Day 8: Who knew?

I am still a little bit in shock from what I discovered today. We j-school students are always hearing, “Everyone has a story. Everyone has something that makes them interesting. It’s your job as journalists to find it.” I don’t think I ever really realized how true that is until now.

If you’ll recall, I have to find a profile subject for the Charlatan and I was at a loss of who to talk to. I’ve been trying to track down one of the cleaning ladies in our building. She’s really friendly and I used to see her all the time on laundry days. So of course, she was nowhere to be seen when I actually set out to look for her.

I was about to give up all hope and already started contemplating a new subject, when I just ran into her cleaning out the Multi-Purpose Room on the main floor. Coincidence? More like someone up there likes me. Thank you, God. Way to open a window after slamming those doors. I ended up setting up an interview with her to take place in 15 minutes. It gave me time to book it back to my room, wolf down my lunch and fly out the door with recorder, notebook and camera trailing after me.

This lady has the most terrifying, awe-inspiring story. I don’t want to give it all away yet, but she’s from the Congo and saw militiamen storm into her house. It was like something out of a movie. I think I forgot all about taking notes and just stared in shock as she told her story. She’s a really good storyteller, though English isn’t her first language. It wasn’t the first time in my life I was thankful I took French for so many years. She had a better grasp on French than English (though French wasn’t her first language either) and it was easier for her to explain certain things in French.

I can’t wait to write my profile on her. The only problem I think is deciding what stories get to stay and which ones don’t make the cut. I have 800 words to work with, but as any writer will tell you, that’s nothing once you get going.

This morning didn’t start out so fine and dandy though. I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and headed to class at 8:30 a.m., saying goodbye to Kitty (who’s in my class, but didn’t look like she wanted to head out anytime soon) on my way out … only to discover my class starts at 9:30 a.m. Hindsight is 20/20 and I suppose I should have suspected something when Kitty didn’t look like she was packing any time soon, but she does have a reputation for leaving later than me. Anyway I was a little grouchy about my lost hour of sleep.

After class, I finally went skate shopping, thanks to Lindsay and her new old car (it belonged to her uncle). I am now the proud owner of ice skates! It’s all very exciting. I suppose this was when my day started to pick up (it was right after I got back to res that I ran into the cleaning lady).

I love my new skates. The last time I had my own skates, I could count how old I was on two hands.

Tonight was the first day of tap, which I have missed all Christmas break. There’s something addicting about tap dancing. I blame it on too many Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire movies. It’s nice to be back in my tap shoes again.

It’s been a long day, and it’s only 10:17 p.m. If all goes according to plan, I’m hoping to finish reading the news and jump into bed. Tomorrow I actually have 8:30 a.m. class. Bring it on!

On an unrelated note, I’m enjoying my new pajamas that I got over the holidays. They have cheery snowmen on them!


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