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Column is good experience after all

Eleven years ago I was 5 years old, and it was my first day of kindergarten. That means I've gone to school for 11 years.

Over those 11 years I've never really excelled at anything academically (never made it into a spelling bee, or anything), but I was always a little above average at writing (probably being that my dad is a journalist), and social studies.

August of last year, my dad informed me that Thressa Johnson wasn't going to be writing columns anymore, and that there would be an opening for a Wave columnist.

I knew I wasn't going to have a lot of similar opportunities (if any at all), so right away I told my dad I was interested.

What I had to do to get this dandy job was I had to write a "practice column," and send it to Pippi Mayfield at the newspaper.

I didn't really know I was one of the new columnists until I was reading the paper a few weeks later. That was when I saw my "practice column" in the Wave page about the two kids who hopped on a bus to Valleyfair.

At the time, I couldn't even imagine writing three columns a month. When you start with these things it's hard to know what to write about. I guess I don't really know why, but most of my columns turn into stories about past experiences I've had -- it just always seems to turn out that way.

The one problem I always run into is my fantastic ability to procrastinate. I've always been one of those kids who gets a three-week project, and waits until the last Sunday night to get it done. Columns (unfortunately) turned into the same type of ordeal, or at least at first.

Every Sunday night, at around 10:30 p.m. I would "suddenly remember" I had to do a column.

Of course by the time I finally figured out a topic to write about, it was midnight with school looming the next day, so Mondays became even more unbearable than usual.

Except for the lack of sleep on Monday morning, writing for the Wave page has been a really cool experience for me.

At first it felt weird to look through the paper and to see my stories (most of which are personal experiences my dad probably would prefer me not to share with the public) and honestly, I was afraid of how people would judge me.

But after awhile, I warmed up to it a lot more. I started liking it when people I didn't know recognized me for my stories in the paper -- and some people do.

Anyway, here I sit, one year later, writing another column I probably should have started a lot sooner. But I've managed to squeak out around 35 columns in that one year ... well, actually, 36 now.

Jonah Bowe is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School.