15 minutes of fame

I recently won a regional Edward R. Murrow award for a story I did last year. The university reported on my award and the local paper followed suit.

It was really weird being the interviewee, not the interviewer. But It ended up being kind of fun and I think the reporter did a nice job telling my story.

I usually feel really uncomfortable with this kind of attention but as the article says, it’s nice to go out with a bang!

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Mother’s Day

We didn’t have big plans for Mother’s Day this year, which was fine by me, but on Saturday night I was struck with the desire to go on an adventure. So we got up early Sunday morning, hopped in the car, and drove the long way to Pittsburgh.

We stopped by Paul’s parents’ house along the way — the place is at its prettiest now that it’s spring — and wished Mom a happy Mother’s Day.

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Lucy picked me tiny flowers, which I made into a tiny bouquet for my (tiny) pocket.

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In Pittsburgh, we visited our favorite place: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

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I particularly enjoyed Pittsburgh, which was stunning as usual. I’m currently working on a radio story about the history of Pittsburgh’s rivers and waterfronts. It was fun to see what I’ve been reading about in person.

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We hit up Ikea on the way home (of course).

It was a great day. And I have great kids.

 

What I’ve been up to at work

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I shot some images for a colleague who reported a story about a Penn State lab that’s working to improve infrastructure. It was surprisingly fun — I generally have to juggle reporting and shooting, which can be stressful, so it was really fun just to focus on images. 

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I reported a story about volunteer firefighters (how many spend more time fundraising than fighting fires and why that’s a problem). One of my favorite things about my job is how often I get to see glimpses into worlds that are otherwise foreign to me. For this story, I attended a fundraising dance at a small-town bingo hall — great people, great fun.

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My colleague interviewed Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins. He was witty, self-deprecating, generous, and, well, brilliant. I loved the book and I loved hearing him speak.

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My station hosted Red Sweater Day to honor Mr. Rogers (and commemorate his landmark speech to the US Senate). Around 180 people showed up in red sweaters! And surprise — Mr. McFeely showed up! I may have cried.

Recently enjoyed

WATCHING

We finally (finally!) finished House of Cards. DOUG STAMPER. That is all.

Paul and I watched Contact — the first time for him. I watched it in the theater when it first came out but wow, watching it again showed me I had no idea what it meant as a 14-year-old. This time around, I found it stunning and thought-provoking and I know the film will stay with me for months (years!) to come.

READING

I remember loving Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd in high school. I’m rereading it now (the movie is coming out, after all) and I’m loving it. It’s way denser (and cleverer) than I remember.

I read Station Eleven and Girl on the Train during my whirlwind trip to New Orleans. I highly recommend the former but the latter was, well… a good choice for travel but not something I’d revisit nor necessarily recommend. (And for the record, I enjoyed Gone Girl).

The Royal We–I love Go Fug Yourself. This is a fun and quick read (although I felt like the ending left me hanging!).

WEARING

I’ve been wearing a linen pocket tee from Loft (similar) as frequently as I dare.

It’s finally warm enough to pull out my saltwater sandals.

LISTENING

Our whole family loves Brains On!, a science podcast for kids.

MISSING

My bus commute: my normal route only runs during the school year. I’m going to miss it so much. It was the perfect time to enjoy my coffee, read for fun, listen to podcasts (or, occasionally, 90s Danish boy bands).

IMG_5703LOVING

I’ve been gradually building up an audio recording kit so I can freelance after I leave my reporting job. So far I scored a (beautiful) Marantz PMD661 (via Craigslist), an Electro-Voice RE50B omnidirectional mic (via eBay), and Sony MDR-7506 headphones (Mother’s Day present). Next on my list is a shotgun mic. Very exciting.

Lo & Sons. I purchased the OG for work/travel. I used it during my New Orleans trip and it made for a terrific carry-on. Even better, it’s become my work bag so I use it daily. I also purchased the Pearl. It is the PERFECT everyday bag. It looks great with everything, it’s the perfect size, and it’s comfortable to carry. The bags are very pricy, but they’re worth it (providing you have the pennies–I saved up!). Also, keep in mind the company has significant (15-35% off) sales practically every month, so if the bag you want isn’t on sale now, it’s probably worth waiting.

Changes

After 6.5 years in Central Pennsylvania, we’re selling our house, quitting our jobs, packing our bags and moving across the planet!

We’re relocating to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where I’ll be teaching language arts (!) at an international school and Paul will be consulting for the school while continuing to instruct and manage a Penn State course in Tanzania.

It’s crazy and exciting and sad—and it’s also somewhat sudden. We’ve been very happy here and honestly have felt like we would be happy staying here forever… but ultimately we feel like it’s our chance to shake things up and give living overseas a shot.

It’s (obviously) going to be a big career change for me. I know it won’t be easy. Teaching middle schoolers is going to be a huge (HUGE) challenge but I’m also dreading saying goodbye to a career that I love. And I love, love, love being a public radio reporter. It’s going to be weird to write “teacher” in my customs declaration card instead of “journalist.”

I hope to keep my foot in radio (so to speak) by doing some freelance work. In fact, for an early Mother’s Day present,, Paul bought me professional headphones to round out my audio kit. Now all I need is a nice shotgun mic.

There’s still a lot do between now and when we fly out in July. Brace yourself for increasingly panicky posts about packing and saying goodbyes.

Here’s to new adventures.