Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Busy as a Bumble Bee

Sorry for the delay of updates. Now that I'm back at Xiamen, all of the students have returned from their New Year's break and the semester has kicked into high gear. As I write this, its approaching midnight of what has already been another full day. But I read a short blurb from my little sister reminding me I need to keep this thing going, so without further ado, I shall attempt to spit a few words out.

The one major highlight of the past few weeks has been my new internship. Common Talk, the only english print, weekly newspaper in Xiamen (and the Fujian Province for that matter) has been kind enough to take me and Alex under their wing. Its a small, 8-page paper with a target market focusing on not only local expats but Chinese in their 20's and 30's who are interesting in improving/learning english.

We head to the office on Mondays after lunch, taking a 30 minute taxi ride across town to the 18th floor of the Xiamen Daily's headquarters. The Xiamen Daily is a massive print newspaper in Chinese, while Common Talk is a subdivision resting under the Daily's corporate span. Our two overseeing editors are very kind women who speak good english and seem very open to fresh ideas (as the paper is only in its 3rd year).

From Thursday through the weekend, Alex and I are on call to go conduct interviews that the paper lines up. Originally, I thought we would accompany one of the editors on these meetings as mere sidekicks who probably did nothing more than take notes and/or help with translation.

As I found out my very first weekend on the job, in actuality I get plenty of action. I got a call late Friday night from my editor, asking if I could be ready to meet her at the Xiamen International Conference Center by 10am the following morning. All I was told was that I would be interviewing the Mayor of an Italian city who was in town for some sort of "stone show," and to have a few questions prepared. I didn't have time to get a clearer idea, as I was in the middle of a bar (it was Friday afterall) with friends and loud music.

Well, that morning I drug myself out of bed, ran out and caught a cab. Handed my cell phone to the taxi driver with my editor on the other line to relay directions (I've found that is the most efficient and accurate method to reach my destinations). Little did I know I was on my way to what is the 4th largest marble, stone work trade show in the world (The largest in all of Asia).

And the mayor was from Carrara, Italy, the home of the marble Statue of David by Michelangelo. We got our press passes, headed into the showroom floor and tracked down the mayor. Little did I know, I would be taking the helm for the interview, as my editor told me up front she wanted me to write the article that would come of this.

So very exciting stuff. I was back in the dorm by 12:30pm with a pad of paper full of notes and an 800 word article to submit by 9am the next morning. I was pleased to learn that I would be writing for the "People" section which basically gets about the best positioning possible in the paper. The article fills up the entire centerfold page of the issue and is running tomorrow (Wednesday). I'll make sure to update this article with a picture of it when I get myself a copy.

Hopefully, they'll keep me busy with more work and bylines. Theres plenty else keeping me busy, what with 3 research papers coming up quick, a foreign language to learn and new Chinese friends to help me with such...More as it comes.


Lil sister said...

Thank you. I can't believe you're doing all this...So crazy to do the things you get to do, and so young...I'm so envious. Miss you a lot... :(

mom said...

Love it. Keep it up. Miss you.