At the beginning of the year I set myself a to do list. Naturally I am somewhat behind on nearly all fronts, but some progress is being made. I have indeed begun learning French and some digital stuff, mostly Photoshop. Both seem unreasonably complicated (I just don’t understand how I am supposed to remember the grammatical gender of a tomato), but it is nice to feel the old cogs in my brain start to whir again. I have even been wasting a little less time by just reading and reading and reading. I keep finding fantastic writers and then reading everything they’ve ever written; my latest obsession is Kathryn Schulz, whose New Yorker piece from last year, ‘The Really Big One‘, is guaranteed to knock your socks off.
But actually most of my time has been spent dealing with emails and making or waiting for phone calls. I have concluded that this, rather than the freedom to make your own decisions or the ability to vote, is the defining state of adulthood. Like school, it is very dull and has delayed results. But, finally, all the arrangements have been made and I am starting a month of work experience at the BBC on Monday! I am very excited to be spending time across four teams at the iconic Broadcasting House: Newshour and Newshour Extra, which are the World Service’s in depth news programmes, BBC2’s Victoria Derbyshire Show and Newsnight, where basically all my favourite journalists work. To say I am looking forward to it would be a laughable understatement.
In preparation, I have become very good friends with iPlayer, listening to all the recent episodes of the programmes I will be working on. In particular, I have really enjoyed Newshour Extra – I rarely have the radio on when it is broadcast so it wasn’t a programme I had listened to before, but the format makes it highly informative. Last week’s episode on Libya and where it could go from here was some of the best coverage I’ve heard of a country which most of the world has forgotten about.
So things are moving forward. I still don’t write enough and I haven’t got much further in finding an actual real job (not withstanding getting through to the test stage of the civil service Fast Stream application). I still don’t know anything about coding or the French past tense. But going into work for the next four weeks is just what I need, and I hope it’ll take me on to other things as I learn more about broadcasting. Now I’d better post this and go back to searching Guardian Jobs and listening to Newshour.