Alexander interns for the Oakland Press

Alexander - 2

Amanda Falkenhagen ’14

Guest Writer

   New reporters quickly learn that their job forces them out of their comfort zone. That’s exactly what happened to L’Anse Creuse High School-North’s English and journalism teacher Danielle Alexander.

   If it were not for the four-week internship sponsored by the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association and the Michigan Press Association Foundation at The Oakland Press, Alexander would not be returning to school this fall able to share knowledge gained after experiencing life as a full-time reporter.

   Her days began at 8:30 a.m. in a news meeting with the local news editor and other reporters.

   “It was intimidating at first,” Alexander said, “but I got the hang of it.” 

   At times, Alexander was sent to cover the stories no one else wanted to.

   Interviewing campers at WhisperingOaksNudistBeachwas one of the stories Alexander was sent to cover. Alexander’s story received 27 comments on The Oakland Press website, which is more than any other story she wrote during her internship. 

   “I can always use this story to teach my students that there will be times when you’ll have to cover a story you may not want to,” Alexander said.

   She also interviewed families who enter their livestock in theOaklandCountyfair each year. However, she was dressed for the office- a skirt and high heels- big mistake.

   “I was sprayed by pigs shaking off mud, almost kicked by a cow, and called a ‘city girl’ from a boy’s father,” Alexander said. “Although I was out of my comfort zone and very dirty that day, I learned a lot and truly gathered respect for those kids who do this every year.” 

   Alexander met some celebrities during her internship, too.

   She interviewed Suzanne Lossia from the TV show “Motor City Wives” set to premiere this fall and the former president of the American Medical Association, Dr. Donald Palmisano, about the new health care reform law. 

   “Although I did not know enough as I should have about Obamacare, it was very neat to meet someone so well-known,” Alexander said. 

   During her 20 days at The Oakland Press, Alexander wrote 28 stories. She said one of the best feelings was seeing her name in print and making a scrapbook of all of her published stories.

   Alexander even managed to prepare for her wedding and get married one week after the internship was over. 

   Alexander (formerly Diacono) was required to be interviewed for the chance to participate in the internship. One of the reasons Alexander decided to apply was because she wanted to show everyone she could actually do what she teaches her students to do in journalism and yearbook class. 

   “I wanted to prove I could do it, but I chose to teach,” Alexander said.

   Alexander also missed writing in the journalism context. The last time she wrote anything in the journalistic style was during her freshman year at MSU. 

 Alexander was offered a full-time job at The Oakland Press, with better hours than what she works as a teacher and no extra work to do at home. 

   “The job was pretty tempting,” Alexander said. “But teaching is definitely for me.”