This week the legislators were on their Spring Break, and all of us reporters got to have a couple days consisting of ice cream field trips for lunch and casual wear relief (you can only wear hose and heels so many days without going crazy!) The biggest lesson I learned though was that just because legislators aren’t running around inside the marble cave, it doesn’t mean they’ve all clocked out to Cabo or Cancun for the week–many of them are simply focusing on their day-jobs.

I focused my efforts this week on compiling information and interviews about congressional and state level redistricting. My partner, Matthew Patane, and I thought it would be impossible to talk to anyone, but once we started making phone calls we began to realize that most of the legislators are back at their law firms or district offices. With the exception of a few people who were out of the country, we were able to compile a really good stack of information and had a few thoroughly enjoyable interviews.

Some of the greatest things about legislators being on Spring Break include:

  • Always being able to get an elevator in under a minute
  • Having a place to sit at lunch in the cafeteria
  • Wearing jeans/more fun/less conservative/still reporter-appropriate clothes
  • Leaving the Capitol before sunset
  • Working on less time-sensitive or pressure-related reporting (I learned that enterprise stories can be as exciting as day-turns)
  • Feeling relaxed enough to get to know your fellow newsroom dwellers better (We had some fun)
  • Seeing adorable little kids on their field trip day running around the building with iPhones (OK, more jealousy than anything) and digital cameras
  • Even though we’re still getting work done, we had our own break for some fun


Overall, it was a fun week to lead into Spring Break.