Thursday, September 6, 2012

Expect The Unexpected

Today was remarkable.

I don't really have the words to describe all the events that took place, but I'm a journalist so I kind of have to come up with the words, right?

My mantra of the day became "expect the unexpected". When I woke up this morning I was more tired than I had been the other days and I was worried I was starting to lose my mind a little from the whirlwind that has been this convention. However, this morning I proved to myself that I could interview someone (not just anyone, but Jesse Jackson and the Mayor of Minneapolis) at any time and handle myself in a professional manner.

I wasn't even planning to interview Jesse Jackson. When he walked into the breakfast this morning I have to admit I was filled with self doubt, not the sheer determination I later found myself having. I concluded in my mind that there would be absolutely no way to be near the man in the first place, and I didn't think he would actually take the time to stand for a minute or two with a student journalist.

Oh how I was wrong.

Dr. Azriel helped me scope out Jesse Jackson and prepare three questions to ask him. I was stunned when Jesse Jackson, himself pulled me aside and help me at an arms length (literally) after he gave his speech. He quickly but very intelligently answered my three questions about race and how it was affecting the election and then off he went.

Before I knew it, Dr. Azriel and I were running down the hall to grab the Mayor of Minneapolis. I did the same thing, and was pleasantly surprised at how kind the Mayor was and how he took the time to answer my questions.

What did I do after these two fabulous interviews? I called my Mom. Yes, she was proud.

Later at the breakfast I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Mayor Kasim Reed's Chief of Staff about the Marriage Equality Platform and I hope tomorrow I will be able to use those quotes when I do a story about the last LGBT caucus. I'd also like to sneak into the Women's Caucus tomorrow, maybe see some interesting faces.

The other highlight of the day was running into the Mayor of San Antonio and convention keynote speaker, Julian Castro. I had heard some people had seen him wandering around earlier. When I heard we most likely wouldn't be seeing President Obama speak tomorrow, I felt disappointed, but decided that if I ran into Mayor Castro, I could leave the convention in a content manner. Right after I came to this conclusion we were lucky enough to take a photo with the man himself.

Lastly, on the way back to the hotel this evening I was praying and hoping I wouldn't miss former President Bill Clinton's speech. I saw President Clinton speak in Atlanta in 2008 and have always been a fan of his speaking style and politics. Once we parked, a bunch of us made a run for it, hoping we weren't missing word of this inspiring speech.

I am truly grateful I am at a place with talented and intelligent students who care about the world as much as I do. Ever since being here and being around the Communication students and Political Science students, I have less fear about the future.

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