The week rolls on…

We only have two full days left here in Bowling Green. For many of us, that is a relief. I suppose that includes me, in many ways. We’ve been going hard since Sunday afternoon, learning about all kinds of software programs that journalists use today, as well as how Patch itself works, making the most of Twitter, video skills, and how to write powerfully. Trying to figure out all these Adobe programs I never used as a section editor has been a challenge for all of us. Besides that, we’ve had complications with our company-issued computers (yes, they just gave us fresh MacBook Pros) and getting behind the firewall so we can get paid. So it’s been a rush of information, to say the least. The other part of the workshop has been going out in teams and doing research on a topic that affects the Bowling Green area, as I probably mentioned before, and creating a website. I was concerned that this would be difficult, but working with three other trained reporters has made it less so. One of the girls has jumped on the website creating part, and I’m glad, because if I were doing it, I would be struggling, and I always feel self-conscious when I struggle with things, even when I’ve just learned it. My job has been doing data analysis of Bowling Green’s tornado history. I created a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel of the tornadoes off of a couple websites, made a Map Mashup on BatchGeo and Google, and used the Tableau software to create a scatterplot. These were new things to me. I also did a short writeup based on my analysis of the data. Tomorrow we hope to be completely done with everything by the afternoon so we can enjoy our evening, then present on Saturday. I know that I’ll be out getting reactions from locals to the outbreak of tornadoes in Oklahoma and how they are preparing in case one hits here, while learning how to use the Vine app at the same time. We’ll post the video on the site, as well as another one of an interview Ali and Carly did with a WKU meteorology professor. 

Our exciting adventure today was going over to the WBKO news station in town and meeting with one of the meteorologists there. He had the same accent as pretty much everyone else in this town – it’s what Southerners are pictured as sounding like. But he also told us some great things, and we’ll put the interview on our site as an audio file. After we interviewed him, we went to Starbucks – yum! 

Doing all of this research has made me (kind of) want to experience a tornado. If I saw one of those moving towards me, I wouldn’t want to go down to a shelter, I’d want to stay and film it. I know that’s not safe. However, if a tornado happened to show up in Seattle, I probably wouldn’t be the only one inclined to whip out my phone instead of running for shelter. We don’t even have tornado shelters out there. Decorah is much more prepared, although there aren’t many tornadoes there either. About four years ago, my then-boyfriend texted me one day saying there was a tornado warning – I freaked out! But there was no problem. Still, I hope faintly that I’ll see one before I graduate…

This has been a great week for me in a lot of ways. Being with a group of people whom I didn’t know from before has encouraged me to break out of my shell and be adventurous. I am very different from the other interns, it seems, as I go to the smallest school of anyone and am the only one from the Northwest. But different isn’t bad. It makes me proud to be from Seattle and to be a Luther student. All these East Coasters don’t know what they’re missing. 😉

Whew, I’m out of breath from writing all this. Going to chill for the rest of the night. See you on the flip side!

Brita

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