Farewell from a blogger

Editor’s note: Yasmine Laasraoui, Herald Intern, has been writing for HeraldBlog and the print newspaper for the summer.

Interning at the Herald has given me the opportunity to explore Hyde Park, a historic and culturally diverse neighborhood and an area of Chicago I’ve never really taken the time to visit. (Despite its being the home to the University of Chicago and President Barack Obama.) Along with casually roaming the streets here, I have been assigned to attend events such as a Civil War reenactment at the Dusable Museum of African American History, a DJ set at cool community record store Hyde Park Records, the Queen of Funk and Soul Chaka Khan’s private reception and a gallery opening at the Hyde Park Arts Center.  More recently, I have taken trips to Hyde Park’s timeless bookstores on 57th St. (heaven), reviewed a raw vegan café, B’Gabs Goodies (unexpectedly delicious), and visited President Obama’s barbershop chair (encased in plexiglass).

 When I started at the Herald, I expected to be doing menial tasks such as running coffee errands and writing depressing obituaries. I was surprised when on my first day, I was asked to sit in on the editorial meeting. On Day One I was already writing about the neighborhood’s cultural events, namely the 4th on 53rd Parade. In a half excited- half nervous state, I powered through my first week, contacting various community members to write my short article. The following week my efforts were rewarded when I saw my work in print.

While I can’t call Hyde Park my home, I really feel as though I have gotten to know the community. The interviews I’ve done with local business owners, photographs I’ve taken of the neighborhood, and events I’ve attended with youth programs have given me an experience I would not have otherwise had.

Even though interning is in fact, free labor, I really feel like I’ve been learning about journalism, Hyde Park and Chicago as a whole. I wouldn’t mind the ca$h, but this experience is more than a good alternative.