The things I have lost during this fellowship were constantly in my mind in the days heading to the end. I lost a piece of my universal plug. A cosmetic cream. A bath sponge. I lost and found my medicines, contact lenses and comb. I almost lost my iPhone. And now I am going to lose nine friends.
All these lost things made me remember the beautiful poem "One Art", by Elizabeth Bishop, in which she says we must master the art of losing:
She is smart, but she also needs the looks. Right?
We have traveled around the USA for eight weeks and visited almost a dozen newspaper newsrooms, among other things. I'm going to write a couple of posts about U.S. newspapers, based on my observations. First two will be about the visual appearance and design of the papers (just one narrative, but split in half). Third will be about "survival stories" of media in turbulent times.
Four people, included the company's owner, were killed about two weeks ago when a man opened fire at a Minneapolis workplace before turning the gun on himself. The fifth victim died later in one Minneapolis hospital. A couple of weeks earlier in August, a guy in a Batman dress entered a cinema near Denver to hunt down people waiting for the movie to start, and it has been five years so far, since a mad student massacred not less than 32 (mostly fellow students) at the Virginia Tech University before killing himself.
One of the goals of the WPI Fellowship is to make America understandable for the ten foreign journalists who each year travel throughout the country to get in touch with the different aspects of its society, its politics, its media, its people, its partisan divisions.