My first week as a business intern at the Washington Times was a hectic one. Somehow, I managed to run around the city, get interviews, and crank out the story in just minutes before deadline in order to get that much anticipated byline.
As I was packing up and leaving the office for the weekend my editor looked up from his iMac and said, “Good job,
Bethany. Don’t worry. Next week won’t be quite as hectic.”
Smiling, I thanked him for his guidance throughout the week, and as I turned around to the exit, I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.
“Alright, if this week was hectic then I’ll have next week
in the bag,” I thought to myself.
The second week of the internship started, and as I strolled into the newsroom, I headed confidently towards my desk. Despite tripping over my own high heels in front of the ENTIRE newsroom, I knew this was going to be a good week. I positioned myself in front of my iMac and started working ahead on some projects for the relatively slower week.
Then, my editor approached me.
“WHAT THE HECK!? The weekend? Are you CRAZY!?,” I said…well, in my head I did anyway.
He explained that I was going to cover the Hip Hop
Summit at the
Now I was thinking he was totally out of his gourd because I’m a white, mid-western girl with absolutely no knowledge of the hip hop culture and rap music. (By the way, I learned at the summit that the difference between hip hop and rap is this: hip hop is a way of life or a lifestyle, rap is the music to exemplify the lifestyle of hip hop).
So, Saturday rolls around, and I’m pretty much a nervous wreck. Not only do I have to think of intelligent questions pertaining to financial literacy, but I have to pretend like I know what I’m doing, pretend like I know all about hip hop, and quite frankly, I have to look ghetto fabulous. Talk about stressful.
As I’m on the subway I begin to review my questions and try to memorize them. After a while, re-reading your questions gets super old. So, how’s a girl of a contemporary Christian music raising like mine supposed get into the hip hop zone? Blast the rap music man. Blast the rap music.
I arrive at the press check-in, am given my press pass, and
I’m whisked away by the PR lady. As I’m introduced to all sorts of people from
“Baby girl, hit me up when you’re in
“Boo, I got this project I’m workin’ on. I’ll hit you up aight?”
“Girl, you and me need to go shopping. Those jeans are hott. Myspace me. You know how I do.”
Then, it’s time for the interviews to start. The PR lady grabs my arm and places me in the inner press circle on the red carpet.
“Don’t worry about getting the interviews. I’ll bring whoever you want to you,” she said to me.
So, for the next hour and a half I am interviewing rap artists, politicians, CEOs, and fashion icons, all who are supporting and advocating financial literacy among young people.
Towards the end of the red carpet interviews, the sexiest and the sleekest BMW rolls up (yes, it rolled up inside the actual building), and the Godfather of hip hop steps foot upon the red carpet. Russell Simmons is crowded by TV reporters, paparazzi, and video cameras. There were so many flashes from the cameras, that if I were an epileptic, I probably would not be alive right now.
The PR lady guides him my way, and I’m not even paying
attention assuming it will be awhile until I get to see him. He turns to me and says, “Oh, you’re
Instantly, everyone crowds in around us, making a complete circle – cameras are flashing, boom mics are dancing above our heads, and people are shouting at Mr. Simmons.
I scramble to turn on my digital voice recorder. I grab my pen, open the lid, and in the flusterness of it all, I somehow manage to draw a blue line from my ear to the middle of my cheek. I know, classy.
I was completely caught up in the hype and just gazed at everyone staring back at me. Mr. Simmons just smiled and said, “This can be overwhelming. Don’t worry about it. It’s just you and me.”
And in the midst of all of the fabulousity (as I like to call it), there stood the Godfather of hip hop and the only white, mid-western girl on the red carpet having a casual conversation about the financial literacy crisis in America.
Week 1 of Internship: Got my first byline
Week 2 of Internship: Interviewed one of the founding fathers of hip hop and rap
Week 3 of Internship: I’m pretty sure I will collapse.