My days here at Wainwright are blurring one into the other. With early mornings, late nights and lots of cool experiences in between, it’s hard to keep track of which day it is.
But tomorrow will be my last day of briefings before I become an embedded reporter.
As a group, the media here has so far been taught about the structure of the military, the different types of weapons used, what Canada’s role in Afghanistan will be after we “pull-out” in July and the army’s radio codes. We’ve learned a whole new alphabet and dozens of acronyms, and have been issued our own frag vests and helmets.
Yesterday we had the chance to practice a “rant,” which is when the anchor back home throws to someone out in the field. We only had 10 minutes to read the scenario given to each of us, learn the information and put together a broadcast.
After a quick critique, we practiced a “live hit,” where the anchor would ask us questions about the same scenario.
It was a great opportunity to practice what we’ll be doing next week, and it forced us to think on our feet and work on the fly.
Today we did “walk and talks” about Wainwright-related subjects of our choice. I got to work with the professional $35,000 (not a typo) camera equipment, and practiced ad libbing.
It’s really a lot tougher than it looks, but is definitely a learnable skill.
Outside of our “learning,” I’ve spent every night at the Junior Ranks hall where they project hockey games on a screen, and have made a trip out to Walmart with the crew to buy a pillow.
Our sleeping quarters are like college dorms: Four bunk-beds and four wardrobes crammed into a fairly small space. And while the sheets have kept me warm, my pillow was a two-inch think piece of lumpy plastic.
But comfort won’t be an option this coming week: The priorities in the field are safety and survival and, of course, getting the story.