After over seven and a half years living in Columbia, I am relocating to St. Louis. I have taken a job as the Web editor for Missouri Lawyers Media Additionally, I will no longer cover the Missouri State Capitol on a regular basis.
I am tremendously grateful and excited for this opportunity. And I wanted to sincerely thank everybody who helped me get to where I am today.
I've been writing newspaper articles since I was in middle school. In fact, I consider myself a reporter first and foremost, even though some may understandably infer that blogging is my passion.
Reporting is not just a practical way for writers to make a decent living in this country. It goes further than that. Reporting forces insular people to become expressive. It prompts individuals to reach out to others, even when it's out of their comfort zones. And it provides a wonderful chance for exposure inside a community - or, perhaps, a state.
The funny thing is that if it wasn’t for a smiley face cookie, I would probably be a
The cookie I speak of came from Caryl Jo Dagro, my high school journalism teacher for three years. She was tough and often unforgiving. So tough, in fact, that I was failing an introductory journalism class because I could not manually crop a picture.
When I saw this grade, I was angry – and ashamed. I decided to get out of a more advanced journalism class for a film class. And I seemed well on my way to studying history in college. After all, I could name all of the presidents in backward order. I was destined to be stuck in a library, reading primary sources while listening to house music.
When Dagro found out, she called me into her office. On her desk was a big smiley face cookie readily available at Chicagoland White Hens. I don’t recall what she said exactly, but it was something along the lines of ‘keep your head up,’ ‘don’t quit’ and ‘work hard.’
The ploy worked. I dropped the film class and began my path that will change pretty soon. I've made mistakes throughout my life and my career. But taking that cookie was the best decision I ever made.
There are, of course, so many people to thank. That includes all of my friends at the Columbia Daily Tribune, the Columbia Business Times, the St. Louis Beacon, KBIA and the University of Missouri Journalism School. I'd also like to thank my reporting colleagues at the Missouri Capitol for your infinite wisdom and companionship.
And of course, I'd like to thank all my friends in Columbia for making these past years the greatest period of time of my life.
Thank you all for your support, advice and encouragement. I'll meet you all in St. Louis.