It is only appropriate that my headline reads the lyrics to a Keith Urban song because honestly it is the best and only way to sum up this summer. But I will also say it was a long hot wonderful summer too.
Wrapping up my time here at the Express is truly bittersweet. Not just the “Aw, I’ve made so many friends and it’s been so much fun” bittersweet (although it is that) but it is more so the bittersweet feeling of “I love working here so much that I really would rather not work anywhere else.”
I have learned more in this one summer than any of my other previous jobs combined. This internship has not only taught me about the world of small-town journalism but about life in general. I have learned of the ups and downs, the chaos and the quiet, and everything in-between that it takes to make this paper run.
This entire summer, I have run into people who ask one universal question, “Do you like your job at the paper?” My response? “I love it. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.” And I’m really not lying. These past few months have renewed a passion in me that I thought I had lost. They reminded me of why I love to write and tell stories in the first place and they gave me the confidence and ambition to continue to pursue my dreams within the journalism and communications world. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
Over the course of this summer, I have seen this town from the inside out, upside down and every which way you can imagine.
– I have gotten to interview some of my best friends
– Got a behind the scenes look at the Great Jones County Fair (and awesome concert spots to some amazing concerts)
– Got a front row seat to the Fourth of July Parade
– Got the privilege of meeting some of the town’s unsung heroes and small-town celebrities
-Got to dig into history and uncover neat facts
– AND got to share my stories and what I hope is talent with all of you.
From here, I head back to Iowa City to gear up for my sophomore year at the University of Iowa where I will be a part of the awesome photo staff at The Daily Iowan (you can look it up online) as well as doing something in some other job that has yet to be determined. Don’t you love college?
Of course Saturdays will be spent at Kinnick or in front of a TV willing my Hawkeyes to any kind of victory while simultaneously cheering (in spirit) for the lil’ bro and the rest of the Monticello Cross Country team as they run for what will hopefully be another state title. Clearly, despite bleeding black and gold I will forever be a Panther at heart.
It has been an honor to spend my time this summer as a part of this publication and this community. Even having grown up here, I have learned more about my beloved hometown this year than in the 10 years I actually lived here. Monticello will forever be home, no matter where the wind takes me. Which I hope is a lot of places but my roots will always be here.
I have appreciated all the love and support this town and its people have given me this summer through my work here at the Express and otherwise. It is this community that has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and has gotten me to where I am today.
And finally, I would like to say a big thank you to Mark, Dan, Kim, Pete and the entire Express staff for this opportunity. You have been so kind and helpful and truly inspiring to me and I can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me this summer through your constant encouragement. My dreams would not be possible without people like all of you giving me the chance to show the world what I can do.
So, so long Monticello! It’s been one heck of a summer. You are all wonderful and I’ll miss you dearly. But don’t worry folks, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”