Elyssa Parnell Staff Writer
July 24, 2014
I’ve never been one for change. Yes, I know it’s a part of life, but that’s just something that I always have a hard time dealing with and accepting, which is why February of this year sort of “rocked my world,” so to speak.
Natalie, whom I had grown to depend on as a partner in the newsroom, accepted another position away from The Newberry Observer and that’s when I met Kevin.
Now, of course, I’d already met Kevin before. We were connected long ago through attending Newberry College. However, knowing someone and working with them are two completely different things.
I’d spent almost a year getting to know Natalie and how she and I worked together to produce the newspaper, but now I was going to have to get adjusted to working with someone new.
Little did I know what scared me as an upcoming change just six months ago would have changed me so drastically — not only as a person, but as a writer.
Just six months ago, you wouldn’t have been reading a column that I wrote because I wouldn’t have written one. I always felt like sharing writing that wasn’t for a news article was more difficult for me. Kevin, however always seemed to pull column ideas out of just about anything.
“You’ve just got to write like you’re talking straight to them,” Kevin would always tell me.
Eventually I wrote my first column, which came out to be way easier than I thought, and they are now one of the most enjoyable parts for me about my job with the paper.
Another part of myself that’s changed since I began working with Kevin is my willingness to dig for stories and the types of questions I’m willing to ask to get the information I need to write them. Tagging along with him and simply listening to the types of questions he asked those he interviewed gave me a better idea of how to get more in-depth information which makes for longer, more interesting pieces.
Now I could go on and on about how much Kevin has helped me since he began working with The Observer. However it may not mean anything to anyone other than myself. The fact of the matter is that today is Kevin’s last day with The Newberry Observer and I’m going to miss him a ton.
He has become not only someone I counted on for advice and help with articles, but a good friend I know I can trust when it comes to “life outside the newspaper.”
This week has been great, training our new reporter Andrew and having three people in the newsroom. I only hope that Andrew is prepared to continue mine and Kevin’s history of jokes and antics throughout those tough deadline days.
To Kevin — I cannot thank you enough for helping me grow not only as a writer, but as a person these past six months. I wish you the best of luck at Newberry Elementary and I hope that I’ll catch you around town, so don’t be a stranger.
To Andrew — Welcome aboard The Newberry Observer team. I hope that I can help you and provide as much guidance to you as Natalie and Kevin provided to me from my beginning here over a year ago. I look forward to what the future of the paper holds.