By Cole Parkinson
Westwind Weekly News
Starting in the near future, the Westwind Weekly News will be featuring a brand new, bi-weekly column from Sydney Ririe.
While originally from the United States, Ririe is now currently located in the Great White North.
“I actually grew up in Oregon, but my family moved to Magrath two years ago. I’ve been living with them since January,” said Ririe in email correspondence with the News.
With a passion for the written arts, the 22-year-old is excited to start writing and put her post-secondary education to the test.
“I used to think 22 was old, but now I just feel like the baby of the adult world. I’m a sophomore at Brigham Young University studying English and Creative Writing. I cycled through a few majors before landing on this one (including Marriage and Family Therapy and Communications), but I’m happy I let myself change my major to something I can get my passion and talents behind. I’m currently working part-time as a receptionist at Mustang Trailers in Lethbridge, and hope to get another part-time job soon. I’m also doing a few online classes to get ahead at school. I hope to do lots of reading and writing this summer, as well as play volleyball, swim, kayak, hike, and camp. Some extra sleep wouldn’t hurt either,” continued Ririe.
As far as her passion for journalism, Ririe says her passion for learning was the main motivation for choosing this career path. After getting her foot in the door, she has some big goals written down that she is hoping to achieve.
“I love to learn new things, and I love to tell people about the cool stuff I’m learning. (Just ask my family. I’m the, “Did you know….?” person at the dinner table. Journalism interests me because it’s your job to learn interesting facts and stories, and then share them in a way that’s relevant to a general audience. I want to work as an editor at a publishing company, magazine or newspaper, and eventually teach as a college professor,” she said.
With the chance to provide a bi-weekly column for the area, Ririe says readers can expect plenty of book recommendations for summer reading.
“One of the best parts about summer for me and my family is the extra time we have to read,” she explained. “We almost always have a summer reading challenge going on, with prizes adding up to dollars at our local bookstore. But coming up with book ideas isn’t always easy! In the hope that I could help local families encourage reading, and offer great books for all ages, I will be writing a bi-weekly column dedicated to summer reading suggestions. Every column will contain three book recommendations for children, young adults, and adults. I will provide a summary of the book, as well as my own review. Each column will be based on a theme such as Canadian history, cooking, travel, or the outdoors.”
Moving forward with her writing, Ririe is confident the bi-weekly column will allow her to stretch her writing muscles and get some experience under her belt. While already possessing plenty of the skills needed, the opportunity to further develop as a writer has Ririe excited about the future.
“I think my willingness to listen is a great asset in this kind of career. Any time you’re writing about someone’s else’s story, or about a subject you’re new to, you shouldn’t assume, or write, as an expert. Listening allows me to become a good student, and soak in as much information as possible. For example, I plan on asking friends and family for their favourite reads to use in my column, so I’m not only going off my own opinion. At the end of the day, listening lets me write the best story I can.”