Pure Interest, Dreams, Masks, and Reality

Anyone who knows me well, knows I think excessively. It is nearly impossibly for me to turn my brain off. Try meditation, thanks, sure, I will. So as I’ve been blogging in the past, I’ve been intrigued by Beth Bye, Vice Chair of the WH School Board and candidate for state representative. And as I’ve mentioned before, I am the second entry on a “Beth Bye” Google search. So I contacted her and asked her if I could interview her for me blog, and she accepted. This was last Sunday. I know I should have written it up by now, but I had a mini-crisis in between interviewing her and finishing writing the interview up. See, it has long been a dream of mine to be an NPR correspondent. While I asked Bye if I could interview her mainly because I was very curious to know more about her, I also wanted to support her and help give her some more exposure, because frankly, I believe in her. She strikes me as a clear, compassionate, well-spoken, thoughtful, and engaged citizen: the makings for a great representative.

But once I got that “yes”, (and this is where this post turns to be solely about me and my own narcissistic ways) I began to fret about it. What do I ask her? I’ve never done an interview before, at least not one since high school. I began to think about journalistic approaches, because now I was going to be part of the news media. And I think that’s about when I began to connect the dots to being an NPR correspondent. “Well, if this interview goes well, NPR will certainly start recruiting me.” I planned carefully, and I drew up questions. I did my homework and tried to read what there was already printed about her on the web.

When I went to do the interview, I fully disclosed the fact that I am a teacher, not a journalist, and that I had not done an interview since high school. At one point, she referred to me as a reporter. And frankly, I behaved like a reporter. The interview did go very well, and I was very glad to have had the opportunity to get to know her better and to get a better understanding on where she stands on issues. Like I said, I was initially driven by curiosity to know more about her.

As I left, I began to feel young, like a child, like someone pretending to be someone she is not. I went to my office at school and took out my notes and began writing a formal news article/interview. I continued my research. i wanted to be able to link to all of the references she named. I wanted to gain a better understanding of the equation that determines how much money the state contributes towards a town’s education budget. Boy, had I bitten off more than I could chew. I sat there writing, thinking to myself, why am I trying to write in this manner? This isn’t me.

Truth be told, I never really wanted to be a real NPR correspondent. I just wanted to be Bob Edwards, well, Bob Edwards when he hosted Morning Edition. Then I was feeling compelled to report the bulk of my notes, because “the people have a right to know.” What monster had I turned into? So I stopped writing and started grading.

Now with a week under my belt, I think I have a much better idea of the directions I’d like to take. I say directionS, because I plan to do multiple posts. And, since I am not a reporter, this won’t be straight reporting, since I’ve always hated trying to write objectively, because I do not believe for a moment there is such a thing as objective writing, period. So stay tuned for a few posts.

While I may not be a journalist or even a hardcore blogger, I do enjoy writing, and I’ll do just that.


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