Sunday, February 19, 2006

My Trip to the Office

Hi everyone. I hope you are staying warm.

Since it is far too cold to play outside today, my friend Kristin asked me if I wanted to go to her office with her today. I thought this might be interesting because I only see her when she is traveling.

You might be wondering why Kristin was working on a Sunday. I had the same question. Kristin says she and Keith and their friend Simon (who I met in Washington DC) are still working on their radio program. Kristin says they are now on something she calls “deadline.” She says all of the material for the radio program needs to be ready to go by a certain date. I think this must be similar to homework assignments at school. I might get in trouble if I don’t turn my homework in on time and I think Kristin wants to make sure she gets all of her work done on time.

Kristin has a very nice office at the Stanley Foundation. I can see the Mississippi River and the big bridge from her desk. I can also see the building where Aunt Lynn works. Here you can see me sitting in Kristin’s office chair.

I noticed that Kristin has a number of small masks, boxes and wooden dolls on her bookshelf and walls. Kristin says these items she brought back from her many trips overseas. This makes sense. I brought home Oasis and my new bear from Washington so I could tell my friends about my trips with Keith and Kristin.

Kristin also has many pictures of children in her office. She says they are pictures of children she has met all over the world. She says they hold a special place in her heart. I’m not really sure what that means but I can tell Kristin takes good care of the pictures.

I noticed that many of the children look sad and are wearing torn clothes. Kristin says many of these children don’t have many clothes or toys or even a house to live in. I had no idea that some children around the world don’t live like I do here in Muscatine. I can’t imagine not having toys to play with! Kristin says this is why I should be thankful for all of my toys. I promise I am going to be thankful for everything I have from now on.

There were so many things to see in Kristin’s office that I could have spent all day wandering around. But she said we didn’t have time. We had work to do! So she took me down a flight of stairs to the foundation’s radio studio. It is a very little room full of many electronic items. The studio is similar to the control room I visited at Al Jazeera but this one is much smaller. Here you can see me on a machine Kristin calls “the board.” It is a series of buttons and slides that move so you can hear audio. The board looks very confusing. I’m glad Kristin was there to make it work right!

The tall tower on my left in the picture is something Kristin calls a “rack.” Basically it is an open metal box that holds machines that play CDs and allow her computer to play audio.

The studio computer is very cool. It has TWO monitors. Today, Kristin was using the computer to download audio from something called an “FTP” site. She says the FTP is a special Web site that allows her friend Simon in Washington to send her audio from his computer. She says this is much faster than having Simon send her a CD in the mail. Very cool! I think this is similar to downloading songs to an ipod or mp3 player.

Wow! I had NO idea all of the many skills things a journalist must know to do their jobs.

Until next time…..