Yesterday should have been festive. The first snow of the year, right as the holiday season is picking up. Good spirits all around.
But in my life, snow just means a wet and cold intern.
I left my apartment for WTOP, running a few minutes late. i didn't expect the rain or the cold. When I arrived, i looked less than professional. That is to say, I was soaked from head to foot. One of the reporters gawped at me, so I fled to the bathroom to dry my hair with some flimsy paper towels.
This was pre-snow. I cut some CBS audio down to size for awhile. It was a slow news day, so I had some time to catch up on the headlines. Tiger Woods, Britain ending it's UFO reporting service, Sarah Palin's book signing in Fairfax County....I had finally drip dried after a couple of hours.
Then a gasp from the far end of the newsroom. Snow! It was coming down pretty hard--big flakes everywhere.
And soon after I got my assignment: Go out onto Wisconsin Avenue with an audio recorder and get people's reaction of the snow. MOS just like I like it.
And so, being the dedicated intern that I am, I went.
This might be a good time for a disclaimer. I'm from Iowa. That is, I'm from the tundra. We get a lot of snow where I'm from, sometimes a few feet. Here in D.C. it hardly ever snows, maybe twice a year, an inch or two. In Iowa people know how to drive in the snow. The city knows how to clear the roads in a thorough, efficient fashion. In D.C. panic ensues.
Another disclaimer: I'm from the arctic circle but I cannot stand the cold. Not one bit. and the only thing worse than cold is wet and cold. Plus, in a streak of brilliance, I had not put on socks before going to my internship. I did not have an umbrella or a scarf or a hat or gloves.
But no one likes a whiner, so I went. Plus, journalists don't get to choose what weather they go outside in. think about the TV reporter standing in the middle of the hurricane: "It's pretty windy here, Bob, I'm gonna have to hold onto this telephone pole while I talk to you or I'll fly away."
It was wet and cold. And for some reason, everyone on the street was from really frigid places--upstate New York, Minnesota, even Norway. they all LOVE the snow. They told me so.
And the people I talked to from the District were loving it, too. They were a little worried about the roads freezing over, but a lot of them had kids in tow. I heard a lot about snow men and sledding. I was getting good responses--everyone was excited and I think they felt bad because I had to stand out in the cold. The "poor intern" card.
Unfortunately, the recorder was getting pretty wet. I wasn't really sure if my feet were still attached, because I could not feel them. soon after, they started to hurt with each step. My hair was frozen at the ends--not exactly business casual. I made the decision to head back to the station.
I only had about twenty minutes to edit the MOS. I started by cutting the best sound bites out of each person's response. Then I stuck these pieces back-to-back, mixing up who spoke when so that there were varied voices and points of views. At the end I had two montages covering everything from trouble on the roads to snow reminding people of home to sledding to holiday spirit.
I think I did a good job. Both of the montages went on air within an hour or two of my return. Of course, I was soaked through. Oh well, we'll just call that a new intern fashion statement. The damp, disgruntled look.
Just a fun winter day at WTOP.