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April 3, 2012 at 4:40 PM

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Megan Stewart: So long, Seattle Mariners

Editor's note: Arizona State University's Megan Stewart penned her final post of spring training Tuesday. 


Reporting for the Mariners this spring has been an amazing, yet stressful opportunity.

For example, I got tongue-tied around Jesus Montero (in photo), blushed like crazy every time I had to go in the locker room and my computer froze and lost the first draft of this post. Moreover, I got strep throat, lost my voice recorder and a rock cracked my windshield on the highway while going to training one morning.

EHC30_Montero.jpg

(Photos by Evie Carpenter)

I had to be up by 5:30 a.m., most Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Friday, after laying awake all night wondering what I should write about.

I risked looking like an idiot every day. Sometimes I had to wait for hours in the hot sun waiting for an interview that never happened. Once when I wasn't paying attention, I almost got hit by a fly ball on the practice fields, causing many players to yell 'Heads up!' and quite a few people to shake their heads.

Before the Mariners even got to Arizona I had a two-hour long class that met twice a week starting in January to prepare. Every single story I wrote and every picture Evie Carpenter  posted had the potential for a lawsuit to be filed by MLB. Every interview question I asked had the potential to be the stupidest question my interviewee had ever heard.

I overindulged at the Cheesecake Factory on multiple occasions just because it was so close to where the Mariners train in Peoria, and I would get so hungry after such long days.

The list goes on and on.

But I also learned more in this month and a half than I have learned for three years in classrooms. The life experience and real-world reporting knowledge I have gained puts my nearly $90,000 in tuition money to shame.

EHC41_Mentink-1.jpg

Megan Stewart (right) on one of her many interviews during spring training, talking to ROOT Sports' Angie Mentink.

I got over my stage fright and the strep throat. I learned to ask questions that produce thought-provoking answers. The first draft of this post was terrible. And losing my voice recorder forced me to clean my room.

I learned its way more beneficial waking up at 5:30 a.m. than it is at noon (shocker).

I only looked like an idiot sometimes, less and less as spring training went on if I do say so myself. I got a nice face tan and got to watch professional baseball on an intimate level each day. Players began to recognize me and gave me the interviews I needed.

Best of all, no lawsuits were filed by MLB!

While I still have another year of school to pay for and my windshield still isn't fixed, I learned that for every problem there is an answer and for every article written there is a story behind it.

Thank you to my teacher, editor and mentor Jose Romero for teaching me the most about journalism I have learned so far in my 20 (almost 21!) years and thank you to the Seattle Times and the Mariners for being a part of my experience.


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