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Editor's View: Job shadowing the editor can be a chore

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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Last week, just before Thanksgiving, a sophomore from Vista del Lago High School was stuck with yours truly for a half day. She was given the task of job shadowing a professional in the community. Isabella Nicosia, 15, plays softball and was on the school’s varsity team last year. She’s on the yearbook staff and chose me for the assignment. I’ve done a few of these job shadow tasks before so I know the drill. She got some first-hand experience looking over how I put together the crime log (publishes weekly on page A2 in the Folsom Telegraph), upload stories to the websites and conduct interviews. We stopped in to say hi to Jim Snook, of Snook’s Candies. He also serves as the president of the Folsom Historic District Business Association. Next we headed over to the Folsom History Museum. Mary Mast, museum director, showed us their latest display, a 1996 Olympic Games torch and the Pony Express “mochilla” (saddlebag) used during that year’s ride. (See photo inset.) “The mochilla was made especially for the Olympic (torch) relay,” she said. “It’s pretty special.” Afterward, I had an interview scheduled with Connie Mockenhaupt and Mike Jimena, of Sutter Street Theatre, to discuss their upcoming January shows and the Jan. 28 Steppin’ Out for Sutter Street Theatre fundraiser at Lake Natoma Inn. Yes, for the new Folsom Lake Entertainer magazine, we work that far ahead. The theater is run by volunteers. “We draw no salary from this place,” Jimena said. “It’s all volunteer. Some (special) jobs are paid a stipend on contract.” Mockenhaupt said this is their “retirement.” “A successful month is when we haven’t had to put money back into the theater,” she said. Jimena is an actor, set designer and director. You may have spotted him in a recent History Channel program or in a walk-on part in the TV show “The Mentalist.” He also runs Mikon Productions, an organization that builds theatrical sets and artwork. “We did the Mother Goose stage at Fairy Tale Town (in Sacramento),” he said. “We also do a lot of displays for different counties in the state fair.” With the notebook bursting with scribbles, we meandered back to the office and I set about my work. It was time to write the story. I always take more notes and ask more questions than I need. Then the process comes in to whittle down the notes to craft a story. She watched as I wrote and re-wrote sentences, getting them tighter and in a more active voice. Not the most exciting part of my job, but that’s what being an editor and writer is all about — writing. At the end of the day, she said she learned quite a bit. “It seems like you know everybody,” she said. OK, now she sounds like one of my kids. Telegraph Managing Editor Don Chaddock can be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com or by phone at (916) 351-3753.