Melody Kramer

People Who Aren’t In the News Commenting On The News: Meet Lynsey Smith

24 Jan 2015 by melodyjoykramer

Meet Lynsey Smith. She lives in a rural town in Oregon named Oakland. “Most people assume I mean SF when I talk about Oakland,” she says. “I wasn’t born here but I grew up here and recently moved back. It’s no fun at all for a young unmarried person without kids, but there is a lot of positive change to be made here.”

Lynsey is a self-described news junkie. “I’ve been obsessed with current events, news & politics since I could drive to track down a copy of WSJ, 15 miles from my house,” she says. “I majored in political science and worked on the 2008 Obama campaign, in Idaho of all places.”

Now she works in the tech space in a variety of ways. “I most enjoy using my skills for creative strategy and event planning,” she says. “In 2012, I put my event planning skills to good use by creating Portland Girl Geek Dinners to create a safe space for all varieties of women in tech. I am very passionate about increasing access to resources for minorities and as well as those from lower economic backgrounds.”

Lynsey also teaches. “These days, I teach tech skills at Cobb School and at Oakland Elementary School,” she says. “I also coach cheerleading. In such a small rural like Douglas Country, where the economy is struggling to recover after being so dependent on lumber, a great technological education has the ability to help these kids lead better lives. For many of them, that includes being able to end the cycle of poverty.”

I found myself wanting to be Lynsey’s friend, after reading everything she’s done. Below, her answers on how she gets her news. If you’d like to participate in this series, please let me now. (The archives live here.)

1. How do you get your news? Please answer in a haiku or limerick. Your choice.

Kudos to anyone who can respond in a limerick or haiku.

I get a vast majority of my news from digital content in some form; I listen to BBC & CNN on the XM Radio App, I follow my favorite news outlets on social media – specifically Twitter, the NYTimes app, WSJ Live app on Apple Tv, emails like Daily Skimm.

2. Who’s doing it right in news?

I love the Skimm, their daily emails are spectacular. I’m also a fan of Vox, I like how they break down issues with data. Who doesn’t love news backed by data?!

3. How do you take your coffee?

Generally, iced and very sweet, vanilla or caramel and very large.

4. Please send me a gif or video that captures your attention span.

I’m extremely ADHD so this video is a pretty accurate portrayal of my daily life.

5. What was the best thing that happened to you this week?

I work a second job, because surprise… teaching doesn’t pay as well as waitressing in an upscale restaurant in Oakland. Anyway, last night I mentioned to one of my guests that I work with two different schools and somehow I started on my rant about needing more computers for rural schools. She told me what she did for a living and offered to help secure funds for a few new(er) computers for one of the schools I work with. Not only was that totally unexpected, it was just an amazing feeling to have a stranger believe in what I’m doing with these schools and offer to help out.

6. What’s the first news event that you remember?

This isn’t the first but it’s something I remember very well. I vividly remember the 2000 Presidential Election, I was in middle school. ‘Hanging Chads’ was a topic of conversation at school among teachers and at home with my parents. It’s the first time I remember something major happening and trying to learn more about it.

7. What do you absolutely hate about the news?

I hate how polarizing it can be and how partisan it can be. I also hate how some outlets ‘dumb down’ their coverage. I don’t want or need a watered down version of what’s happening in the world. I think things like that contribute to feelings of apathy and disconnect, which are no good.

11. What’s the best podcast to listen to while doing chores?

I generally listen to XM while doing chores but I do listen Call Your Girlfriend (hell yeah TLM) and any of Scott Hanselman‘s podcast. Scott is so talented, not to mention an amazing human being.

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