A day in the life

Friday, April 8, 2011

Way back at the beginning of the year (it was so long ago) I had a bright idea. Why don't I work on a series of stories where I follow people around at their jobs for a day and then write about the experience?

It wasn't really a new idea. Back when I worked for The Review Republican and The Fountain County Neighbor, I did exactly this. It was called "A Shift in Their Shoes." The stories were a mix of editorial and news writing and featured me rotating between talking about the subject of the article and poking fun at myself.

I spent days as a funeral director, a recycling worker, a nurse's aid and other experiences that escape me at present. I even spent a day as Santa Claus, handing out presents at a soup kitchen.

So the plan was to bring a similar concept to Putnam County. With Jim Baird a new state representative, I thought I could go follow him around the Statehouse for a day. It could introduce people to some of the intricacies of state government as well as being a nice profile piece on our new representative.

With life being the way it is, things fell through.

There was that pesky ice storm that threw everything out of whack.

Then the Democrat members of the House left for five weeks. That would have made for a surreal and politically charged story that wasn't at all what I wanted to write.

And somewhere in all that, the Banner Graphic got a new editor.

It's been a weird month-and-a-half, both at the Statehouse and the BG newsroom.

But finally, on Tuesday, I got the chance to go down and visit Baird at work. It was a part of the Indiana House Republicans' Central Indiana Media Day, so it wasn't exactly my original vision. All the same, I spoke with Rep. Baird, found out how things were going and learned a bit more about state government.

I'm still interested in that feature series, though. For one project, I originally had thoughts of riding around with a county highway worker and plowing snow for a day.

Let's hope I don't get that opportunity until December.

But I'd also be interested in shadowing a firefighter for a day. Or a utility worker. Maybe a hog farmer.

I remember the stories I wrote as being informative and a whole lot of fun for me to write.

A reprise of those experiences would be nice.

Jared Jernagan can be reached at 653-5151 ext. 21 or jjernagan@bannergraphic.com.