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Viraluae’s New Intern Introduces This Friday’s Open Thread

It's your weekly chance to talk about whatever you want here at Viraluae.

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Makenzi’s hometown

Hi Viraluae readers! I suppose you’re used to seeing Keith’s name bylining the Friday Open Thread. But since my name will be floating around here for a few months, I thought I would take this space to introduce myself. Well, actually, Keith told me to do it. 

I’m the first ever intern at Viraluae and am so grateful and excited to be a part of the team—so, hello, I’m Makenzi! I’m a senior at Bethel University, a Christian college in Arden Hills that’s so small the walk from a dorm to your class is about three minutes, where all students sign a covenant that says we won’t drink on campus or have sex in said dorms. (Don’t tell anyone at school about the wine I used to hide in my TV stand please.) I’ll graduate this December with a degree in journalism and Spanish, leaving me just three months away from entering the big, scary adult world. Eek! 

I discovered journalism, you might say, impulsively. The summer before I started freshman year I was home in Fargo, North Dakota, when a thought literally popped into my head: I should major in journalism? I went online immediately and added journalism to my then other major, business and human resources, plus my Spanish minor. My first ever college class, at 9 on a Monday morning, was a journalism class, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Oh, and I’ve dropped my business major. (Nearly failing an economics class had a little something to do with that.) 

I soon started working for the student-led college newspaper, The Clarion, and am still there for a fourth year—granted, I was demoted from my editor-in-chief position I had last year. (OK, I wasn’t fired, I just can’t be editor more than once; those are the rules.) 

I won’t even pretend to be anything near a local Twin Cities gal after these nearly four years of living here, I still know nothing. Don’t ask me for a recommendation for a cute, late night drinking spot or restaurant unless you want me to point you toward the Roseville Applebee's for those big margaritas. I’ve also come to learn Minnesota drivers never use their blinker to switch lanes on the interstate—talk about a jump scare when 18-year-old me took I-694 for the first time. 

Maybe you’re thinking this is where I tell you that because I’m from North Dakota, I’m used to gravel backroads? Sadly, I neither drove a tractor nor rode a horse to school. But I did work at a super rustic—like no AC or showers or cell reception rustic—Bible camp on the far northern border of North Dakota this summer. Canada was quite literally on the opposite shore of the lake we jumped in every morning at 7:30 for the “polar bear plunge.” I have enough bug bite scars to last me a lifetime and I will never again take personal hygiene for granted. But I survived and now I’m here.

What else is there to know about me? I named my cat after a Fleetwood Mac song. My favorite color is pink. I cry at virtually every movie I watch. I have never found my name on a keychain. I think winter is underrated. That’s it, I think? I truly am so excited to be working with the Viraluae team and to learn more about the cities through story. I am glad to be here, and thank you in advance for any Minnesota driving advice or recommendations for bars and restaurants that aren’t Applebee's. 

But enough about me! Now it's time to hand the site over to you, to talk about whatever you want.

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