It was a curious feeling, sitting in a large classroom at the American College of Thessaloniki, beside a balcony that overlooks rolling mountains and lush forest, and starting to feel like a reporter for the first time in weeks.

That’s strange to see myself write, given how much I’ve worked for the Globe in the Living/Arts department over the course of the semester, but there was something very isolating about the part-time co-op position I fell into after the end of my initial tenure there last June. Sitting around a table with a pack of other reporters, all wide-eyed and thrilled to explore Thessaloniki and the vibrant country around it, filled me with a sense of excitement I haven’t felt in a while.

Part of me attributes that feeling to the holistic talent on hand for this dialogue, from the blindingly talented print journalists to the exceptionally gifted photographers to Carlene Hempel, a professor I admire greatly and whose reputation for journalistic excellence and unparalleled experience precedes her.

It’s an exceptionally strong group of people to be working together in any environment, and that we’re all here to produce intelligent, interesting, and insightful stories about Greece just drives home how special this trip is shaping up to be.

On our first day, the group took in Thessaloniki under the instruction of a tour guide, eyes open, minds already writing out our ledes. Photo by Isaac Feldberg Already, I’m wowed by some of the work on the horizon. Alexa LaVersa’s fascinating pitch to explore the beekeeping business in a country that thrives on honey caught me off guard when I first heard it in all the best ways; and Olivia Arnold’s examination of the “brain drain” epidemic that has left Greece with a rapidly depleting supply of bright, educated young people is a story that I actually can’t wait to get my eyes on.

There’s a kind of synergy that comes from working alongside other student journalists, for me, that isn’t quite competition but isn’t quite collaboration either. It’s more spiritual than that, a sense of place and purpose that galvanizes the mind and excites the imagination – and that I’m grateful beyond words to have. It’s going to be a fascinating dialogue in terms of the stories with which we all emerge, but I’m looking forward as well to seeing the pitch process take place in our workshop course at ACT, where I can begin to understand how my classmates’ minds work and learn from the ways in which they see the world – and the stories they’re singularly capable of finding.

This blog post first appeared on Northeastern University School of Journalism’s website, https://camd.northeastern.edu/journalism/

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