February 2013
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Interviewing Strangers

Besides being an English major, I’m also pursuing a minor in Writing as well as Journalism. Last semester, I interned with the Baltimore Sun’s Features department and got a taste for what it would be like after I graduated. To put it simply, I was terrified. After I got over my fear of driving into Baltimore during rush hour, I concentrated on just keeping up with the day to day projects. But as I was just beginning my Journalism minor, I was unprepared for interviewing people on the spot.

Small talk is not my forte with strangers. I listened a little too well to my mother when I was younger about not talking to them. I felt like I was intruding when I would call people and ask them questions, even if they weren’t personal. To make matters worse, I had a night class last semester, Intro to Journalism, where I had to do the same thing. To complete my minor, I needed to take Adv. News Reporting (Intro 2.0 basically).

Every week we have to create a new article, prepping, researching and interviewing for it. While for my first article I based it on the Vagina Monologues and the process of creating a student-led, volunteer production, my second is about student-jobs on campus and the workers’ relations to the rest of campus. To say I was nervous is putting it mildly. As I said, I don’t converse well with strangers, but this was somehow worse. These were people that I saw around campus, that served me food or helped me fetch books, people that I interacted with regularly. Would they shut me down? Would they laugh at me?

I approached each person warily, starting with general questions. But no one seemed to notice the awkwardness I expected. No one laughed or stopped me. In fact, they made jokes to lighten the mood. McDaniel students and workers alike were jovial, helpful, and surprised me. My class work technically depended all on them, but they came through. McDaniel Campus, though small, is a closeknit community at heart. The small size allows for us to be connected to everyone with only a few degrees of seperation. We can depend on that, even when we least expect it.

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