Too Much Power for My Tiny Brain

I am finally settled into my apartment in Baltimore! If your definition of “settled” is empty Target bags akimbo and towels haphazardly flung on an armchair. SUCCESS.

I moved in yesterday and spent the day putting away my stuff and calling Zach from Comcast to set up my Wifi. I know his name is Zach and he’s from Tennessee. For some reason when Comcast needs a second to look up something they start asking you how your day’s been going which was pretty nice since I hadn’t talked to a friend/other human all day. When he finally found my address to see if it was serviceable, he asked “What kind of internet do you need?”

Me: normal internet? Basic I guess…

Zach: Well what will you be doing with it?

Me: Facebook. Maybe some Twitter. Normal Internet. I’m not hacking into any government websites or anything.

Zach: Well you did say you were a journalist in DC

Me: Yeah, well I’m not that good…yet.

Today was my first day at The Newspaper I am working at. In classic Aviva fashion I got there 45 min early and decided to visit the coffee shop across the street I waited in for an hour in April when I was crazy early for my interview at The Newspaper. It was owned by this Asian lady who, when I asked to use the bathroom, glanced at me and asked if I was going to try to  take a shower. Ouch.  She also asked me why I was taking an hour to drink tea and I said that I was waiting to interview at The Newspaper across the street. She nodded and said, “You’ll get it, everyone who comes in here beforehand gets the job.” It was encouraging even though I looked homeless to her apparently. Today, I wandered in and ordered tea again. She looked at me and said “You look familiar…” and I told her I had been there a couple of months ago before the interview and got the job! Just like she said! She just nodded some more and said “I told you. I told you.” And walked away. She didn’t seem too impressed with her psychic abilities. I really like the café though. It has two floors, the second has like a 16 square foot hole in it, with a gate around it that overlooks the cash register on the bottom. Then, when food is ready from the kitchen upstairs they lower it to the front register in a basket. It’s awesome. I want to live there and have people give me food via basket-service.

At 10, I crossed the street and walked into The Newspaper offices. While waiting for my supervisor I met the Other Intern I’ll be working with. She’s also a journalism major at UMD and when I mentioned that I didn’t know anyone where I lived in Baltimore she immediately told me that she lived close to me and that some of her friends were around for the summer. You just don’t see that kind of mildly-offering-strangers-to-hang-out-attitude these days.  But during the course of the day I realized that we had a lot in common such as a disdain for College Park’s dirty stab bar Cornerstone, a fondness for travel and an extremely limited understanding of The Newspaper’s building layout as we both got lost in the vast offices in our mission to find the cafeteria (we never did, we decided to just go back up to the mini cafeteria by our desks).

As for the actual work today, it was pretty minimal. After our Supervisor introduced us around to other reporters (“Haha, are you sure you wanna work here?” “Try to have fun!” “Watch out! (Supervisor) abuses her interns!” said some jokingly, I hope), we just spent the day getting acquainted with the site. We were given stories to Tweet out. Maybe the most stressful thing I had to do. All I had to do was write a little something about June food festival and click send but my brain was all 50,000 people follow this Twitter! What if you accidently wrote the word fuck and you can’t see it! Is that how you spell June?! Check again! Again! This is too much power for my tiny brain! It took me about 20 minutes to send out four Tweets.

At 4 o’clock, I left. I was only supposed to work until 3 but they had scheduled the meeting for 3 which consisted of the reporters from different departments talking about their upcoming stories. Other Intern and I sat in the corner and clutched our pens and notebooks even though we had nothing to write down and nothing really pertained to us. I was worried someone was going to call on me to ask if I had a story to pitch and I was going to say something ridiculous like “Um, let’s talk about those Kars 4 Kids jingles – are they doing more harm than good? Because every time I hear it, it makes me want to drive my car off a cliff so the kids can’t have it.”

*A fun fact about The Newspaper is that the Netflix show House Of Cards is filmed there. As we passed the fake cubicles where they shoot it, Supervisor mentioned that we were to ignore actors if we saw them and pretend like they weren’t being all Kevin Spacey or something. Yeah, who wants to start the pool of how long it’ll be before I like, trip and fall on Kate Mara?


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