My Time as a Ricochet Summer Intern

 

shutterstock_284543039As I end my month-long internship, I’m looking back on all the opportunities I had to write for Ricochet and to learn about running a website. My first task was to help create a Ricochet style guide. Before I had started this internship, I had no idea what a style guide was but, with the help of one of the editors at Ricochet, I learned fairly quickly. The process taught me various grammatical rules and even what should and shouldn’t be capitalized to make Ricochet consistent and aesthetically pleasing.

With my interest already being rooted in the editorial side, I was excited to write and can gladly say I’ve written two posts for Ricochet. From showing why increasing the minimum wage would lead to more unemployment to repeatedly calling Democratic governors’ offices to ask their views on Planned Parenthood, it has been a great learning experience.

Interacting with Ricochet members also stood out. I can safely say that the members here are the most pragmatic, smart, and articulate commentators I have seen on any website. I conversed with many during the GOP debate and during Ricochet podcasts; both were great experiences. Some assert controversial things and most have a firm grasp on politics and the world in general. They helped me to learn a great deal.

As I transition back into high school for my junior year, I hope to remember all I learned at Ricochet. Then I can debate some of my more left-leaning friends who I imagine have become big Bernie Sanders fans over the summer. Wish me luck with that!

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  1. PJS Coolidge
    PJS
    @PJS

    Go get ’em, Spencer.  Thanks for all your hard work.  Let us know how it goes with the Bernie fans.

    • #1
  2. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Aw, that’s so cute. The intern thinks it’s people.

    ;-)

    • #2
  3. Underwood Member
    Underwood
    @Underwood

    Good luck, Spencer. It didn’t get a lot of comments, but you did a good job with the article about calling the governors.

    • #3
  4. Spencer Moffat, Intern Member
    Spencer Moffat, Intern
    @SpencerMoffat

    Underwood:Good luck, Spencer. It didn’t get a lot of comments, but you did a good job with the article about calling the governors.

    Thank you, I really appreciate it. I hope you liked that article also

    • #4
  5. Spencer Moffat, Intern Member
    Spencer Moffat, Intern
    @SpencerMoffat

    PJS:Go get ‘em, Spencer. Thanks for all your hard work. Let us know how it goes with the Bernie fans.

    Thank you. Hopefully there are no Bernie fans but I have a feeling that of the people at my school that are politically informed, are Bernie fans

    • #5
  6. Ball Diamond Ball Member
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    We have interns?

    • #6
  7. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Ball Diamond Ball:We have interns?

    Depends on what you mean by the word “we”, unless there’s a new policy that Ricochet members can assign work to “our” interns.

    ;-)

    • #7
  8. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Spencer Moffat, Intern:

    PJS:Go get ‘em, Spencer. Thanks for all your hard work. Let us know how it goes with the Bernie fans.

    Thank you. Hopefully there are no Bernie fans but I have a feeling that of the people at my school that are politically informed, are Bernie fans

    That’s merely evidence that they are politically misinformed.

    “It is better to know nothing than to know what ain’t so.”
    – Josh Billings (1874)

    • #8
  9. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    Spencer Moffat, Intern: As I transition back into high school for my junior year, I hope to remember all I learned at Ricochet.

    Oh no. We’ve made a horrible, horrible mistake.

    [Call a lawyer. Ricochet is hiring under aged slave labor, not just the regular kind]

    [[good luck  spencer]]

    • #9
  10. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Spencer send us an essay once in awhile. I suspect that many of us would be interested in your view of the world and high school life. Best of luck in your studies and the attempt to try and right the universe in your world.

    • #10
  11. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    JimGoneWild:

    Spencer Moffat, Intern: As I transition back into high school for my junior year, I hope to remember all I learned at Ricochet.

    Oh no. We’ve made a horrible, horrible mistake.

    [Call a lawyer. Ricochet is hiring under aged slave labor, not just the regular kind]

    When I was a high school intern I wrote for a big, famous tech company’s internal newsletter.

    The company no longer exists.

    I’m certain these two facts are unrelated.

