare, so it needs a story to be written about it.

I learned that when you have an assignment at 5:30 a.m., you better set more than one alarm clock. I learned that someone else out there besides Alex Newman received an A in Jake Highton’s advanced reporting class. I learned that cowboys are media-weary because of the portrayals they’re given. I learned offroading in suburban vehicles isn’t recommended. I learned wild horses only travel in small harems of four or five. I learned why cowboys need their hats out in the Nevada sun.

I learned that wildfires in California can cause air warnings in Reno. I learned that a lot of people may go to the river during the summer, but just as many worry about their safety while they are there. I learned that teen driving programs are more useful when you actually have the teen behind the wheel, not behind the desk. I learned the interview part during the Miss Nevada contest is a joke (at least onstage).

I learned some protestors will do anything to mask their identity, from dressing up like V from “V for Vendetta” to dressing up like Uncle Same (even if they’re running for office). I learned a lot of people want Mitt Romney to get the vice-presidential nod from McCain. I learned that arsons are an unusual crime, especially when there are 18 of them in two weeks. I learned that wild horses are kept in a 5-acre ranch after they’ve been captured. I’ve learned some art, even pieces entitled “Meat for Wild Men,” will fetch $9 million dollars.

I learned a mother will always love her son and can be very appreciative of what you do for her son, even if it’s just a simple story. I’ve learned tornados can happen in Nevada. I’ve learned there’s a guarded door on the third floor of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center so people won’t steal babies. I learned that you can be very talented at something, even at the age of 10. I learned that more people care about wild horses than you would ever guess. I learned that even some of our city councilmen are trying to be eco-friendly by arriving at events on their bicycles.

Like I said, it’s been a productive summer – and it’s not over yet. I have until Aug. 22 before my internship with the RGJ is over. I will learn at least another paragraph of things by then. But what matters is that each of these things I learned have taught me the most important thing.

I learned that, come what may in the journalism business, this is what I want to do with my life. I learned that everyone has a story tell – you’ve just got to ask them.


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