WJI Blog 2022, May 31 PM – Experiencing the “Iowa nice”

  • 1 Jun, 2022

This past weekend, a woman asked me during an interview if I knew what the phrase “Iowa nice” meant. Prior to this afternoon, I had no clue.

As my broadcast video team and I were tasked with finding sources for our “Cows with GPS” story, we immediately thought of calling the local farms. But our high hopes were soon met with voicemails and disconnected phone lines. To which we got in the car and decided to drive.

Stumbling upon a farm, I went up to the house and knocked on the door. About 30 seconds later, a man opened the door looking slightly confused. I guess I would be too if two girls wearing business casual clothes should up to my door randomly on a Tuesday afternoon.

However, it didn’t take long for him to be the “Iowa nice” that people talk about. We explained how we wanted to create a stand-up for our TV broadcast piece in front of the calves that he had, and with little convincing, he said yes.

But it didn’t stop there. The man invited us into his home, introduced us to his daughter, offered us coffee with his homemade goatmilk, and even told us part of his life story.

I concluded this act of kindness he showed us even though we were two complete strangers, was the “Iowa nice.” It was refreshing to say the least and left me with a smile on my face ­— thinking there’s more hospitable people in this world than we think.

After returning to Dordt and eating dinner, Mr. Pitts surprised us with a movie night at the theater, watching “Top Gun Maverick.” Let’s just say, I’m not a fan of action movies — but I promise this was a good one.

I can’t wait to see what surprises the rest of the week brings.

- Lauren Shank

WJI Blog 2022, May 30 PM - Memorial Day BBQ

  • 1 Jun, 2022

A broken coffee machine combined with an abrupt wake-up in the middle of the night from the Tornado warning set us up for a long afternoon.

Luckily, after lunch, we were able to take a step back from the full group and broke up into our specializations for the week. I’m working on the Broadcast video team, where we will be working with Brian, Michelle, and Hannah to produce a news package.

Today, we were brainstorming “standups” for the video stories we will be producing. It’s going to be challenging to create a standup on a story regarding renewable energy and human waste.

After breaking up into our specializations we all met outside of the buildings for a Memorial Day BBQ. We had pulled pork sandwiches and ice cream (what could be better). In addition to the good food, there were a bunch of yard games set up like spike ball, bocce, and soccer. Not to drop names, but we may have been attacked with water guns by Mr. Pitts' kids.

To end the night, we had a Q and A networking session with some of the staff from World. It was interesting to hear from people that were once young journalists in similar positions as us.

- Alex Ellison

WJI Blog 2022, May 31 AM - What I Didn't Expect

  • 1 Jun, 2022

It’s a funny thing, I was not expecting the people to be the highlight of WJI. I am not sure why. I didn’t have many expectations, but the stuff that I did expect to happen (awesome lectures, great learning opportunities, cool experiences) have all materialized to be sure, but I keep coming back to the people.

Some background. I have never been in a community I really connected with over things like faith, culture, and worldview before. Sure there are youth groups, and I do have good friends, but never a group of people that all together made the community more than the sum of its parts.

That’s why WJI is awesome.

Every day I feel so honored and grateful to be amongst some of the world’s finest journalists, writers, editors, and technicians, to learn from them, to laugh with them, to live with them, even if only for two weeks. It may seem like I am exaggerating, but honestly the blessing of having this sort of community, something I have only experienced in bits and pieces before, is so beautiful. Every day I grow sad that another few hours have passed and that soon I will be going home.

But at the same time, that’s not the end of the story. I am making connections, contacts, most importantly friends, and every day together we can be intentional about staying friends, sharing stories, opening up the gifts God has for each of us together over the course of our lives.

I think my life trajectory has changed because of this community. The collection of people that God has put together has so much potential, nay power, to do good in the world moving forward. And even if I only get to watch it unfold from the sidelines, I could never be more grateful.

- Jessiah Hahs Brinkley

WJI Blog 2022, May 30 AM - New Track Day

  • 1 Jun, 2022

Hello there, readers.

Last night was very exciting since they revealed the track we would be on. I wanted to be on the broadcast crew, and they approved, so I am happy!

Today was our first day on our new tracks. In the morning, our professor Mr. Butler explained how to identify a solid story and write a pitch. We will start to contact people for our stories tomorrow, and I am pleased that it appears like we will have a bit more time to complete our duties.

Today was Memorial Day, so the cafeteria was closed, meaning that there was no coffee available. Therefore, my energy levels today were significantly low. In addition, last night we all had to wake up around 2:00 AM due to a tornado alert. I thought that it was an earthquake because I got out of bed so fast that everything around me was moving. I thought I was dreaming, so I had to pinch myself, and unfortunately, no, it was not a dream. Well, going back to the Memorial Day, we got to eat ice cream and play games! And I hadn't played volleyball in a long time.

I cannot believe it has been a week already. I felt it was so long but so short at the same time. So long because we've been doing so many things that I can't believe how much we've accomplished and so short because we have been so busy that I have not kept track of the days. It is crazy to think that in a week from now we will be in different parts of the world doing different things (I will be in Mexico, and we have a couple of people from Canada).

- Ruth Solano