It Matters in the End

At this point, nothing in 4804 fazes me. My final (whoa) team story has shifted its focus significantly in the past 24 hours, one of my teammates will be gone on Deadline Day, mid-Missouri is experiencing a torrential downpour with no signs of stopping — and I’m surprisingly chill about it all.

The story was originally about power plants, but now it’s about small, rural cities that are possibly dying. My second story, the Story Safari that took me and my team to Glasgow, was pretty similar. My current team and I are going to spend literally all of tomorrow reporting in Chamois (above) and Clifton Hill, which are about two hours apart, and Columbia is kind of in the middle.

Ever since we refocused the story last night, I’ve had the song “It’s Just a Lot” by K.Flay stuck in my head. I wasn’t planning on blogging about her music again just three weeks after her album (with this song on it) came out, especially since I wrote about the Cold War Kids three weeks in a row at one point. But my brain keeps playing the same line from that song over and over again:

“Stories all depend on whose perspective you prefer / Is it an ‘I’ or is it ‘her’? / And does it matter in the end?”

Of course it matters. Some of my past team stories lacked perspective in one area or another. I’m not going to make that mistake with this team, especially since this is a human interest story. We’ve learned that we have to over-report every story. We’re going to get as many voices as we can and keep asking people “why?” Basically, Nnamdi, Kevin and I are going to prove our worth as convergence students between now and Thursday, but especially tomorrow.

This is Team Story 6, so “go big or go home” is an understatement. Two final team stories from last semester’s 4804 class got published by KOMU. My friend Waverly, my first editor who taught me a ton about journalism (and is coming back from Europe today!), was on one of those teams. Nina, my project manager, was on the other one. She expects a lot out of me, Nnamdi and Kevin, and we expect a lot out of ourselves too.

On the first day of class, Judd and Mark introduced 4804 to us as “the best time you’ll never want to have again.” They were right. I’ll be so glad and sad at 6 p.m. on Thursday when it’s over. I was in the Futures Lab this past Thursday when the other half of the  class finished their last Deadline Day, and it made me emotional, so I’ll probably sob when I experience that for myself.

The last line of “It’s Just a Lot” goes:

“You get it right / You get it wrong / It never stops / It’s just a lot.”

We’ve all gotten so much right and wrong in 4804. There were times it felt like the hamster wheel would never stop, but we kept pushing through it. Now half of us can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the rest of the class is already there.

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