I made it here safely, despite back pain inflicted by the knees of the obnoxious girl behind me on the plane, and disturbing news of the lost Air France flight from Brazil.
The first day, after setting up my room and connecting to the WiFi (“WeeFee”), I went out to revisit some of my old stomping grounds. When I got home last December after seven months in France, I kept saying Pardon or Bonjour, and now I have to start doing it again. I must get back into living in a different language.
The next day, I went to the International Herald Tribune where I will intern for three months. Minutes into my first day, we printed out the skeds for the editors’ front page meeting and I got to listen in as the editors discussed the news of the day, debated about what should be on the front page and why, and looked through the photograph choices.
I’m learning the newsroom lingo and what it takes to print a newspaper. It’s been interesting: the IHT recently went through a redesign, so there are many new ideas flying around about styles and presentations that will appeal to readers. There is so much thought that goes into the paper’s presentation and information that comes from the layout that I had never thought about before.
After work, I met up with friends for a drink, then got home to make dinner at midnight—the metro takes longer than you think.
The third day, I went to the bank to set up my French bank account – necessary to get paid and to get my Tickets Restos (meal tickets). Everyone that works in France gets them. They can be used at restaurants, grocery stores, and sometimes for liquor, and they help anyone living on a student’s budget survive a little better.
At work, I picked up the paper I had worked on the night before. After having directed all the pieces through the Communication Center (intern desk), it was really fun to see the finished product.
My favorite part of the day is the editor’s meeting. Every day there is something new. Friday (Dieu merci c’est Vendredi = TGIF) there was too much news that deserved to be on the front page, including Obama visiting Buchenwald in Germany and coming to France for the D-Day ceremony; tension in Israel over building new settlements; and Britain’s political turmoil.
More next week.
- Grant Firestone ’10