The end

It was a cold day in mid-January when I began the interview process for the Allerton apartment assignment for the Daily Kent Stater. Snow piled up high on the ground; the wind froze my face as I stood waiting for a PARTA bus to take me back to the main Kent campus.

Aside from what the Allerton Residence Hall Director told me, I received little input that morning from people for the assignment. I sincerely thought it was time for me to give up on the project; I wanted to tell my editor to forget covering my half of the story.

Initially, I didn’t really care bout the Allerton apartment assignment. It didn’t bug me too much that the complex was closing down since it wouldn’t affect me in any way. I had no clue that I would still be working on this particular assignment three months later, and be extremely passionate about it.

Across from me stood a young woman with a toddler, who held on tight to her and. A school bus rolled in, and a small boy hopped off. He was no more than five years old. He ran over to his mom and little sister. The school bus looped around, and drove out of the complex.

I walked over to the young woman with the two kids before they headed back to their apartment, and I asked her if she could help me out with a project. I told her how I was reporting on the closing of the Allerton apartments, and asked if she wanted to comment on the issue.

She politely said, “No, thanks” since she had other work to do, but she directed me to talk to her husband, Salem Othman. She said he would be willing to talk about what was happening at Allerton.

Speaking with Othman really opened my eyes to the true story behind the closing of the Allerton apartments. I could tell just by the tone of his voice in this fifteen minute interview that he was upset by the university’s decision to take down the complex. He loved his new home at Allerton, and he wanted to continue raising a family there for at least a few more years.

His words inspired me to find other stories of residents from the complex. This semester, I enjoyed going to the apartments to talk to people, and to take photographs, though it was awkward at first.

I think it’s ironic that three months later, just as I’m about to submit this whole project for my multimedia techniques class, I by-chance ran into the same woman who helped me start my project. I saw the young woman holding onto her son’s hand this past Wednesday night outside the Kent State Student Center. Only this time, she approached me, asking for help to find her daughter, who had wandered off.

She was the first person I talked to for the Allerton project, and I think it’s wholly fitting that I saw her again right at the end of my project. She didn’t remember who I was, but I remembered her clearly. Though I never figured out what her name was, she is one of the 240 hearts residing in the Allerton community at Kent State.

I agreed to help look for her daughter, and we found her by the stairs inside the Student Center. She thanked me, and went on her way home.

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