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First week brought many lessons

At the time I am writing this column, I have been a Wadena resident for nearly a week and I have finished three exhilarating, exhausting and enlightening days as a reporter at the Pioneer Journal.

Starting my first "real" job outside of college, apartment hunting and moving into my sister's basement have made my first week in Wadena very memorable.

As a brand new reporter, I have had the opportunity to learn many new things, some important and some that would only come into play in a trivia game, including how to properly spell "koi," as in Japanese koi fish. I discovered this peculiarly spelled word while attempting to Google "coy pond" to research a story. It seems that the term "coy" fish should only be used to describe flirtatiously shy or bashful water-dwelling creatures.

In addition to my Japanese spelling lesson, I have also learned the importance of using an appointment calendar. This lesson came through an embarrassing scheduling error on my second day of work, when I scheduled an interview during PJ's Friday morning staff meeting. Oops.

Although this simple organizational task may not seem like a difficult lesson for Palm Pilot people and calendar colorers, it is not an easy lesson to learn for someone for who successfully completed college without recording a single entry in an assignment calendar. As a matter of fact, writing this just reminded me that I should write down next week's meeting time. Now, if I can just learn to actually look at my calendar that will be a true accomplishment.

When I am not busy learning new words and how to schedule, I am hunting for an apartment. My ideal apartment would be as far away from the railroad tracks as possible and still be in Wadena, have a convenient washer dryer and have a door and stairway large enough to move a sleeper sofa. I know that I can't escape the sound of the train, but I would prefer to not feel like passing trains are roaring through my living room all night long. The washer and dryer are likely out, but I am still crossing my fingers that I will be able to move my couch. It's nice to have a comfy place to sit after a long day at work.

For now, I am content to remain in my sister and brother-in-law's basement, maybe too content. They may wish to make me less comfortable, if they don't want to have an extra house guest for too long.

While it is wonderful to have a comfortable home to stay in, I am looking forward to finding a place of my own and continuing to learn about the town that will be my home for the next couple of years. I've already learned how to spell the name of a Japanese fish here, so who knows what other unexpectedly enlightening facts are waiting in Wadena for discovery.