Our beloved intern Emily will be refocusing on her education and saying goodbye to FCM. She reflects on her experience in the following blog post.
After eight months of article adventures with FCM, the time has come for me to return to reading articles rather than writing them.
Being a brand-new intern during a pandemic sounds like a recipe for strange experiences, yet I was fortunate to have a fulfilling, mostly smooth internship, despite the oddities of virtual…everything.
As the second semester of my second year in college ramps up and the English classes pile on, I’ve decided to end my time with FCM while I actually still enjoy writing (kidding!).
Yet, I am not willing to leave without disclosing the behind-the-scenes of my writing and the many hilarious and memorable moments that have accompanied it.
Starting my internship off with my “History in the Making” blog series, I attribute their completion to several late-night reading sessions with my Dad who just wanted to go to bed. Scowering thesauruses, fact-checking, and doing way too much mindless popcorn eating during these editing sessions will forever be attached to these historic stories.
However, my last post in the series, “Transforming Perspective in Downtown Appleton,” takes me back to the eventful drive with a sweet elderly couple bursting with stories and memories of Appleton’s past. I couldn’t help but laugh listening to the interview back and hearing them bicker about which turn to take and if a building had been a shoe store or a butcher shop 50 years ago. I definitely finished that post feeling nostalgic and yearning for a trip to the past.
Speaking of drives, my first magazine article, “Worth the Drive: Rustic Roads and Scenic Drives,” had to be my most eventful story by a longshot. In order to write about these roads, I felt it only fitting to force my friends to take the drives and report back. I remember several texts detailing how they ended up lost or completely missed the route altogether!
Taking matters into my own hands, I went on two drives myself, thinking I would be a more reliable resource. To my surprise, I ended up also getting lost after going hiking on the Ice Age Trail located on RR 23. Three hours and many sore feet later, my friends and I emerged exhausted, and I had a new-found appreciation for the friends who took a drive.
For my second independent drive, I traveled to RR 22. Awestruck at the beautiful, serene creation before me, I forgot about my driving skills and soaked up all the views I could. As I emerged on a straight, gravel path leading through an endless marsh on either side, I pulled out my camera, fully forgot about my driving, and before I knew it, my car was at a 45-degree angle and stuck in the mud of the marsh.
In the middle of nowhere and with a dying phone, I alerted a towing company and my trusty Dad and waited for his rescue with a lawn chair, sun-blocking umbrella, and an uninterrupted opportunity to journal my experience.
Upon his arrival, we waited for the tow, yet only received a call from a confused, southern man. The accent brought the shocking realization that I had somehow called for a tow in Kansas! Plan B resorted to flagging down a random truck and graciously accepting the help of some amused locals. A valuable lesson about driving safety and correct location identification was learned that day, yet the beauty and wildlife of the road made up for it all.
I learned other lessons, like don’t go on a walk 15 minutes before a phone interview; you will have to sprint back and sit, extremely sweaty and disheveled, for 40 minutes talking about Christmas trees.
Chaotic memories aside, I learned many lessons about what it means to run a business and hold it together when everything is falling apart and saw the hearts behind the businesses and companies in the Fox Valley that truly care about the people. I saw and explored family legacies and learned more in a few months about this small sphere of influence than I had my whole life.
I am forever grateful for the knowledge boost, moving moments, and simple pleasures explored and gained from my time here at FCM. Onto the next chapter!
Thanks for your tireless work, Emily! The FCM crew will miss you greatly. Best of luck in your continued studies.