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I’m about to start week five of J-school and I would *really* love to tell the Internets all about the past four—I’ve been guilt-ridden and a bit ashamed about my poor blogging performance. My mother suspects that I’m posting on some other, top-secret, invitation-only blog. I am not.

My problem is that 99.9% of my mental space is reserved for trying to keep track of how far behind I am in J200, the infamous first semester “beat reporting” class that we are all required to take. I’m working so hard to process everything that I’m seeing/hearing/reading/writing/failing to write into something coherent for myself that I don’t have any coherence left for the friends and family who so nicely inquire as to how grad school is going.

Oh, it’s going. Going whizzing by, and I’m running like mad to keep up.

What the hell have I been doing? I’ve gone to an Oakland Police Department press conference (they have a podium that’s decorated to look like the front of a police car), an Oakland city council meeting (mind-bogglingly boring—except for the horde of bikers [the motorcycle kind]), a five-hour meeting on immigration conducted mostly in Spanish, and an on-campus press conference attended by myself, two classmates, and a cameraman from Univision.

I’ve learned how freakin hard it is to write as fast as people speak (especially if I want to be able to read my notes afterward).

I now have business cards that state that I Am A Journalist. I hand them to people. People I’m interviewing.

I do that now. Because I’m a Journalist.

Pretty soon my J200 class’s website will be up, so then at least I’ll be able to re-post content here that I was already required to post for class. We’re creating a news site for the North Oakland/Rockridge/Temescal area of Oakland—which happens to be where I live, conveniently enough.

Ultimately, though, it’s fantastic. I’m busy seven days a week, but I’m busy with interesting, challenging work that I want to be doing. I feel like in a few more weeks I’ll have gotten my footing at least a tiny bit more—enough so that I’ll be able to communicate what I’m experiencing more than five minutes past that article’s deadline.

Something to say?