The back row re-visited

by hillarymay

Ah, Jurgen.

My three minute interview with Kaitlin Shluter inspired me to post an original piece by Jurgen Boerema, who wrote an incredible little description about the newspaper he currently works for in North Carolina. My roommate Grace and I couldn’t contain our laughter when we first read it in an e-mail he sent to us a few weeks back. 

And for those of you who don’t know Jurgen, he is a recent graduate of Dordt College and was a fellow student at the Washington Journalism Center. We sat next to one another every class period during the semester (“The Back Row”), and he interned for The Hill here in D.C.   I might add that he is a very talented poet …. and his doppleganger may or may not be Spencer Pratt. He is certainly a one of a kind friend. 

 “So the paper I am free-lancing for is pretty stereotypically small-townish (stacks of paper in the corner, no wireless, no AC, in violation of fire code, the old-lady writing columns about recipes, the mid twenties guy writing melodramatic features about high-school sports, the egotistical political reporter with a fedora who writes 700 word pieces on commissioners meetings, the local news/cop beat reporter who used to be in the military and could have a dark past, and lives down the street to get away from his ex-girlfriend, and is a personal trainer, and the reporter who has been at the paper for thirty years and writes columns about eating southern food, and going out for cheesestakes with his friends, and the two-years out of the college guy who has a journalism degree from the local college and apparently has a job offer from The Hill? and is moving away soon, and the county commissioner who calls in to complain about bias at the paper and has an office across the street, and the editor who sold the paper away and compromised the integrity of the town, and all the little rooms where “staff meetings” happen, and a little refrigerator in the corner with tupperware lunches, and filing cabinets full of journalism contest awards, and all the local races from state house seats, and even condescending features on local art galleries and plays. 

… I am not making any of this up.”