I think it is time for a post that has nothing to do with coronavirus! Remember the New Hampshire primary? It wasn’t that long ago, but it does feel that way!
On the day of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, I spent the day at NH Public Radio with the Stay Work Play team and award-winning journalist Robin Young, co-host of the NPR and WBUR‘s live midday news program, Here & Now!
The first-in-the-nation primary is an all-day party if you’re a New Hampshire resident and have a thing for voting. In fact, hanging out with me at NHPR was fellow Stay Work Play blogger, John Greene! John was a little tired from spending the night in Dixville Notch — crossing off a kind of primary bucket list item! John isn’t alone, there are often more political tourists watching the action than there are actual voters in Dixville Notch!
On the day of the New Hampshire primary, I also started listening to Stranglehold, NHPR’s podcast on the sacred institution that is the first-in-the-nation primary. You could say this made for a bit of an odd piece to write. NHPR’s President and CEO, Jim Schachter, acknowledged feeling conflicted because this was Jim’s first time voting in New Hampshire! Jim said, “I’ve never really felt like my vote mattered. It’s a privilege to vote in New Hampshire [where the primary really does make such a difference]… Democracy is the beating heart of what we do here at NHPR.” Jim’s right: there is something incredibly special about voting in New Hampshire. Until listening to Stranglehold, I don’t think I quite appreciated the extent of our luck!
Finally, it was time to hear from Robin, who had been reporting live from NHPR for a first-in-the-nation primary special before hanging out with us! Not surprisingly, Robin was a compelling speaker, regaling us with tales of experiences rising through the ranks as a woman in a formerly male-dominated industry. She was funny, to boot.
Robin doesn’t see herself as a straight news reporter — nor does she want to be. Rather, she said she strives to be a storyteller and wants her reporting to be almost “cinematic.” Robin talked about her need to be “fleet of foot” — to be successful, she has to be flexible, not wed to the script, and able to adapt when things change quickly.
Robin left us with some valuable advice that may just come in handy in the midst of the pandemic (oops, I swear I wasn’t planning on mentioning COVID-19) about how to take a break from the 24-hour news cycle. While Robin watches the news (all the time, literally, on two TVs simultaneously), she admits “it’s too much for your nervous system sometimes. It’s too much stimulus — it isn’t healthy.” Robin recommends yoga, standing desks, and walking — or striding purposefully, as Robin prefers to do.
Hanging out at NHPR was likely the most unique and coolest way I’ve spent my primary day — what about you? Any primary day traditions?