It has been eight months since I have officially lived in this town and I can tell you, nothing has changed. But that’s just fine with me.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Emily Burds. I am a 2012 graduate of MHS who will be a sophomore this fall at the University of Iowa. And if you still don’t know me, then you probably know my parents. Dennis and the late Jody Burds. “Ahh,” you just said to yourself, now you know me.
After spending this past school year in Iowa City, it is great to be “home” in Monticello for the summer and especially great to be interning here at the Monticello Express. Now you probably are wondering why I’ve come to work at the Express and what I’ve been doing at Iowa that has led me here.
I’m going to throw an extremely long name at you so brace yourself. Ready? I am a double major in Journalism and Mass Communications and Art with emphases in Social Media/Photojournalism and Photography and/or Graphic Design (I’m still a bit undecided). No, that is not three majors and no, there are no minors in that title. That’s the whole shebang. And it normally leaves me breathless from constantly reciting it so I thought I would get it out there first.
Being a part of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Iowa has been a wonderful experience thus far and I am truly looking forward to what the future holds for me there. One of the perks is being able to work for The Daily Iowan, one of the campus’ and city’s prime newspapers that is entirely student run. I had the good fortune to join the staff before I even arrived in August and got a spot on the Arts and Culture Department’s payroll as a reporter. The hope and plan is to continuing working for the DI on their photo staff this fall.
Photography has always been a secret passion of mine but one that I never thought to pursue until I was introduced to all the possibilities at Iowa. And to set the record straight, no I will not be a professional portrait taker or anything like that. The ultimate dream is to one day be the one diving into the depths of the Amazon to catch the shot of the never before seen birds for National Geographic or on the frontlines of a war for CNN, capturing the destruction. So yes, you could probably call me a bit of a daredevil. I prefer “adrenaline junkie” myself. Either way, I’m looking for adventure and a ticket to take me around the world.
But first, I’m starting my journey closer to home. Well, at home actually. Living in Iowa City is truly like a different world from the cornfields and cows I’m used to seeing out my window. Being a little fish and a very big pond was something pretty new for me, and as much as I have come to love the vast and often confusing campus and lively city, it has made me appreciate the small-town life I was blessed with. And believe me, growing up here was a blessing.
So now that I’m starting my career, it is an absolute honor to be interning here at the Express. I have grown up reading the paper the first thing after school on Wednesdays (yes, I was that nerd). I always looked for the headlines, stories and pictures of me and my friends and anyone I knew. And I can’t say that there wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t see something about me or my family printed on the inside pages the last few years due to my vast involvement throughout middle school and high school (I’m often recognized as “that Burds girl who is just always in the paper”). And to this day, I can’t go to a family gathering without someone saying “Saw you in the paper, Em!”
So it is only fitting that I am now a part of the publication that shaped my childhood and made my name known to the entirety of this town. The amount of experience I am certain I will gain from my next 3 months here is already astounding me, and it hasn’t even happened yet. I can’t thank the staff here enough for their warm welcome and helping hands to settle me in here at my back corner desk. And overall, I just can’t wait to dive in. So watch out Monticello, you’re going to be seeing a lot of this gal this summer.