A message from Assistant Editor Molly Jones

A thousand thanks

Molly Jones at Johanneskirken in Bergen, Norway

Photo: Kristin Dineen
Molly hearts you from Johanneskirken in Bergen, the church where her great-grandparents were married on Aug. 3, 1913.

By Molly Jones

I suppose you could say it all started in September 2010, when I sat in my very first Norwegian class at the University of Washington as a bright-eyed freshman ready to start my college career—and get my one year of required foreign-language study out of the way.

Of course, the choice to take Norwegian was no coincidence. I had grown up as a proud Norwegian American, eating lefse and lutefisk on Christmas Eve and making all my friends try the deliciousness that is gjetost. I had even pretended to know Norwegian, copying the Norwegian table prayer in my make-believe Swedish-Chef version of the language. But learning the language for real? And using it in my future job? No way.

But here I am, having worked at The Norwegian American since March of 2014. It turns out that learning Norwegian and studying the culture was too fun; a year simply wasn’t going to cut it. By the time I made it to my senior year, I had settled on a degree in Norwegian and Communications and a Certificate in Editing. I knew there was an internship opening at the Norwegian American Weekly, and I managed to swoop in at just the right time. I officially started as an intern with the paper one week before I graduated, proud to have already landed a job—and in my field, too. Take that, anybody who ever said a Norwegian-Communications degree wouldn’t get you anywhere! (Okay, maybe that’s a bit too specific, but you know what I mean.)

I took on a few tasks to start, and before I knew it I was the Assistant Editor. Together with Emily and John Erik I’ve been through the ups and downs of the paper of the last few years: the near collapse of 2015, the incredible support of our wonderful community of readers that kept us going, a new website and updated digital edition, the transition to a biweekly schedule, an office move, and so much more. An obvious highlight was the opportunity to attend a dinner with the King of Norway (and hundreds of other people) during his visit to the U.S. in May 2015. Naturally, I still try to slip this into casual conversation whenever possible.

Coming into the job, I probably thought I knew a lot about Norway and its culture. But I had no idea how much more there was to learn (and how much there still is)! Thankfully, The Norwegian American’s team of dedicated, passionate writers were there to share their knowledge with me—and all of you—with their well-crafted, informative pieces. It’s the love for Norway and Norwegian heritage among the writers and the staff that keeps this newspaper fresh and interesting year after year. To the writers I have worked with personally: it’s been a blast, and I can’t wait to read what you write next!

As a writer for The Norwegian American, I’ve had the opportunity to cover a surprisingly wide range of topics, writing close to 200 articles. I’ve written about Norwegian TV shows, travel destinations, and sports from skiing and soccer to dødsing (death diving) and underwater rugby. (In the process, I also learned about the Finnish sport of wife carrying and I’ve been slowly—but surely?—convincing my husband that we need to pursue it.) I’ve interviewed Norway’s top comic artists, a descendant of the Sloopers, former Alt for Norge contestants, and American athletes competing in Norway. Now, those are certainly experiences you wouldn’t find at any old entry-level job!

After almost four years, the time has come in my life and my career to move on from The Norwegian American to new adventures in the world of editing. It’s a bittersweet transition, and I ask two things of you, lovely readers. First, please be extra nice to the staff during this time. (As I’ve talked to hundreds of our friendly readers over the years, I don’t anticipate this being a problem!) And second, subscribe! Get a subscription for yourself or your daughter or dad or brother or friend. It makes a great Christmas gift!

As I often say (and I’m often teased for)—this is definitely something I’m going to tell my grandkids about. Tusen takk for alt!

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 15, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784.4617.

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