There are a lot of terms I could use to describe the last four days: hectic, incredible, packed, a learning experience, tiring, magical, challenging… I’m out of words though. For the first time in my life, I am left speechless.
Let me recap these days quickly, for this blog is not about the events of my days:
Friday: Began training as an anchor for Morning Edition, covered the memorial of Grooveshark Josh Greenberg, who many credit for the Gainesville startup scene. During the day I did two hourly newscasts, one voicer from the memorial, a live Q&A on the radio, live-tweeted, and wrote a web article.
Saturday: Woke up to this tweet:
“Breaking: I-75 northbound at MM374 (Micanopy) is closed due to an officer involved shooting. Traffic is being diverted to US 441-Williston.”
Retweeted it, then got an immediate text from my news director to lead newsroom operations. Said yes, ran to newsroom. Had one reporter for the biggest story of my life. Worked alongside one independent station, and three commercial stations for the day. Had some of the best local coverage in the area, and we weren’t even at the scene. So so so proud. Made connections at five great stations.
Sunday: Day off. Praise the Lawd.
Monday: Woke up to a UF Alert that there was gunfire on campus. Went to work at 6:30 AM on the story. Followed it until 11 AM. Went to class at 5, then saw a press release from Alachua Sheriff's Office that the suspect in Saturday’s shooting while I was on Twitter instead of listening to another lecture about ethics (Sorry in advance, Cretul. Know you’re going to read this eventually. In my defense, this is probably the eighth time I’ve sat through the ethics lecture.) Ran out of class, pretending to have gone to the restroom. Went to the newsroom instead to check in with a news manager on the details. Went back to class, finished the ethics lecture. Asked to leave to go work in newsroom with whole class watching me. Felt mortified. Went to newsroom. Conducted interviews, wrote a story for radio, did two hourly newscasts.
That’s what happened… And I don’t know how to handle it.
Hear me out: I want to work in breaking news. It gives me a rush. I’m good at it. I thrive while competing with other outlets. It’s who I am. It’s what I live for.
But it’s not what I expected at 21.
I’m a workaholic, someone who lives and dies by stories. As someone who eventually wants to be a news director, I love receiving such huge opportunities to further my career. When I look back on this time in my life, I know I’ll eventually be proud of my work, and all I’ve accomplished. I knew that as soon I began working alongside one of my news managers daily, these opportunities daily.
Then I try to balance news with my social life, and news always wins. I’m okay with that. Honestly, I kind of prefer news a good 70% of the time.
Then the lines begin to blur… Who is Ali Schmitz?
Ali Schmitz is an assignment editor, producer, and reporter. Ali Schmitz is a self proclaimed TweetDeck addict. Ali Schmitz uses Chrome because Internet Explorer is the worst. Ali Schmitz prefers using a Mac over a PC. Ali Schmitz writes handwritten notes to people. Ali Schmitz hates attention.
At least that’s the newsroom Ali Schmitz. When Ali Schmitz leaves the newsroom, she brings out a different side.
Ali Schmitz eats a lot of ramen, but like pasta. Ali Schmitz loves babies and puppies. Ali Schmitz is messy, and forgets where she puts her shoes all the time. That’s because Ali Schmitz hates wearing shoes. Ali Schmitz is shy. Ali Schmitz forces herself to be bubbly, even though she doesn’t feel like it. Ali Schmitz likes margaritas, but doesn’t drink them hardly ever because she’s ridiculously cheap.
I am both Ali Schmitzes. I am somewhere in between.
I'm 21 years old, and I'm still figuring out what kind of Ali Schmitz I want to be.