When I signed up for this “internship,” I probably didn’t know how hellish the next few months were going to be because of it. Either that, or I’m still suicidal subconsciously.
I always had this ideal of journalism. I’m going to be a journalist and save the trees, I would say to myself.
If this semester is any indication, I probably won’t be spending the rest of my life saving very many trees. I might, however, get first word on some of the most controversial political scandals. And, if I don’t, there’s always med school.
After only two months, I’ve probably learned more about what it means to be a reporter than 15 years of school has taught me. Granted, I wasn’t learning to be a reporter for ALL of those fifteen years…but still.
Things I’ve learned about being a journalist
1. There is no such thing as stalking. When people run for a political position, they are essentially asking for reporters to stalk them. Continuously. The only exception to this rule is if you are calling because you want a breaking story filled with deception.
Then you’re a stalker
2. Thou shalt not use serial commas. What is a serial comma, you ask? It’s the comma that goes before the last item in a list. For example, “Reps. blah, blah and blah refused to call me back despite the fact that I started calling them a week in advance.” Usually, there would be a comma before that “and”…unless you’re a journalist.
3. Get a good cell phone plan. Because you will be using it. Even if you have no friends and the whole world hates you.
4. No one will answer the phone or call you back. Especially if they are part of governmental department. Because I’m sure those media officials have better things to do THAN WHAT THEY GET PAID FOR. *cough* not *cough*
5. Don’t waste your time coming up with a brilliant and creative lead that you are intensely proud of. There is a 103.6% chance that, by the time the story is in an actual paper, that lead will not be there.
6. Do not expect people to be able to spell your name. However, you must be able to spell everyone else’s name because you, as a reporter, are supposed to be able to do everything.
7. Do not use “insert quote here” as a placeholder in your story because, if that goes to print, you probably won’t have a job anymore.
8. You are allowed to fabricate controversy. If there is nothing controversial going on CURRENTLY, write about gay people or abortion or, if you’re really committed, call every single mildly important person you know until someone disagrees with what everyone else said.
9. Going along with that is a general principle that will help you greatly: where there is money, there is controversy. Say ANYTHING about money, and it will automatically be controversial. For example, “such and such costs so much money”. That’s it. That’s all you need.
It’s like controversy in a bottle. For all your last minute controversy needs.
10. Whatever happens, make sure–MAKE VERY VERY SURE–you hang up the phone before you begin to swear at whomever you were talking to. Even if it is in another language.
Saag (spinach) with or without the paneer (cheese)
It's Popeye the sailor man!
- frozen chopped spinach (I like the Kroger variety)
- crushed/pureed/otherwise saucy tomatoes (I use about half of a 15oz can)
- garlic (this really depends on how garlicky you like it, I can never have enough)
- ginger (once again, depends on how gingery you like it)
- garam masala (a.k.a. curry powder)
- coriander powder
- salt and pepper
- lemon juice (optional, I just put it in everything)
- cubed tofu, paneer, etc (optional)
→It helps to defrost the spinach a little first. Just makes the whole process go so much faster.
Saute the ginger/garlic.
When they’re sauteed, add the spinach and tomatoes. Cover and let sit till spinach is mushy. (You might need to adjust the heat a little depending on how much you’re watching it).
Add the garam masala, coriander, salt/pepper, and lemon juice to taste and stir well.
Cover and let sit, stirring occasionally, till it looks somewhat like the picture.
Add the optional tofu/paneer/whatever at the very end.