Monday, August 5, 2013

Un-Witte-ingly Finding Courage

By Hunter Richards (Allegan, MI)

Trekking across the still unfamiliar campus towards ice cream with my news team, I had a sudden sense of where I was and what was I doing. I had been so impressed that I didn't really give myself the chance to process everything. Here I was, just a girl from a very small town in Michigan, walking down the paths of Princeton sharing my thoughts on the college application process and my impressions of the foreign correspondent and extraordinaire Griff Witte. The previous night I had been put into Griff's group to head off the Trenton Thunders game to cover the Alex Rodriguez story. It was in the car on the ride to the stadium that I first heard of Griff's travels to the Middle East and about his reporting. Not only was I sitting next to him, I was also more than welcome to ask him questions, which he encouraged as we were on our way to interview the attendees of the baseball game. 

Griff Witte's welcoming personality made me feel comfortable to ask for advice, which he gladly offered. However, he influenced me the most while I was standing in the crowd next to him.I watched on as my other group members were chasing interviews while I stood there overlooking my questions absent-mindedly because I was too shy and nervous to approach anyone. Griff gave me the confidence that I need to dive into an interview by sharing his experiences. This made me feel more comfortable about asking questions. 

I ended up breezing through my interviews and I excitedly shared my new experiences with Griff . He told me about how he was also normally shy, like myself, and that his notebook and pen is what opens him up. It was relieving to know that a professional like himself actually knew what it meant to stand in my shoes and it inspired me. 

Perhaps my shyness doesn't have to be a disadvantage in regards to how I carry myself as a journalist. Maybe I just need to keep my tools of trade close until I forget why I originally needed them. 

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