Sunday, August 12, 2012

On the home stretch

By Delia Beristain (Fort Washington, MD)

Startled, I jumped out of bed and looked at the time: 7:45 a.m. I had became immune to the three alarms that have annoyed me into consciousness every morning for the past ten days. I quickly changed and headed to the third floor where we normally meet before going to breakfast. It was unbelievably quiet, and I held my breath for a few seconds as I tried opening the door to the common room, only to confirm it was locked.

I was struck with a sense of embarrassment for stupidly forgetting we had been given an additional hour of sleep since we stayed up late investing all our energy in the production of our articles. Unable to go back to sleep, I lay down on my bed almost accepting it would be a terrible day, for I had not been able to work on anything else other than the investigative report with not much clarification its purpose or its angle. Every time we acquired new information from the interviews and phone calls we made, the story seemed to take a slightly different path. 

The pressure of knowing we had a deadline made me feel like we were arduously working for an unknown authority figure whose face we had never seen but who still managed to provoke fear. It wasn't until around 6:00 pm that we had our first official draft, and it became clear that maybe I had underestimated this piece and, in consequence, underestimated my team and myself. 

Staying up until almost 4:00 am and waiting for our work to pass the last polishing stage was probably the most rewarding part of the process. I don't regret having spent a large amount of time on a piece of work that may not immediately pay off or be acknowledged by the public, but that gives me a feeling of fulfillment and pride. Now that I have passed this test, I am more aware of how to exploit my abilities.

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