Monday, October 12, 2009

APTRA Weekend 2009

It's almost time to start my shift, so I have to go check in at the assignment desk. That means you just get a few pictures for now. I promise to come back later to fill in the blanks.

Well, that's the plan, unless my assignment takes me somewhere interesting.

We'll just have to see.

(Hey! Okay, I'm back!)

Just woke up and it seems like all I have time to do when I get home is grab a bite to eat, fall asleep wherever I sit down, crawl into bed and start it all over again the next morning when I get up to go to work.

What happened to free time?

I can't help but think it might actually be my own fault. Shucks, I could have had plenty of free time this past weekend if I hadn't volunteered at the APTRA Academy.

What's that? It's an annual weekend broadcast news training boot camp sponsored by the Associated Press Radio and Television Association.

People who think they'd like to jump into the broadcast journalism pool have the opportunity to spend the weekend networking and learning from people who actually work in the field of TV news.

We all take part in a mock breaking news story and spend the two days putting the story together, then present selected pieces for a critique.

Dozens of working fire and law enforcement professionals (and also professional actors) donate part of their weekend to perform in the mock news story in order to add to the realism.

This is the fifth year I volunteered to help out.

The attendees are split up into groups (hello, "Blue Crush") and I usually shoot and edit for one of the groups.

My bad pinkie (see earlier posts) prevented me from shooting this year, but I did manage to hang in there the whole weekend and edit for two groups.

It's a fun weekend. A lot of work, but it gives the participants an opportunity they might never have. They get to see a little bit of what it's really like to cover the news.

It also gives them a chance to network with working news people who are willing to be mentors and actually want to help along the next generation.

So, that's why I once again find myself zombified and trying to drag myself through another week of work. It was a ten hour day yesterday and I spent most of it standing out in the bad weather.

I kept wondering something as I hauled my soggy self in and out of the van for multiple liveshots in the rain. I wondered if the folks who attended the APTRA Academy realize that not every day is interesting and full of excitement.

Some days are just normal days at the office. You get rained on. You miss meals. You depend on the kindness of strangers for bathroom facilities (and you also get your stitches wet against specific instructions from your doctor).

These are just the regular old days at work for me. Of course, I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I just wonder why anyone else might feel the same.

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