This past week has been CAFNR Week and my mind has been solely focused on pulling off our events successfully as a director. Only until this morning, did I finally wrap my mind around the fact that in a few mere hours I would be traveling to a completely different part of the state I’ve never stepped foot on. I’ve driven through south Missouri on my way out of the state many times, but hardly without a passing glance. What should I pack? What should I wear? How should I tackle this experience? Am I going to survive? My head is full of questions. Bill said it would be like this, so I guess I will have to endure my curiosity. It seems surreal that I will be visiting this area after it has endured such hardships.
As I am condensing my undergraduate degree into three years, it’s important to experience as much as possible before I leave. Every MU journalism student must have some sort of reporting experience, whether with the Missourian, KBIA or KOMU. I will be reporting for the Missourian over winter intersession, but I view this as a bonus opportunity to try my hand at reporting in a real-world setting.
This experience is so much more though. We are going to be fully immersed in a different world, a different culture and a different agricultural community than most of us are used to. I’ve worked with Missouri Department of Conservation for part of an internship, but I have had minimal experience in the topics we will be covering on the Sonja Hillgren/Farm Journal Field Reporting Institute. This is the perfect time to put tons of feathers in my bag, as Bill says. It’s a learning experience and there is so much knowledge to gain.
There is a wealth of stories to be heard in the next few days of this trip, a wealth of stories to tell when I return, and all I have to do is step off of the bus and take it all in.