by Sara Cohen, Jewish Press Intern
On Sundays, the kitchen table in my household cannot be discerned underneath the layers of newspapers that conceal its wooden body. The Omaha World Herald operates as a mere undergarment, whereas The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, in addition to the standard set of Jewish newspapers, provide adequate clothing for the now garishly-dressed piece of furniture. Throughout the day, members of the family will pick out pages, replacing them in their designated areas upon finishing. It remains this way until our family sits down to dinner, when the intellectually-stimulating table garments are tossed aside to be reread throughout the week. This ritual has gone on for as long as I can remember, and has undoubtedly helped to develop my admiration and predilection for the written word.
In conjunction with this source of motivation, the summer before my sophomore year of high school, I read a book written by longtime coworkers and companions Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd of the Atlantic Monthly. Titled Good Prose, the publication detailed the involved processes of researching and producing work in the field of nonfiction. Enamored with the idea of publishing similar work of my own, I enrolled in a journalism elective course at school and submitted my first set of stories the following fall.
Due to the small scale of my school – I wrote on attending Duchesne Academy in a previous issue of The Jewish Press – and its subsequently limited scope of subject material for me and other members of The Bird Post to cover, I often found myself delving into more anomalous topics. One example of this was my trifold series of opinionated articles on the legal plights of Buckyballs, a company known for its production of recreational cubes of miniscule magnets. Somehow, one of the aforementioned stories found its way to the desk of Craig Zucker, CEO of the troubled company, who sent me a congratulatory email (which I later printed and mounted on my bedroom wall) and a complimentary discount code. Though his company has since been shut down, I often cite Zucker as one of the primary sources for my enthrallment in the art of journalistic writing.
Since the Buckyball trilogy, I have had numerous stories published in each issue of The Bird Post, and was recently promoted to the position of Editor. Although I am currently unsure of whether or not I will pursue a career in journalism, I am certain that my time at The Press will only bring positive experiences that will aid me tremendously next semester in my work on the school paper, and also in whichever profession I ultimately choose. I could not think of a more productive, rewarding, or enjoyable way to spend my summer, and I am honored to have been selected for this position.
The Jewish Press summer internship is made possible by a generous grant from the Murray H. and Sharee C. Newman Supporting Foundation. We are very grateful to Murray and Sharee for making this program possible.