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3 a.m. wake-up call

Why, my friends, is it 3:30 a.m. on a Tuesday and I am awake? I’m not pulling an all-nighter. Instead, I’m awake because of the 3 a.m. wake-up call from one of my reporters telling me, “So, I’ve been outside my dorm for like half an hour and there’s fire trucks, and they’ve been in there awhile.” Normally when we have fires alarms they’re actually just someone pulling an alarm or being an idiot (such as my sophomore year when I was woken up and forced to stand in the cold for 20 minutes at 4:30 a.m. because someone never mastered the art of popping popcorn). But then, there’s also the case of Allyn Hall last fall, which literally burnt out the top floor of the dorm. So it’s always worth checking out, especially if it seems longer than normal and nobody was in the office to hear the scanner traffic.

Me: Do you have a notebook?
Her: No.
Me: Does anyone around you have a notebook?
Her: No.
Me: You don’t have a pen or anything?
Her: There’s no possible way I can get notes except maybe on my phone.
Me: OK, I’ll get someone there.

Three calls later and I finally find someone awake enough/close enough to get out there ASAP. And now, the firetrucks seem to have dispersed. My safety reporter tells me it’s just someone taking the fire extinguisher out of its case and setting off the alarm. Blah. It’s a brief for now for the curious students inconvenienced, nothing major. The only major thing is a) my annoyance that the on-scene reporter didn’t think to grab a writing instrument or notebook (to her credit, she just called and said she has photos of the students outside, which we could potentially package with the brief) and b) that I am glad, in a week, 3 a.m. wake-up calls will no longer be part of my normal job description. lol.

Still, I don’t mind the past-midnight calls. (It could be for instance that a man was run over by a tow truck after being pushed into the road on Halloween… a major ongoing story that I heard about at 12:30/1 a.m.) I guess I’d rather people have their eyes peeled for news than just say, well it’s getting late, and we don’t have a paper tomorrow. Ah, how I’ve trained them to think for Web. Took all semester, but they caught on.

For now, it’ll take me all night to get back to sleep.

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