Me and my notebook

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An essay I wrote before college. Never professionally published, but fun, nevertheless.

I love reporter’s notebooks.

You know the four by eight reporter’s notebooks that fit comfortably in your hand, pocket, or purse.

In fact, I love them so much, it’s my personal mission to find the best reporter’s notebook in the world.

You know, not every profession has its own notebook.

It’s a privilege for us to have our own notebook.

What makes the perfect reporter’s notebook? I suppose there are different specifications for each individual reporter; however, I believe is certain unalienable truths that each notebook should live up to.

First, the notebook must have a firm back. What good is a notebook if you need additional support from a desk or another hard surface? The notebook must be both paper and surface.

Second, the notebook must have blue lines. While most notebook manufactures already produce blue-lined notebooks, there are some who make red-lined notebooks. I find the red lines evoke anger and rage. While the blue lines keep the reporter calm and cool.

Moreover, a notebook must pass the pencil test. This is where most notebooks are eliminated. Each notebook is bound by wires at the top. This is a convenient place for pencils and pens. With your pencil and or pen strategically placed with your notebook pencils won’t break as easily and your pens won’t bleed through your pants. Again, the pencil test is really easy. All you have to do is slide the pencil through the wires. If the pencil can’t slide from one end to the other, or if the pencil falls out, the notebook is unsatisfactory. The pencil must be held firmly by the wires.

There are of course little things that make some notebooks better than others. Such as the cover, it should be handsome. Prominently display the name of the newspaper or at least “Reporter’s Notebooks”. The paper should be a practical weight. Not too heavy but not too light, after all you should be able to write on both sides without blurring through. Reporters should also decide on what size rule they enjoy. I prefer the wide ruled.

I don’t remember the exact instant I wanted to become a reporter, but it’s a passion that shines brighter than my passion for notebooks.

At the approximate age of 11, I had my first reporter’s notebook. I still have it today. Some how that notebook made it official, I was to be a reporter. I was a reporter for a monthly publication for the local paper. Image was the name of the students’ section The Pueblo Chieftain published. I was the youngest person to ever have a byline in that publication. A record I took with me till the end. Images is no longer in publication.

Today, I’m still creating firsts by-way of privilege.

I led the way to my school newspaper the Round-Up to being printed on newsprint. I sold over $1,000 in advertisement space to print over three publications.

After proving myself as an intern at The Pueblo Business Journal I was hired to sell display advertisement and write feature articles.

And now I’m the youngest reporter in my town. I work for a new publication, which I help founded, The Voice Of The People.

In the summer of 2003 I was one of the first two Coloradoans to attend the University of Missouri and Dow Jones Newspaper Fund AHANA Summer Workshop. The staff also believes I am the first Hispanic to win the nomination for the Dow Jones Scholarship from the AHANA workshop.

Perhaps I’m lucky. I’ve done a lot of firsts.

It’s been a privilege.

A privilege of opportunity.

I’ll be the first person in my immediate family to finish college. And I’ll be the first person in my family to have a career in a profession I love. The opportunities of college are something I long for.

I’ve been in Pueblo for far too long. While the quaint town has offered me opportunity after opportunity, I need to see the world. And college will open that door of privilege. I have one more year till college. So I’ll wait with anticipation. I’ll be preparing for a lifetime adventure in mass communications. I’ll learn with courage.

College will provide me an opportunity not only to learn about the trade of journalism but allow me to discover myself. It is a prerequisite to know thy self before ‘thy’ can know others. My life has been nothing short of a soap opera. From my mother’s drug addiction to my father’s controlling behavior, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve witnessed, I’ve experienced. And now is the time for me to reflect. But I need distance to gather what I know and have learned.

When the school I attend believes I’m ready to share the stories of the world, I’ll graduate. And I’ll apply my discoveries with truth.

Journalist have privileges most don’t. They have a privilege of opportunity. An opportunity to be noisy. An opportunity to ask questions. And an opportunity to share to stories. And they have the pen. But with that power and privilege comes a responsibly. It takes a true (wo)man to understand that.

The chance to share the world, the country, the state, the county, the city, the neighborhood, the street, the house with each other is something I can’t pass up.

It’s the faces and people we remember. The joys, the sorrows; the healthy, the sick; the happy, the sad; the sunshine, the clouds; the first the last.

It’s the stories that people come to us for.

And in today’s world of convergence, broadcast/print mergers, and the internet applying all mediums there is a new need for story telling. A different type of story telling. There is a world of opportunities – a world of firsts.

A world of firsts for me.

A privilege of opportunity.

And my reporter’s notebooks.

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