When I first began my role as the reporter for the Lodi Enterprise and Poynette Press, I had no clue what to expect. In my first few weeks, I shook a lot of hands and got asked, “where are you from?” a little too much. People seemed as curious about me as I did about them.
During my time with the paper, I covered a plethora of meetings and occasions. I saw residents outraged over big issues; I saw parents cheer for their children. I reported on government entities and school officials. I beamed when the home team made an incredible play. I was brought to tears at events or after interviews, due to the moving nature of the communities I have served and the stories I have had the opportunity to help tell.
This job has taught me a variety of things: don’t go to board meetings hungry, because they might last until 10:30 p.m.; make sure the camera is ready at any second, because the moment you blink and look away, some kid does something really cute; say thank you to anyone and everyone who takes the time to help you; be aware of where the ball is during every game, because it’s probably about to hit you in the face.
I have also learned to be more patient, clear-cut and receptive. I discovered it’s just as important to explain yourself and your history as it is to ask questions of others.
A journalism career was something I’d dreamt about, but didn’t think I could necessarily do. I went into college thinking about news reporting as this colossal, New York Times experience. Although the Lodi Enterprise/Poynette Press is not as large or dominant as other publications, this has been an immense experience for me.
Although one of the best pieces of this job has been meeting so many different people and having a chance to highlight their stories, I’d have to say my favorite part was being able to grow with the communities and watch them grow, too.
This week, I leave to take on the role as managing editor of the DeForest Times-Tribune. The position will come with a number of new challenges, responsibilities and adventures. Despite my excitement for this next part of my journey, some of my heart will always lie here.
I am grateful to have had so many opportunities at the Poynette Press/Lodi Enterprise. I am thankful to all of you who have supported our work and continue to, as well as for those who have opened their doors to me, whether it was for a community event or a one-on-one interview. I will sorely miss this area and reminisce about it often. I have a feeling I will also be returning often.