The University of Missouri’s Journalism school (a.k.a. the J School, the World’s Journalism School, etc.) is well-known for attracting out-of-state students (like myself) not only for its renowned classroom experience, but for the opportunity of immersive experience in the journalism field.
I mentioned in my last post about how I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to write for the student-produced paper of Mizzou, The Maneater, covering the men’s and women’s golf teams. This is a great opportunity, and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to gain experience so quickly.
One thing that people outside of the journalism world know about writing on a paper is deadlines. I got one two days before my freshman year started- produce a feature story by August 29.
When I looked at the calendar, that time frame was a bit daunting initially. Monday the 22nd rolled around, and I had nothing yet. I began poking around and searching for any material on the internet that could suffice as concrete details for my feature story.
Boy, am I glad I didn’t go too far with that would-have-been disaster.
I woke up Tuesday, went to my 8:00 am class, and decided to use the time between my classes (a solid 6.5 hours) to get my every-other-day workout in. Fortunately, I had thought earlier to set my phone to receive notifications when @MizzouMensGolf sends out a Tweet on Twitter. They did this morning, and the Tweet consisted of the following GIF and captioned: “First day of official practice got us like:”
“First day of practice, I thought. This is my chance.” I hurried through the rest of my workout and scurried to my car to jump on this opportunity. I got over to Gustin course- which was very close to my dorm- not knowing what I would find. As I asked a nice gentleman in the pro shop for a practice schedule, he informed me that the Mizzou team does not play at Gustin course.
Welp. Showing my inexperience I guess.
I thanked him for his time and hurried across town to where the team actually did play- The Old Course at Hawthorne. Not knowing what to expect, I pulled up to the Mizzou Golf Building and saw an open door.
There was assistant coach Grant Milner, whom I introduced myself to and was kind enough to invite me into his office to print out a schedule of the team’s practices. He even went as far as setting me up with an interview for my story with two of the stars of Mizzou golf- brothers Will and Matt Echelmier.
The guys were genuinely kind people, and we made casual conversation as we started the interview. As I listened to their responses, I began to process how funnily the events of the day had worked out- and how well my article was coming together.
We concluded the interview, Coach Milner walked me out and offered me his phone number and really put me in a good position to cover the team this year as I left the club. Bar none, my first experience with Mizzou Golf was top-notch.
As I returned to my dorm, it occurred to men just how arbitrary the day was- I only knew about the practice because of Twitter, I got there just on time because of a detour, I got in because a door was open, and I got the material necessary to write my article because the players were waiting out a rain storm. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention- it was raining during all this. The thrill of the chase of my first college player interviews was almost blinding.
God just had a great plan for this day, and I’m glad I lived for the moment, prayed and thought my plan before acting, and he showed me the rewards. It just goes to show that his plan is always worth trusting.
But the best part- this day’s not even over. And the even better part? It’s only day 2 of my freshman year.
The undermining and somewhat coincidental detail of it all is my first Journalism class ever doesn’t even get going for another 3o minutes. Can’t wait to get there.
I’ll be sure to link to my story once it’s up on the Maneater.