50/50 Series: Sarah and Me

December 11, 2008

Sarah's family had warned me about her attitude problem. But it took two months for me to see it.

As reporters on the "50-50" dropout project at Robeson High School, we often show up in the classrooms of students we're following.

Our intrusive microphones are in their faces when we record them at home, too. Immersion reporting is completely different in broadcast as compared to print.

One day in the lunchroom Sarah told me she was having a bad day and was tired of me and my mic. No more questions, she said.

I ended up leaving that afternoon but I wanted to make sure we were still cool.

Sarah decided to ignore me for a couple weeks - even after her mother, sister and a security guard at Robeson told her she shouldn't be rude to me. Sarah eventually came around.

After all, she's a teenager and mood swings are part of the course. I'm in Sarah's life and around her family. Trust is key on this assignment; Sarah and I are both growing.

Editor's Note: You can hear stories from the 50/50 series beginning December 15. Learn more about the series and the students and teachers you'll meet.

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