7 Rules of Leaven internship

The Walking Deadline is the staff blog of the Leaven newspaper.
The Walking Deadline is the staff blog of the Leaven newspaper.

by Elizabeth Hyde

Since I’ve been interning at the Leaven for the last two summers, I’ve gleaned tons of knowledge working with the seasoned professionals in the office. Being the youngest one in the office, I’ve learned from Joe Bollig’s talent at writing movie metaphors into his ledes, from Todd’s design masterpieces, and from Anita’s and Fr. Mark’s editorial abilities.

I have now compiled a list of rules to live by as a Leaven intern:

  1. Don’t bother Todd Habiger on deadline day
    1. Working in the newspaper business has taught me that we, as journalists, are constantly on deadline. As the designer of the paper, Todd is especially stressed on deadline days… On these days, I try to keep the questions to a minimum.
  2. Don’t interrupt Joe when he’s telling you a story or a joke
    1. Though it may take a while, I can guarantee you’ll either walk away with a funny story or a random fact you’ll probably (hopefully) never have use for, like how to open a can with a rock in the event of a zombie apocalypse. His hilarious personality has inspired some of my favorite Leaven memories, like the time he sang to a cookie.
  3. Don’t forget to grab your afternoon snack from Fr. Mark’s stash in his office
    1. Potato chips, chocolate, and gum are some of the items that have gotten me through some of those long summer days at the Leaven. Never pass up the opportunity for a midday snack that will power you through the afternoon!
  4. Don’t make eye contact with Anita during staff meetings
    1. The most terrifying thing to happen during a staff meeting is fearing the fateful words from your editor, “We’re writing another story that will require someone to work on a Saturday.” Try not to panic! Keep your head down, and don’t make eye contact… Friendly hint, if she doesn’t look into your eyes, she will pass it off to someone else, and you won’t be stuck working the weekend.
  5. Don’t touch anything in Joe’s office
    1. Joe’s office is… cluttered. To put it more accurately, every inch is stuffed with drawings, sticks, books, Boy Scout paraphernalia, etc. When I was working in his office for a week two summers ago, I was afraid to touch anything for fear that if I did, the whole office would come toppling down on me in an avalanche of tea bags and old reporter’s notebooks.
  6. Don’t attempt to find anything on Todd’s computer
    1. One of the things that I have learned since being at the Leaven is though it may look like chaos, everything has its place, and to its beholder, everything is perfectly in order. Don’t mess with it!
  7. Don’t fail to write down all the funny things people say in staff meetings
    1. When I started at the Leaven, I decided I would write down the hilarious quotes and keep them in the back of my reporter’s notebook for a good laugh. One of my favorites happened a few weeks ago, and was inspired by Joe’s obsession with cats, “Why don’t we just ordain the cat!” That’s a direct quote from Joe Bollig.

While my experiences at the Leaven have been hilarious and odd at times, I am so grateful to learn so much from the people I work with.

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