It's Not Always All About the Interviews
I thought my Digital Billboard story went well two weeks ago, but I did note a few areas for improvement...most of which had nothing to do directly with my reporting.
Remember when your Mom used to tell you breakfast was the most important meal of the day? (Maybe she still does!) This week I realized she was right again. (Just don't tell MY Mom I said that!)
Two weeks ago I came home tired, with a headache and STARVING. I realized I hadn't taken any time that day to have a sip of water, eat a cracker or even use the bathroom! I was so stressed and focused on finishing my story that I didn't bother. Now it's never a bad thing to have a focused reporter, but one that can't walk straight at the end of the day might not make for the best situation.
This week, I was headed to talk to people Downtown after shooting a few interviews on campus. It was still relatively early (around 11 a.m.) when I was driving down fast food-lined Figueroa, and my stomach began to growl. At first I kept driving. "I have to finish this. I HAVE to get this done," I thought. Then, without another thought, I pulled into the Taco Bell drive-thru. I ate my chicken quesadilla during the rest of my journey down Fig and by the time I found a spot and parked, my stomach as happy as my mind was focused on getting the story and getting back to campus.
That quesadilla was probably the best three dollars I've ever spent. When I came back to edit I was so clear-headed, I even stopped to use the restroom! It was so much easier to write my script and edit without my growling stomach and pounding head to distract me. In fact, I probably wasted more time catering to those symptoms two weeks ago than I did in line for the drive thru.
So, first major lesson learned- food really does help you focus. Take the five minutes and have a snack. It will go further than you can imagine.
I also want to quickly acknowledge the USC students who appeared in my story this week. I thought I had it bad. Walking around USC I think it's easy for students and faculty alike to get caught up in the Louie Vuitton bags and Fendi glasses, but I'm not sure we realize how many of those are knockoffs. The truth is a lot of students find themselves at this prestigious university by means of financial aid. Take that away, and a lot of us would have to leave as well. The state of the economy is affecting everyone, but I realized yesterday just how lucky I am. Last weekend I spent a night out in Hollywood and tomorrow I'm going to a movie with friends. Some of my peers haven't been able to do that for months.