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Sea gull or flash drive?

Staff writer

I once played a game where everyone had to pick what animal he or she would be, if that were possible. It was not an easy choice. My first thought was a dairy goat, my favorite animal. On further consideration, however, I quickly discarded that notion. Who would want to be dependent on humans for food, have multiple babies every year, be milked twice daily, and sleep in the barn?

A wild animal would be better, like a coyote. My thinking was a Kansas coyote is intelligent and free, likes to sing, and is usually surrounded by friends. That would not be bad, except for the constant struggle for food and the fact that I have seen too many smashed on K-15 highway or Indigo Road.

My final thought and ultimate choice was to be a bird, not just any bird, but one of those white and silver seagulls seen wheeling and diving in the skies this time of year. Now they seem to have it made with stunning beauty, freedom, friends, and a chance to see a lot of country!

In a strange sort of way, I was reminded of this transference game last week when I started working full-time for Hoch Publishing in Marion. Starting any new job can be a nerve-wracking experience, but here at the Hoch Publishing office there were many kind and knowledgeable people on hand to make the transition easier.

I spent time with out-going editor Amanda Ayers and tried to absorb as much of her innate news sense as possible. Then, I met with Joan Meyer to look at copy-editing and I wished I had a fraction of her experience, confidence, and knowledge. A few days later I sat in production director Melvin Honeyfield’s office trying to follow as he pointed, clicked, and entered data so fast I despaired of ever getting it all right in order to log a week’s worth of news into our website in just a few hours.

It was then that it hit me. If I could transform myself into a flash drive and plug into all these superior minds around me, download the data I needed, and then absorb it into my current files, I would have it made.

A flash drive, sometimes called a data stick, is one of those little technological marvels that plugs into a USB port on most computers, making it possible for the user to select and download information. Once on the mobile drive, one can take it to another station, plug it in, and copy information where needed.

A simple flash drive would have really made my life easier my first week here at the office, as I was trying to get work from my own laptop computer onto an ancient relic of an office machine that had not been used for quite some time.

Occasionally, I snagged some time on a fellow reporter’s computer, but that was not the best solution. A flash drive would have made interfacing between computers, programs, and desks a lot easier.

Luckily, my technological challenges were solved with new equipment and office reorganization. However, the idea of wanting to be a human flash drive stuck in my head.

I hope to continue to incorporate all I am learning at the office into my permanent files. I also hope to plug into the minds of people in Marion County, learning positive data from those I interview, and sharing it through the newspaper.

No doubt, being a human flash drive could be very useful, but the sea gull in me will continue to ponder the big picture from a bird’s eye view, too.

Last modified Oct. 26, 2011

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