Reality Check

Having been a reporter in college, I’ve covered a variety of events. I’ve covered community festivals, student protests, police beats and even student deaths. But during my years at our small town college university paper I knew I wasn’t going to be a reporter later in life. Successfully covering a story is a great feeling, but the more serious stories and intense political issues inside as well as outside the newsroom weren’t my cup of tea. Becoming a journalist on the ground and reporting from dangerous locations? Never even crossed my mind.

My friend Andrew and I met at OSU’s newspaper. We became friends when we both went to New York for our summer internships. Andrew then went on to transfer to Syracuse and travel around the world as a photo journalist. This kid has had some amazing experiences. A few days into the conflict in Egypt he posted on Twitter that he was heading out to Cairo for an assignment. My brain is slow, so it first went “Cairo? I’m jealous!” then finally realized “Cairo… protests… Mubarak… oh shit.”

I’d been following Andrew’s updates and things were fine at first. Then I woke up to the news that Anderson Cooper was punched in the head as his team was attacked on the ground. I crossed my fingers that Andrew would be OK. Later that day, as it happens, Andrew ended up being attacked as well.

The last photo he took before being attacked

He was pretty lucky, although reading what he wrote clearly shows how extremely frightening it was. I mean, we’re both 24 years old, and I’m sitting at home whining about the weather while he’s in a volatile situation in a foreign country. Andrew’s story got picked up by several news sources, including NPR and he gave a phone interview to MSNBC. He later wrote another post about this assignment as well as coverage of another day out shooting. It’s so eloquent and it brings the situation at hand so much closer to home. I can read all the news reports and the soft features, but hearing about it from someone I know personally is so much more powerful.

This is a reality check in itself. Whining about how hard life is in New York? At least I’m not getting punched out by some thugs in Egypt. Then I went did something silly. I’m a chronic hair dyer and experimenter. But my one rule has always been to avoid permanent dyes, because I don’t like the maintenance. However, I had the urge to go lighter (blonde-ish) and decided to take that risk. I picked up medium ash blonde and finally went for it this morning. It looks… interesting.

Not terrible, but obviously not perfect. I’m sitting here, feeling woozy from the fumes and bemoaning why I dyed my hair a risky color when I have tons of plans for picture taking this weekend, so of course I tweet about it. Guess what pops up next in my feed:

Yeah, I guess some messed up hair color isn’t so bad.

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