So far, my internship has gone without a hitch.
I’ve added entries into my contact book, overcome my fear of ringing sources and befriended one of the primary photographers.
I’ve finished articles, interviewed the paper’s editor and learnt how to use various new computer programs.
I’ve resisted the urge to check Facebook, kept my phone on silent and rung my mum at the end of everyday to tell her how I’m going.
But before you get too jealous – there has been one hitch.
In class we had joked that students don’t write stories during their internship, they just make coffee.
One tutor had even adorned the back of a text book with a comic about the necessity for interns to keep the office caffeinated.
So while no one in the office ever specifically asked me to get coffee, I did feel like I should salute past interns and cadets with at least one coffee run for the editor.
“Do you want some coffee?” I asked nonchalantly yesterday, sashaying casually past his desk towards the kitchen.
The answer? Yes, please, a very very strong white coffee.
Brilliant. I could deal with that.
But the hitch came just as I turned to leave.
“Do you know how to make plunger coffee?”
“Yea! Of course!” I replied, walking airily away.
The hitch? I had no idea how to make plunger coffee.
A teetotaller myself, I have only seen these strange plunger contraptions in cafes.
I presumed you put the coffee in pot but when did you plunge? Did you plunge up and down several times? Or just once? Did you plunge up or plunge down?
I swallowed my panic and entered the kitchen, with Doug the sportswriter making his own coffee.
“Doug!” I whispered quickly. “Do you know how to make coffee?”
“Yea, of course,” he replied. “Why are you whispering?”
“Because,” I said, gesturing to the thin walls dividing the office and kitchen. “I told the editor I knew how to make it. Please help!”
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get away with it that easily.
“Why did you tell him you could make coffee?”
“Because I offered to make him one and all cadets make coffee and –“ I stopped when I saw the confused expression on Doug’s face.
“Never mind. Could you please help me?”
Barely two minutes later, I was able to triumphantly place a cup of steaming, strong white coffee next to the editor.
“There you are!” I said, relieved that a potentially very embarrassing disaster had been avoided.
So, thanks Doug.
If I’ve learnt nothing about journalism this week, at least I know how to make plunger coffee!