There and back again: An intern's tale

Dustin Gill
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Just 13 weeks ago, it felt like this day was a long way off, but tomorrow marks the last day of my internship here at the Times-Herald, and thus, today's column is my last.

The first weeks seemed to fly by as days began to blur into one another at light speed. Then, about halfway through, it began to feel as if the internship might never end. But, as any good athlete hits the wall before powering through into thresholds unknown, I too found my second wind.

It took me a couple months, but in the final weeks I feel I began to "find my groove," as they say, and really start to get better at this whole journalism thing, incrementally at least.

It’s amazing how time can feel so fast and slow at the same time; my first weekend shift feels like it was ages ago, but the time I spent with the people I met that weekend, whether it was at the Chair-ity auction at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery or the haunted house at the Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum, feels like it could have been moments ago.

Staying at Capone’s Hideaway because every other hotel in Moose Jaw was booked that weekend was also an experience by itself that feels like yesterday, but I’ll have to save that story for another time.

So much has happened in the past three months that just thinking about it makes me feel older, and if not a little wiser, then at the very least a little better at doing some things right thanks to a little experiential learning.

My time here has helped me become more organized and efficient. It’s also helped me make progress curbing my tendencies toward introversion and procrastination — two traits that don’t bode all that well for the average journalist.

It’s given me insights into the industry and has helped me formulate or galvanize some of my own long-term plans and goals as a result — all of these very beneficial things.

The personal life has also been a whirlwind. For my girlfriend and I, last Tuesday also marked our last childbirth and preparation class with Sally Elliot at the YMCA, who it seems everyone who has ever had children seems to know.

Milestones abound. I will soon be a father and, shortly after that, a University of Regina School of Journalism graduate. Life has been and will continue to be both eventful and fruitful indeed.

Well, it can be scary to think how "fruitful" journalism will be. It depends on how abstract you want to get, I guess. But at the very least it will be eventful, and eventful things in many ways turn out to be fruitful in some way, right?

So, out of the pan and into the fire it is for me (and you thought I wouldn’t fit a Tolkien quote in here somewhere). My daily commute is almost over and my foray into the "real world" beyond academia is almost set to begin. I’ve felt my mind and body weather in preparation for this next leap, like an aged piece of leather, toughened, finally worked in and ready to get dirty.

I’m not sure if it’s the icy, treacherous commute, the internship, or the fact that I’m about to be a dad that’s given me a few extra grey hairs over the past months — most likely a combination of the three, but I appreciate them all for the accomplishments they represent.

And so I’ve appreciated you, Moose Jaw. Thank you to every one of you who have read any of my columns or appreciated any of my stories. I know there’s a couple of you out there and your feedback means a lot to me. I’ll miss Crescent Park, the museum and art gallery, the murals, the historic buildings, the neon sign at the Times-Herald, some people and things and not others.

To end this column the way it started, I leave you this line from Bilbo Baggins: “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

Dustin Gill can be reached at 691-1263.

Organizations: Times-Herald, Moose Jaw Museum, YMCA University of Regina School of Journalism

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village, Crescent Park

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