I’m on vacation this week, so no long intro. Here are the final articles I wrote before heading home for some much-needed R&R:
This has been one of the stranger weekends I’ve faced since moving out to McAlester. It started Saturday night, when I watched a football game get so out of hand the referees ran away and the game had ended midway through the third quarter and without a winner. The strangeness continued Sunday, when the weather started turning bad all over Oklahoma and I quickly educated myself on exactly what to do if a tornado hit McAlester (other than poop myself).
I thought it had passed when I woke up Monday morning, but instead the weather somehow got even worse than it had been the day before. But for all the chaos going on elsewhere in the state, McAlester seems to have escaped with nothing more than a couple inches of rain.
When I looked outside Monday night, I simultaneously saw the sun setting hazily behind thick yellow clouds in the west, streaks of lightning and the grey-green clouds of a heavy thunderstorm to the east, and an actual rainbow shooting into the sky from the south.
If that doesn’t characterize the last 48 hours, I don’t know what will. Here’s what I wrote this week.
And so it ends. McAlester’s track and tennis teams finished their respective state competitions Saturday, marking the end of the 2012-13 high school sports year.
I’m sure I’ll write a few more stories on high school athletes throughout the summer, but the routine I developed throughout the year to stay on top of 12 schools’ worth of teams and players won’t be necessary again until school starts up in August.
The end of the school year comes with mixed emotions. Last summer’s work days tended to both start and end earlier, so in theory that means it’ll be easier to find time to exercise and perhaps even socialize a bit.
But I also really like covering high school games, and I’m definitely going to miss having so many potential stories at my disposal every day. I often worry about what I’m going to write about during the week, and all those games made it easier to fly by the seat of my pants in terms of coverage.
Now I’ll have to plan more, scrounge more, branch out more. I’m sure this will mean some headaches, but it’ll also make me a better reporter.
So bring on the summer! But until then, here’s everything I wrote during this final week of the spring high school season.
Between a furlough and a baseball doubleheader in Claremore, this might seem like a shorter roundup than normal. As the high school season finally ends — although actually it went by surprisingly fast — I anticipate a change in coverage strategies. Twice this past week I traded one story of 750 or 800 words for two stories of 400 to 450, and I expect such will be the case this week as well.
Not every story can be stretched to 750 words, and I think as long as the content is newsworthy and tells the story in full, a shorter story isn’t necessarily worse than a longer one.
Here’s all my content.
Apparently I forgot to publish last week, so this one is gonna be extra-long.
One of the stories below might put me in some hot water come Wednesday morning. But I figure if I’m gonna get readers mad at me, it should be over an issue I feel strongly about, and not, say, a dumb quote used in a meaningless column about youth basketball camp.
It shouldn’t be hard to figure out which story may not go over so well, and normally I don’t explain my writing choices. I’ve learned by now I can’t please everybody — a mother recently yelled at me because I wrote about her son during football season and didn’t want to do it again for baseball season — so normally I don’t even try.
But people may wonder why I care so much about this issue, and I’ll give my two reasons:
1) I was picked on mercilessly in elementary school for getting good grades. As such, I grew up hating seeing people being mean to other people — and really, what is prejudice but a form of meanness?
2) I’m Jewish. As such, I know very well how easily hateful language and segregating laws can transform into violence and death.
I’ll also add that if people in the majority never take interest in the issues of the minority, the minority will always be left unprotected against a majority that could enforce its will through means far worse than the vote.
Here’s what I wrote this week.