Somehow I managed to seal up everything at KELO, pack my car, and drive across a few states within a matter of a couple days. Here's the email I sent out to the "news group" before leaving:
Twelve Lessons In 12 Weeks
Week 1: Wal-Mart parking lots are dangerous for unobvious reasons, like mini tornados or “wind shears”
Expect the unexpected; cover it willingly.
Week 2: If you want to fit your lunch in the fridge, get there early.
The first on the scene gets the best footage.
Week 3: Stay high enough from floods but low enough from tornadoes.
The ground in the middle is the safest; be neutral.
Week 4: “Keloland” is a legitimate word to toss out on air.
Be thankful of all the people who came before you and could make a ridiculous notion a reality.
Week 5: If you go up in a hot air balloon, stay tied to the ground.
Use uplifting experiences to expand your skills, while not letting go of what you already know.
Week 6: Professional restaurants will take recipes from 10-year-olds.
No story idea is too bizarre. Be creative, and you never know who might like it.
Week 7: The muggy Midwest air is overwhelming, but I’ll miss it once I return to dry Montana.
When it seems like it’s raining news, be glad, and remember what it feels like when the wires are empty.
Week 8: If it leads, it could bleed.
If you wear heels to breaking news, expect to trip on a fire hose.
Week 9: George McGovern is an unforgettable man.
Even if he forgets to pick up his tattered cardboard box of books four weeks and phone calls later.
Week 10: Fireflies are real.
You’ll miss the real story if you don’t take time to really observe your surroundings.
Week 11: “Dot com” isn’t everything; you can access KELO online at keloland.TV, too.
There’s always more than one way to access information, some are just less obvious than others.
Week 12: Twelve weeks goes by fast.
Stay busy and enjoy every moment.
Thank you all for being so nurturing and helpful to me. You’ve given me a summer I won’t forget and taught me countless storytelling lessons along the way. I’ve grown as a writer, photographer, reporter, editor and journalist. More importantly, I’ve grown as a person.
I’ll begin my senior year at The University of Montana in a couple weeks and hope to stay in touch. Please let me know if your travels take you westward to Big Sky Country.
Happy trails, until we meet again!
I can't wait to see you all! I'm back in Missoula for today and headed to Alaska tomorrow, so I'll probably have to wait for the first day of school to see everyone, but I'm very excited! :)