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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Back to the Farm

posted by on December 19 at 16:05 PM

Late last May, Sarah Mirk arrived in town and started as The Stranger’s news intern.

It became obvious to the news team right away that this reliable, mature, and witty young woman—in accordance with her “I Amaze Myself” lapel pin— was no ordinary intern. And after she filed some fat stories for us like this one about immigration law, we realized we weren’t as screwed as we could’ve been when news writer Thomas Francis left The Stranger for a job in Florida.

He left in August, and I offered Mirk a job.

Unfortunately, Sarah was only 19 years old and had two more years left to go in college. (Mirk goes to Grinnell College in Iowa.) Savage and I tried to talk her into dropping out of college. Certainly, a whip-smart chick like Sarah would be bored with college by now, we figured, and would jump at the opportunity to take a real job. After all, isn’t that what college is for? Getting a job?

Well, Mirk surprised me again. She’s in deep at college: Editing her campus paper and plugging into local programs (she teaches history at a nearby prison). And she wouldn’t dream of bailing out of school with two years to go. I was disappointed, but secretly inspired by Mirk’s level-headed, self-aware response: She needs to grab all the opportunities at hand—including two more years in Iowa.

Luckily, she was also having a great time busting up The Stranger newsroom. And so, she cancelled the first semester of her junior year (there had been plans to study in Ecuador) and opted to stay on at the paper through December, covering for us while we found Francis’s replacement. (That would be Angela Valdez!)

I’m glad we got those four months out of Sarah Mirk. She continued to bang it up in the newsroom, writing stories about:

condo conversion;
more 520;
FBI watch lists; and
prisoner rights.

… Or as Sarah laments in her staff bio: She’s “paid to cover the news stories no one else wants to write.”

Meanwhile, her conniving sense of humor and street smarts started shining on Slog. Her Hugh Foskett interview on election night—and her Governor Gregoire interview!!— were instant classics.

Additionally, Sarah hit Slog with news stories we couldn’t fit in the paper—like her fine-tuned take on the politics of faith-based initiatives and her report on the immigration rights community meeting in Bellingham.

We’re more than halfway through December now and junior year is calling. (Today is her last day.)

There was a goodbye party Saturday night (it was the 233rd anniversary of the Boston Tea Party—so, it was a serious theme party), where staff got a chance to salute her in person—and in style. It’s surprising how many brands of whiskey seem to have colonial themes.

But I wanted to give her a public nod here on Slog. We’ll miss your work Smirk. And you too.

Good luck bumpin’ in “History of Ecology” class.

sara mirk.jpg

RSS icon Comments


She should've taken the job.

Posted by Matt Davis | December 19, 2006 4:07 PM

There are always going to be cool jobs if she's as smart as the post makes her sound.

Going back to school after getting a semester worth of experience at the paper is the right move.

Good luck...and try not to get shanked at the prison.

Posted by PA Native | December 19, 2006 4:35 PM

Hats off to Sarah, who made the rest of us interns look like shmucks!

Posted by christopher hong | December 19, 2006 4:35 PM

Go get smart and come back!

Posted by KELLY O | December 19, 2006 4:46 PM

you are good enough to write at a better gig and get paid very well in the process

do not let anyone con you out of a world class education

Posted by Curry | December 19, 2006 5:10 PM

Godspeed Ms. Mirk. You're a champ.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | December 19, 2006 5:13 PM


Posted by Ari Spool | December 19, 2006 5:15 PM

Congrats on making silk purses out of some sows' ears of story topics. Good luck in your future career, I'm sure we'll see your byline again.

Posted by i love ipa | December 19, 2006 6:40 PM

The Foskett interview was the funniest thing I've ever seen on the SLOG.

Hats off to Sarah!

Posted by Brendan Patrick | December 19, 2006 6:50 PM

Duh, she attends Grinnell College; no wonder she is talented. Go Pioneers!

Posted by Jameson Class of 1993 | December 19, 2006 6:55 PM

Sarah, how about some posts from Iowa? You could give us "up close and personal accounts" of the Presidential compaign. Also, I hope you appreciate what a wonderful boss you've had in Josh. We should all be so lucky...

Posted by McGuffin | December 19, 2006 7:41 PM

Sarah, of course you should go back to school. The Stranger is not the real world anymore than college. You did a great job.

Posted by I heart Sarah | December 19, 2006 8:20 PM

Okay, we now know who the stretch limo Hummer was for...

Posted by COMTE | December 19, 2006 8:59 PM

Ah, stop your grinnin', Ms. Mirk, and drop your linens.

Posted by Horace | December 19, 2006 11:29 PM

she looks too jewy to be going to a school in IA.

Posted by Mike in MO | December 20, 2006 5:59 AM

Sarah, I thought you did a great job, not just on young Mr. Foskett, but on some pretty serious, complicated issues that you seemed to handle with ease. I bet having a young, tough, reporter around there made others work a little harder, too. Good luck back in Grinnell.

Posted by Postman | December 20, 2006 7:53 AM

ack! I just want to say, for the record, that I am completely sober in that photo, despite the boozy glaze to my eyes.

And thanks Josh (and every one)... you can tell I miss work already, because I woke up to check Slog at 9am...

Posted by Sarah Mirk | December 20, 2006 9:23 AM

A belated congrats, thanks, and (with any luck) hasta luego rather than adios, Sarah. :-)

Posted by Sachi | December 20, 2006 6:44 PM

I'm raising a veggie BLT in you honor.

Posted by Paulus | December 21, 2006 10:58 PM

Always "preview" before "post"! Always "preview" before "post"!

Posted by Paulus | December 21, 2006 10:58 PM

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