Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wall Street Journal, Day 5: 9 to 5---Almost

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Not much to report, really, on this, the first day of my four-week stint as the 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. intern at the Wall Street Journal. As the daytime guy, I'm working mostly on the Europe and Asian editions...and it turns out that most of the briefs in the Europe and Asian editions are Global Business Briefs, which are all situated on one page inside the paper. Only one of those briefs have headlines---the, er, headlining one. So today I didn't really get much practice with headline-writing, and though I did work on the brief that ended up being the head brief in the upcoming Asian edition, the brief already had a headline attached to it. It looked good enough to me, so I went with it (although I later discovered that someone had changed it for the Europe edition). Mostly it was fact-checking, cutting for space and grammar-checking for me through my eight-hour shift. Some of it, frankly, was quite boring. But I guess one has to start from somewhere.

Now that Tyler and I are separated, there's a new system: every time I finish editing something and am about to send it off to the slot, I'm supposed to print out the article. By the end of the day, I'm supposed to give all the articles to someone to look over and constructively criticize. (For all the editing we do on computers, pen and paper, it turns out, is still the best way to edit for the sake of an intern learning the ropes.) Sounds reasonable.

I think that's about it for today. I didn't really have much of a problem waking up at around 6:30 a.m.---I had gotten a lot of practice waking up mad early during my two weeks at Temple (and keep this in mind: I often woke up on less sleep than the approximately six-and-a-half hours I got last night). The only possible drawback: I ate breakfast at around 7:15 a.m. and, because of the early afternoon deadline for the Asian edition, I didn't really eat lunch until a little after 2 p.m. (I feel weird going to lunch before then, with the Asian edition down to the wire, even though again, anyone who didn't know when the deadline was wouldn't be able to tell in the environment I'm in). In the meantime---what did I have? Water. A brownie. A peach. Two pretzels. And then after lunch, when I found myself near-drowsy, I went for a couple of granola bars, which were so crunchy and hard that they actually did wonders keeping me up. (Maybe I don't have to start drinking coffee after all...) And then one of the other copy editors sitting to my left offered me a cookie with chocolate on top. A rather haphazard diet, I'd say. I wonder if this internship will somehow affect my eating habits too...

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