Friday, September 29, 2006

Addie's Golden Rule

Eight members of my family called this week to ask how things were going with the internship. This is heartwarming, since out of all my relatives - four parents, four grandmothers, and 30 cousins - only one person actually listens to NPR. But they've apparently realized over the years that my dream was to work in this building, and here I am. I'm not even paid, and I'm thrilled.
That's what I tell my grandmothers when they call me, and they're satisfied. But my friends from Brown, many of whom were virtually weaned on public radio, want to know more. Mostly they ask me if I eat in the same lunchroom as Robert Siegel.

And I say, "That's funny, actually. Because just the other day..."

Just the other day, I got back from shadowing Guy Raz on an interview and went up to the lunchroom. I stood in line behind a very well-dressed man and immediately thought something was up - people just don't dress like that in public radio. He turned around a moment later and asked my name.

"Addie Goss, what's yours?"

"Murblecose..." he answered, or something like that. I haven't yet developed the fundamental reporting skill of listening to people's names.

"So what do you do here?" he asked, and I explained that I'm an intern, that I'm the executive producer of Intern Edition, that I just graduated from Brown, that I biked across America this summer, the whole bio, rambling because this man was in a suit.

I finally gasped, "What do you do here?"

"I'm the President," he said. "Of NPR."

I fell in love with radio in middle school. But reporting for Brown Student Radio was something else - stressful, time-consuming, and never quite perfect. What kept me from jumping ship and taking the LSATs was that everyone in radio is so great. They're blindingly smart and creative. They're also humble and kind to stammering interns.

Kevin Klose kept me talking. We ordered and paid for lunch, then he picked up his soup and said, "Bye, Addie!"

That meant something. Remember people's names. If there's one thing I learn here, that's it.

-Adeline Goss, Executive Producer of Intern Edition

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