Community Connections: Profile of former Times intern Amanda Wagner
What year did you work in the Crookston Times newsroom?
I worked from August 2012 to May 2013
What was your favorite part of your experience at the Times?
I really enjoyed going to the different public speakers, then writing the stories after. I also liked taking candid pictures at different events.
What was the biggest thing you learned about yourself and/or the biggest life lesson that you took with you when you left the Times?
I learned how to form stories around the notes I took. That was a lot of fun. But I also learned that you have to push yourself to do better; that “good enough” is not good enough, and you have to do things that might make you uncomfortable.
What have you been doing since? Give us an update on where you’re at, what you’re doing, who you’re with, etc.
Ever since Fall 2013, I have been working in childcare. I’ve spent time at two different daycare centers, and in 2017 I began working at Fisher School, where I currently work in preschool part time. That same year, I bought my own house in Fisher proper, where I live with my oldest brother.
What are you passionate about these days?
I love music; I am really into high fantasy romance book series, and mysteries. Recently, I have developed a sort of green thumb, thanks to my dad, as well as cardio dancing. Then there is photography, specifically nature/weather. I am always in pursuit of getting something different, exciting, and rare, such as the Aurora Borealis, something I’ve only captured once.
Checking out some of your Facebook content, it seems like you still dabble in photography and have some artistic flare. Have those been longtime interests? Did your experience at the Times pique your interest in photography?
I’ve been taking pictures ever since I was elementary aged. I received my first digital camera (a small Sony cybershot) in 2005/06, and it was when my family and I took a trip to Yellowstone in Summer 2006 that I discovered a true interest in photography. Though I was content with my Nikon Coolpix, being at the Times made me want a DSLR, which I received for Christmas 2015.
Tell us how the pandemic impacted you/continues to impact you…
I was certainly affected by it with my job. We ended regular school in mid-March 2020, followed by 2 weeks of prep. I worked those two weeks delivering meals to families, and doing daycare for some of the faculty’s children. After that, I chose to stay home. The school year this year, of course, has had a few hiccups in the road. There were a couple of times where my class went into distance learning, and I even had to be in isolation for two weeks for being a close contact. Hopefully, that is behind me with staff being vaccinated.
It also affected me on a very personal level. Last March, my maternal grandmother had a health crisis, and, as a result, she had to go into the nursing home...which she entered the day before lockdown, therefore she was isolated from any contact with family. We were only able to visit outside her room window. Because of this, her health declined, and in September she passed away. Enduring loneliness all those months made her give up on life. I wish the whole situation had been handled better.
Today, the pandemic continues to be a nuisance. I really haven’t gone out to do much. I was never a social person to begin with, but there have been a few special events I’ve been unable to attend. But, again, with the vaccination of the general public hopefully on the horizon, I will be able to go somewhere and do something fun.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to watch TV, spend time on common interest social media, embroidery/cross stitch, and window shop online. As I’ve stated before, I also love music; listening to it, playing on the piano, and singing. I also like to write creatively.
Look in your life’s crystal ball: Where do you think/hope you’ll be 10 years from now, and what do you think/hope you’ll be doing?
This is actually a difficult question to answer. I don’t think I’ll ever truly leave my little bubble of Fisher. I believe I may have grown a bit too comfortable here! However, that could change if I find the right guy; then I’d go to different places with him.
As much as I love working with kids, my one hope is that I will re-enter the world of journalism or a relatable field, as well as taking my photography skills to a whole new level of exposure (pun not intended). If nothing else, maybe I will find the courage to pursue my fondness of working with children into a more official capacity.