Bill Lohmann’s recent article on reporters’ notebooks brought back fond memories of my master’s study trip at the University of Arizona in the early 1980s. Although my concentration was in advertising, I had to register and pass Reporting 101 to pursue my higher education.
The experience included covering the beating of the police and boring city council meetings lasting several hours with my ever-present notebook in hand. After the meetings, I had the opportunity to interview people. When people saw my reporter’s notebook with a pen at the ready, they recognized my presence as a news officer, giving me a power I had never known before. It was my job to accurately report every word spoken, then rush into the newsroom to decipher my own writing to meet the evening deadline. Over time, I traveled everywhere with my reporter’s notebook, even when I wasn’t writing a news item.
I always travel with a notebook to capture notes from meetings and conversations. I acquired a love for writing, print media and pens. Today I have hundreds of pens all over my house with a desk waiting to record life. It seems that people who love and appreciate paper books, magazines and newspapers often also have a penchant for writing on paper – although, as Lohmann said, “sometimes an interpreter is needed to translate my own handwriting.
Thank you for the journey to a part of my history that I had forgotten and how it shaped certain areas of my life today.