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Noelle Barrett

Hi! I'm Noelle Barrett, a staff reporter at the Press And Journal. I started here as an intern in January of 2012, before joining the staff last July.

I spend a lot of my time sitting at my desk, clicking away on my keyboard and talking on the phone-- but the reward of this job is getting to meet new people and hearing about their lives.

I really do believe some of the best stories come from people just like you and me. It's probably why I'm such a big reality TV junkie-- I love those shows about the couponers and cheapskates, inmates and hoarders.

I was born and raised in Girardville, a small town in coal country--yes, I'm a "Skook." Ever since I was a kid, I always asked questions, which suits me well in this job, but drives my friends and family nuts.

I sort of stumbled into the world of journalism during my college years at LVC, where I also played on the rugby team (I was a hooker).

That's enough about me, but I'd love to hear about you--so feel free to comment on my blog posts, or send me an email. :)

Learning.

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What I enjoy about writing for a community newspaper is getting to know people and learn about their lives. I think people have really special quirks and qualities, skills and stories.

But what I think is really interesting, is how sometimes we learn that maybe we didn't know as much about people as we thought.

I think I realized that today, when I read a story in this week's Press And Journal (no shameless plug here- if you're reading this, you've probably read the paper).

Dan Walmer wrote a story about Joe Harkins, a Middletown senior who has a dream of becoming a classical composer. In a sense, he already is a composer, but I digress from my main point.

Before covering municipal meetings and cops and courts as a local reporter, I spent my days in college slinging french fries as a manager at Nathan's in Hersheypark. There in Area 2, I met Joe Harkins, a hard worker and ambitious employee, who I did speak to from time to time.

I never knew he was interested in music, or how talented his was. But that's because I never asked. It's funny when you spend time with people in your daily lives in a job setting how quickly they become friends and in some instances family. It's also just as easy to be strangers with people you encounter day to day.

I've thought of this before- harboring regret for not learning more about my grandparents and my dad before they passed away. I wonder at times a lot, but we really don't have to wonder. We just have to learn to ask, to talk, and to enjoy the company of those around us.

We should take the time to get to know the people we cross paths with, whether it be someone you see each day, or a stranger you meet along your way.

So what are you waiting for? Strike up a conversation, and tell me about it below.

PS. Shameless plug. Here's the story Dan wrote that led to this post: http://pressandjournal.com/newsx/schools/1086-composing-himself-will-joseph-harkins-become-middletowns-beethoven

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