    • #11
  12. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Misthiocracy:

    JimGoneWild:

    Spencer Moffat, Intern: As I transition back into high school for my junior year, I hope to remember all I learned at Ricochet.

    Oh no. We’ve made a horrible, horrible mistake.

    [Call a lawyer. Ricochet is hiring under aged slave labor, not just the regular kind]

    When I was a high school intern I wrote for a big, famous tech company’s internal newsletter.

    The company no longer exists.

    I’m certain these two facts are unrelated.

    Not so fast, we might need some more information to be sure that these two facts are unrelated. ;)

    • #12
  13. La Tapada Member
    La Tapada
    @LaTapada

    I’m here to learn from all the other articulate, informed people, too. Be sure to come back.

    • #13
  14. Whiskey Sam Member
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    Hope you have a good year at school!  You two acquitted yourselves well in the chats.

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Spencer Moffat, Intern:

    Underwood:Good luck, Spencer. It didn’t get a lot of comments, but you did a good job with the article about calling the governors.

    Thank you, I really appreciate it. I hope you liked that article also

    I missed that one.  It sounds like a good topic, though.

    • #15
  16. Rob Long Editor
    Rob Long
    @RobLong

    Ricochet moves fast — we’ve all experienced that.  There’s a post at the top of the page and a moment later, it’s way down the scroll.  You work on a post that you’re sure is a surefire comment-grabber and it gets, maybe, four folks chiming in.

    Our 2 interns this summer jumped into the deep end and didn’t stop — they posted and researched and mixed it up in the comments and acquitted themselves marvelously.  Smart and witty and good with the wordsmithing — it’s no coincidence that they’re both on the right side of the issues.  Swimming upstream makes you a little stronger and a lot sharper.

    Here’s to both of them, as they both head back to school.  They’re still members in good standing of the Ricochet community, and we’ll have them back anytime.

    Have a great school year, fellas.  And don’t trip over any trigger words….

    • #16
  17. Spencer Moffat, Intern Member
    Spencer Moffat, Intern
    @SpencerMoffat

    Rob Long:Ricochet moves fast — we’ve all experienced that. There’s a post at the top of the page and a moment later, it’s way down the scroll. You work on a post that you’re sure is a surefire comment-grabber and it gets, maybe, four folks chiming in.

    Our 2 interns this summer jumped into the deep end and didn’t stop — they posted and researched and mixed it up in the comments and acquitted themselves marvelously. Smart and witty and good with the wordsmithing — it’s no coincidence that they’re both on the right side of the issues. Swimming upstream makes you a little stronger and a lot sharper.

    Here’s to both of them, as they both head back to school. They’re still members in good standing of the Ricochet community, and we’ll have them back anytime.

    Have a great school year, fellas. And don’t trip over any trigger words….

    Thank you. It was a great opportunity and I look forward to maybe coming back.

    • #17
  18. Spencer Moffat, Intern Member
    Spencer Moffat, Intern
    @SpencerMoffat

    Rob Long: Swimming upstream makes you a little stronger and a lot sharper.

    As a conservative in a very liberal school,I am constantly swimming upstream but I don’t think I can imagine being a Conservative in Hollywood like you and Scott. That just seems impossible.

    • #18
  19. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Rob Long: Swimming upstream makes you a little stronger and a lot sharper.

    And there’s a spawning ground at the end of the journey!

    I may be taking the metaphor one step too far…

    • #19
  20. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Just be sure to wear your Ricochet Conservative t-shirt under your normal school shirt.

    • #20
  21. Spencer Moffat, Intern Member
    Spencer Moffat, Intern
    @SpencerMoffat

    RushBabe49:Just be sure to wear your Ricochet Conservative t-shirt under your normal school shirt.

    I actually don’t have a Ricochet t-shirt but I should buy one once I get my Thatcher membership

    • #21
  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Good grief. My first job was busing tables, restocking the bar, and chasing skips across the parking lot. And I thought that Carter was going to beat Ford and fix the country.

    Best of luck, Spencer.

    • #22
  23. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.
    @Claire

    We don’t want to praise our interns too much because we believe it’s bad for young’uns to get overconfident, and we don’t want to ruin them,

    but.

