Well, here we go: my first story for the Columbia Missourian. Actually, it’s been up on the website since Tuesday, but my first GA shift was so overwhelming (even more overwhelming if combined with other assignments I had to do that same day — and it was a very long day) that I’m blogging about it only now. Sorry for that. I’ll try harder.
Ironically enough, it is about that same rain I was making fun of on my Facebook the day before the GA shift. Like: “Why are all these alert messages popping up in my mailbox? Is a simple rain such a big thing for this city?”. Well, I’m ashamed now, but before blaming me for snobbery just keep in mind that four weeks ago I was living in Moscow, and a rain is hardly considered an important event there (well, that still counts as snobbery, I guess. Too bad).
Anyway. It turned out that it was the heaviest rain ever on September 1st ever in Columbia. And the previous record was set more than 80 years ago, and almost all the other record-breaking storms (the one from 1931 excluding) weren’t nearly as heavy as this one. And there were a lot of road closures, some power outages, and the Fire Department even had to perform a couple of water rescues, because some cars got stuck in high water or were flooded. Well, it’s all in the newspaper, you can read it if you want to.
To be honest, the story is much less entertaining than the rain itself was. I never managed to get a comment from the Fire Department officer who did this water rescue (I guess I just wasn’t insistent enough) — and that comment would presumably make the story more interesting, at least it would add some human touch to it. And of course, my original story was heavily rewritten — which is a good thing, undoubtedly. I’m still adjusting to American writing style — for example, my original paragraphs were about six times longer, and that’s definitely not what the Missourian’s reader would like to see in his favourite newspaper. There were some other flaws, too. But still. My first real story in English; much faster than I expected. The Missourian Method in action.
And lesson learned. Don’t underestimate the nature. Don’t overestimate yourself.