Monday, February 9, 2009
Tonight was quite possibly the last council meeting I will get (have) to cover here. It's amazing that it was only a year ago that I first walked into the pretty town hall with my notebook, a bundle of nerves and no idea what I was getting myself into. I walked out at the end, thoroughly bewildered and irritated that not one of my college classes was a crash course in agriculture or small-town politics.
I remember telling my mom, " I SWEAR I'm a fairly bright person, but I just spent three hours with the words 'What? Wait what? with the....who???' playing on repeat/shuffle in my head." I was pretty sure I'd never be able to comprehend anything that was said in those chambers.
As months passed, I learned what to listen for so that I didn't feel I had to frantically scribble every word that was said. I learned that the advantage of small-town councilors is that they're in the phone book and that the phrase "No seriously, explain it to my like I'm 5." can be most helpful.
I made mistakes. And while slightly worse than making mistakes in many other professions, due to the public humiliation and permanent record factor, none of them killed me (or anyone else -seriously, how often do doctors have heart attacks?)
I learned to relax. A lot. I learned to turn the most mundane topics into something that people might find interesting to read. Really bored people, but still.
I also learned which animals I think each of the council members most resemble and I learned that the most inconspicuous thing to sketch in great detail (if not the least bit of accuracy) during a council meeting is my own hand. I learned to hide a gigglefit when meetings were interrupted by, say, rooster-crow ringtones.
While I wouldn't say my council coverage has become the stuff of brilliant journalism, I'm proud to say that I've certainly learned a lot from it. I might only have about a thimbleful of collected knowledge in the grand scheme of things, but it's a thimbleful more than I had a year ago and that's something to be proud of.
Posted by Sarah at 9:40 PM