Tag Archives: photos

First Day Dreams

Today was the last of the first days of school for the three counties my paper covers.

Since three weeks ago, I’ve been heading to schools, taking pictures and talking with students while trying to come up with a creative way to write about the first day of school – and, of course, each of the three has to be different.

It’s weird. The first day, at least to me, always has a scent that reminds me of knots in my stomach, reminiscing with old friends and the excitement of all the possibilities the year had to offer.

Up until my later high school days I would work hard preparing what I would wear, how my hair would look and what I would pack for lunch the entire first week.

Now, I get up and am out the door in five minutes usually looking pretty atrocious.

Each time I’ve gone to the schools to take pictures, interview the students and check to see how smoothly things are going I’ve realized how much I miss it.

Who would have ever thought. If you would have told me in middle school that the real world is not all it’s cracked up to be and I’d actually miss those awkward days, I would have timidly smiled and thought you were insane.

My how time has changed.

I would love to be back in the classroom getting excited about seeing my old classmates rather than catching up at a friend’s baby shower,  but this is where I am.

No longer do I look forward to the homecoming dance, but the wedding that’s next month. Friends are having children, moving away and becoming real adults.

Heck, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m even becoming a grownup – Yikes!

I know I have so much more to look forward to with work, relationships and all the things that come with growing older.

It’s just nice to look at students in their brand new shoes, nervous faces and schedules clutched tight in their little hands and remember that not too long ago I was there and know that not too long from now they’ll be where I am.

Happy first day of school everybody, enjoy it while it lasts!

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I Got Yelled at by a Mall Cop

As a reporter, I tend to be more shy when it comes to sensitive subject matters. I don’t enjoy calling victims families or preying on the weak that have been the highlight of the community for some negative news.

I like to give the interviewee the option of talking to me, and I don’t like to press interviews. I don’t care if the jobs on the line or not. I also like to be kind. I feel that if I give off kindness then I will receive the same thing.

All of that changed Wednesday.

I sit at my desk on a regular basis going through public records, writing up incident reports and listening to the scanner.

That’s my job.

Wednesday I hear over the scanner that there has been a stabbing. OK, not something we usually rush to. Then I hear it’s been at the mall. That’s when the keys came out and the pedal was put to the metal.

All I was told to do before hand was to call the sheriff’s office’s public relations lady to get what information I could, I call we talk, she says good luck at the scene.

I arrive and find the fire truck and ambulance that confirms I’m in the right area.

I walk in looking for the stores mentioned over the scanner. Once I find the area I take pictures. I did not hide my camera, my press badge or my notebook. I just went about my business.

After standing, waiting for something to happen for about 20 minutes, the trouble began.

A large, short woman wearing a white t-shirt and ratty black shorts comes up to me and begins yelling, and I do mean yelling at me.

Now realize, the past 20 minutes I have not spoken to anyone, I’ve been standing outside the allotted perimeter quietly keeping to myself until the investigation is complete. Then out of nowhere, angry woman.

“You can’t be here,” she yelled. “Do you want to be arrested? This is private property, you have to leave.”

I stood there completely frozen at a loss as to what to say. Perhaps this is a family member? They don’t want the world to know that there son got into a fight causing him to be stabbed? No clue.

She went on to tell me that, despite her lack of uniform, she was mall security and that the mall was on private property and I was not wanted.

After threatening to have me arrested, again, I asked a nearby officer if it was OK that I be there. The officer didn’t know and didn’t care.

So the mall cop went on to talk to the officer. Then she turned right back around and started the same spiel, I was not wanted and I could leave.

Now as I type this I’m calm, cool and collected. At the time, I wanted to run into a corner and cry.

I don’t get yelled at. I’m nice, polite and I look like a little girl. People are nice to me and I’m nice to them. Suffice to say, I don’t do well when someone is mean, especially when I’ve done nothing to deserve the abuse.

After the woman yelled at me in front of everyone a little bit more, her supervisor came in to again tell me to leave. I told the woman sorry for stepping on their property, and that I had spoken with the sheriff’s office and was told it would be alright that I be there.

They took my paper name and asked for my name. I began telling her my name and when she asked me to spell it I held my badge up for her to see it.

Little did I know, I was so shaken up my hand was trembling. I decided to drop the badge and spell out the last name instead.

I’ll be darned if those people would get the satisfaction of seeing me upset.

I finished giving my name and getting a number I could call the next morning for information and headed for my car. Once inside, the tears came.

I realize that crying because the big, bad mall cop yelled at me is pathetic on multiple levels, but at the time I was shaken up and not expecting anything like that.

Once I got back to the office I was praised for even making it into the mall, let alone getting pictures.

Little did I know, the mall is not kind to any reporters. My ignorance actually got me farther in than any other reporter could have.

So there Ms. Mall Cop.