Opinion

My little corner of the world

I was in junior high when “Gilmore Girls” started airing on Tuesday nights. One of my sisters — I’m the youngest of three girls — came home and said there was a new show we had to check out. To say that the character Rory had an impact on me would be an understatement. Over the seasons I watched as Rory grew as a writer and a journalist. I saw how her love of books, learning and information lent itself to such a path. I was hooked.

I like to credit Rory with giving me the push into journalism, but there is a lot more behind it than that.

Looking back, the first indication of this path I was heading down came in elementary school when I wrote in a school journal that when I grew up I was, “going to write stories.”

A forever curious child, I was perpetually peppering my parents with questions and constantly lost in a book.

I began to follow national and international news with increasing interest as Operation Iraqi Freedom unfolded. I wanted to know and to understand what was going on.

By the time I graduated from Kentridge my mind was made up — I was going to be a journalist.

The next leg of my journey took me to Biola University located on the LA-Orange County line in La Mirada, Calif. I thrived in classes like philosophy of journalism, investigative reporting, theology of gender and IRIS (a three week, six unit course where we studied the relationship between literature, film, art, theology and the way in which we view the world).

Over the three and a half years I spent at Biola my passion for journalism and for telling people’s stories only grew. I was involved in a variety of on-campus media including writing for the student newspaper and magazine. I also contributed to a book about a local nonprofit. Some of my favorite college memories come from the semester I took 18 units and interned in media relations by day and was a Jungle Cruise Skipper at Disneyland by night. Bad puns and all.

I graduated with a bachelors degree in print journalism and a minor in biblical studies in December 2010. Little did I know the journey I was embarking on when I shook the hand of Biola’s president and accepted one of those black folders. In an instant I had gone from being a college student to another college educated, unemployed 20-something. I knew journalism was hurting, but I didn’t know hard it was going to be to break in. A year and a half and countless job and internship applications later I accepted an internship with the Tahoma School District. I worked on a project related to the district’s sustainability curriculum and covered news and features across the district. Those months reminded me how much I love what I do and re-enforced my desire to make it as a reporter.

I have dreamed about working for a newspaper and 727 days after graduating I am finally living it.

Reach Katherine Smith ksmith@maplevalleyreporter.com or 425-432-1209 ext. 5052.

 

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