Hello readers, news addicts and people looking closely at their cheap gift wrapping. I'm Jim Krajewski. If you're having trouble with the last name, break it into three syllables. I'll be taking over for Ms. Olson as the lifestyles and general reporter for the Daily Freeman-Journal fully as of today. It's been a hectic few weeks learning the ropes at the paper with RAGBRAI coming through town during my second week on the job, but the excitement is something you have to live for as a journalist.
I've met countless people already in the community, and I appreciate the welcome I've received from so many people. I look forward to providing you, the readers, with professional, neutral and interesting stories from our community and beyond. Yes, that last bit did sound too much like Buzz Lightyear.
So, how did I come to work at the Daily Freeman-Journal and become so bad at making jokes? Let's start in the most exciting community in the midwest, Bloomington-Normal, Ill. I grew up in those twin cities of about 125 thousand people with my parents and a sister two years my junior. My parents would tell you that as a child, I went through phases of great interest in topics. I went from dinosaurs, to space, to recreational vehicles and more, but I would always move on. Basically, I've always had a jack-of-all-trades approach to learning.
I thought of it as simply a quirk of mine until I took a journalism class my senior year in high school. It complimented my ability to write and to talk people's ears off very well. I was also particularly inspired by the teacher in that class. If you've ever watched the TV show "Scrubs," and seriously, it's on reruns all the time now so I'll assume you have, I viewed my journalism teacher as a Dr. Cox figure in my life. He had a reputation for being difficult and kind of a jerk among the student body. However, I respect him greatly for recognizing my growing passion in journalism and teaching me the skills to foster it. I would say he respected me as well, but he'd probably call me a jerk for suggesting the very idea.
Having decided that this was a job I could excel at, and that I didn't mind living as a hobo on the average starting salary of a journalist, I decided to help my financial situation further deteriorate by going to Wartburg College in Waverly. Kidding aside, my time spent in high school made me realize that I would further hone my skills at an institution where I would get plenty of one on one time with educators, and that's exactly what Wartburg provided.
It was quite a move from a large, college town to a community a fraction of the size. However, the welcome I received from city officials in Waverly calmed my nerves and helped me grow as a journalist. I started out in radio due to unhealthy levels of pride in my own taste in music and a few years doing radio speaking for speech events. I focused on electronic media through most of my college career.
But, I found myself mostly done with the major courses at the end of my junior year. I took up a second major in print media and accepted a position at the college newspaper, the Wartburg Trumpet. It was challenging changing between the two mediums, but the dedicated faculty of the college and copious amounts of energy drinks got me through it.
Post-graduation, I found myself in the odd position I'm sure most grads without a job experience. My girlfriend found a job in Blairsburg and I decided following her was a more sound plan than moving back with my parents despite the allure of living with the two adorable family pugs and eating Mom's cooking. After about a month of unsuccessful job searching in my field, I was looking up listings for corn detasseling when I came upon a listing for the position which I currently hold. One interview and a few harrowing days of worry later, I was offered the lifestyles and general reporting position.
That brings us up to speed. I look forward to sharing many great moments in our community with you all, and I certainly look forward to your kind words of correction when I make an inevitable few mistakes in the paper.