It’s hard to believe, but I’m already approaching the midpoint of my second semester here in Bangor University. This is the part of the semester that looms from the starting point, something that you’re reminded of in your first lectures and remain vaguely aware of until the promised time – Not aware enough to do anything about it, but just the right amount to cause worry. Yes, it’s the time to crack on with the assignments.
Having done an Open University course in my pre-Bangor run-up, I’ve had a fair chance at getting my self-discipline right. I’ve managed to train it to such a degree that I can actually give an assignment some serious thought before the week in which it’s due. Hold your applause, ladies and gentlemen. That doesn’t mean I’m able to get actual words on virtual paper. Give me just a little more time.
In fact, give me a week. I have two assignments due within the next three weeks, one of which requires – *gasp* – actual journalistic effort and preparation! That’s what I’ll be doing this week. I have to prepare two hard news stories, which require at least one interview each. As it happens, I know the Assistant Chief Constable of the South Wales Police, who happens to be advocating a movement to crack down on alcoholism and its related crimes. So… one potential story down, by some incredible stroke of luck. That still leaves one.
Of course, as an aspiring journalist, this is the kind of thing I’m going to have to get used to. Finding stories. Making and using contacts. Gathering information. Maybe at some point I’ll even get that shorthand to a stage where I can write with any kind of speed. Right now I can manage about 1/8th of my normal writing speed, and if I’m lucky I can read it the next day. At least I’ve got the Teeline alphabet soundly memorised.
Also, this is probably the point where I have to start paying attention to local news.