By Kevin Nimmock

Pioneer Staff

As September creeps closer, its time to head back to school. For me, school is in Ottawa at Carleton University, where I study journalism and political science. Unfortunately, this means leaving the valley after four months of living in Athalmer and working for The Pioneer and Valley Echo.

Both professionally and personally, I have learned a ton this summer. To start, my job at the paper was my first (real) chance to be a reporter. I worked on the editorial side of the office with Steve, Breanne and Nicole, who all took time out of their often insanely busy schedules to give me tips and tricks of the trade. For that, I am extremely grateful.

I would also like to thank the entire team at the papers for being so welcoming. Particularly, a shout-out to publisher Dean Midyette for always having a one-liner or a witty pun for every situation. One time, Breanne asked him to come up with a title for a photo page about roller disco and he easily produced this gem: Having a (disco) ball.

So yeah, working in the office was a thrill. I came into this job unsure if I wanted to be a journalist after graduating from school this coming April, or if I wanted to sell my soul and become a lawyer. My time in this role convinced me that this is the right field for me. Coming out of this job, I am far more confident in my future plans than I was four months ago.

Though I vacationed in the valley regularly as a kid, I had never spent considerable time here. Now, I can safely say I have been inside every shop in Invermere, Fairmont and Canal Flats, and Radium is next on the list when I return. After just a short time here, I feel connected to this community, which is a testament to how friendly the locals are.

Of course, it doesnt hurt to live in a place where you can constantly be floored by the surrounding beauty. The mountains have never gotten old for me. I think my favourite view is of the wetlands area a kilometre or two outside of Canal Flats as the sun sets over the mountain peaks. Best mountain range: the Purcells, but notable mention to the Rockies (tight race).

But really, there are so many things to see here, so I will have to keep exploring every time I come to visit.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the support and kindness this summer.