“The whole place is going to blow up before you know it.”

I’ve come out of my second general assignment shift unscathed and in high spirits and with another news brief to boot! Definitely better than the last time, without a doubt.

Today, like last time, started with a slow morning. I kept myself busy reading the Missourian, preparing for interviews and setting up chats with potential story subjects for the upcoming week.

Class was light and enjoyable. We had a large seminar about popular music and American identity with all the honors arts, music and theater students combined into one hall. A group project in Spanish finished early and we ended up chatting about studying abroad, hometowns and costumed musicians out by Speaker’s Circle.

When I got back from lunch (which included free pizza on Lowry, instant upside to the day), I had a few things to work on for my beat stories and assignments. After about an hour, an editor asked if anyone had been by Chipotle recently and seen anything about a second gas leak in two days near the construction site in the area.

I knew that I wanted something to work on, and I was called to go check it out. I spoke with some Ameren workers and business employees in the area. I got a pretty good picture of what was happening, but after giving me the information I needed, none of my sources wanted to be attributed to the story in the Missourian. So, that was a problem.

After a couple hours of calling, waiting on the line and being transferred, I got in touch with the Ameren Missouri spokesman. As the spokesman, he acted as middleman and took my questions to take to another unnamed official. A couple rounds of phone tag later, I was finally ready to send the story off with more information and better attribution.

So last time I covered a fire. This week I covered a gas leak. Little things, but lots of practice along the way.

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