    Spencer and William are the best interns ever. Ever, ever, ever. We totally fell in love with them and we’re so sorry we can’t keep them forever.

    We dropped every kind of weird, random thing on them out of the blue. We just threw them in the deep end — “Hey, Spencer, we need a Ricochet Style Guide. Go have a look at the site and write it.” (I’m not kidding: I didn’t realize at first that Spencer was 16 and had never done anything like that before. I mean, on the Internet, nobody knows you’re a 16-year-old intern, right?)

    No complaining from Spencer, no “I can’t make heads or tails of what you what you want from me,” — he just got the job done. Pretty much without any further instruction. He researched other style guides and publications, he combed through the site to find inconsistencies in our usage, he looked up the way other publications did it, he made recommendations, and in the end, he at last compiled Ricochet’s first Official Style Guide — a project I’d been meaning to finish for, oh, five years —  even though the way I handed that to him must have seemed random and crazy-making being belief. I also sent him about 30 internal e-mails in which we debated points of style over the years and said, “Just synthesize that, after you figure out who won the debate.” Our internal debates about the Style Guide were just as vigorous as the one that followed here when we posted it, so imagine how that must have looked to him.

    I wasn’t trying to test his mettle. But he was good at it, so I just let him run with it, and he did a great job — as you can see from the Style Guide.

    Both of them were so well-mannered, so helpful, so eager to learn, and so good at taking on weird new projects with almost no supervision — just diving in and getting it done — “William! We need the phone numbers of all the governors of all 50 states, can you get those for us before the end of the day?” “Hey, it’s short notice, but we don’t have enough guests scheduled for the podcast. You guys want to fill in?” “Hey, William, before you leave, can you e-mail the press offices of as many Democrat governors as you can and ask them if they’ve seen the latest video from the Center for Medical Progress? Hey William, want to write an essay about the way raising the minimum wage will lead to unemployment?) They never once complained, never drove us nuts with dumb questions, they always asked good questions, and they were great at everything we asked them to do, even if the request really didn’t made any sense — they just figured it out what we must be getting at, and did it on the fly.

    Spencer, William, tell your folks, from me, that they raised you right. I thought high-school kids like you were a thing of the past. I may have been too quick to give up on your generation: If there are just a few more like you, we’ll be fine.

    Good luck to you in all your future endeavors, which you won’t need, because you’ve got the right stuff: You’ll make your own luck. And if you ever need a letter of recommendation from me, just ask.

    Anyway, can I get a big round of applause for these guys? If they’re our future, you all can wake up smiling. It’s in good hands.

    • #23
  24. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Nice post young man.  Good luck!

    • #24
  25. Spencer Moffat, Intern Member
    Spencer Moffat, Intern
    @SpencerMoffat

    Underwood:Good luck, Spencer. It didn’t get a lot of comments, but you did a good job with the article about calling the governors.

    Thank you. I hoped you also liked my article on why the minimum wage should be a state issue.

    • #25
  26. William Thompson, Intern Member
    William Thompson, Intern
    @

    Rob Long: it’s no coincidence that they’re both on the right side of the issues.

    Thank you Rob for such kind words.  But the real question is whether or not the pun was intended.

    • #26
  27. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    William Thompson, Intern:

    Rob Long: it’s no coincidence that they’re both on the right side of the issues.

    Thank you Rob for such kind words. But the real question is whether or not the pun was intended.

    For Rob, it’s natural.

    • #27
  28. Underwood Member
    Underwood
    @Underwood

    Spencer Moffat, Intern:

    Underwood:Good luck, Spencer. It didn’t get a lot of comments, but you did a good job with the article about calling the governors.

    Thank you. I hoped you also liked my article on why the minimum wage should be a state issue.

    I did miss that in the scroll, but I’ll definitely taken a look. If it sets forth my view (as it appears to) it must be pretty good ;)

    • #28
  29. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Anyway, can I get a big round of applause for these guys?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heAw4z71lvo

    • #29
  30. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Thank you Spencer, and good luck this year, as a junior.

    Please be sure to share your wisdom with your peers.

    • #30

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