By Justin Whitmer
My experience in Flux is difficult to put into words, and yes, I am aware of the irony of that statement. As one of the younger Fluxers on staff – or, as Todd has affectionately coined me, a “cub” – the constant stream of first experiences has been intense. I never knew what it felt like, for example, to sit down in front of my laptop, geared up and ready to write, and then realize, “oh dang, hundreds of people are gonna read this,” and then totally freeze. Scary stuff for a cub. But hey, growing pains are part of the game, and they were more than offset by the sweet, ever-inspiring relationships I was privileged to co-create with such a marvelous group of individuals. With Flux being the pressure-cooker that it is, you would be hard-pressed to find a more poised and creative team than the one we have here to navigate the chaos with grace, grit, and professionalism. They move me, inspire me, and sometimes, they just downright spook me. They’re wicked smart, is what I’m trying to say. Two individuals in particular who have left indelible marks on the way I approach Journalism are writer, Josie Fey, and photographer, KJ Hellis, two of the most talented, sharp, and all-around hilarious people I have ever met. With Josie’s dexterity as a writer, and KJ’s knack for capturing humanity in a moment, my job working as an assistant reporter on our story, “Political Pioneers,” was a rich and generative experience that will hopefully culminate in a killer feature, but has already landed me a friendship that outshines even its sparkling prose. As a first-time reporter with a youthful tendency to seek out role models and integrate their gifts, I gotta say, I got spoiled with these two.