The life of an alt-weekly intern is as glamorous as you can imagine. Occasional old bottles of fine, local brews clutter the intern's desk from the previous afternoon's sampling, while stacks of month-old papers, unread books and unwashed pint glasses litter the space you use to work. And there's that weed on the rooftop, just a quick climb up a shaky ladder.
Since July 1, 2015, recreational marijuana has been legal in Oregon. Everyone can legally grow up to four marijuana plants. This is the third year WW grew pot on the roof of the office. And, as is tradition, two interns attempted to tackle the unknown and do some rooftop gardening.
Related: WW's Office Grow 2017
Dana Alston started as an intern the week before me, so the lion's share of weed-tending fell to him. What he didn't know was that he was also taking the lion's share of guilt, online comments, daily watering duties and ladder conquests. When Dana and I started tending to the rooftop cannabis, we knew next to nothing about gardening, let alone growing weed.
Three months in, we still don't. Our first five plants went to plant heaven, then two fresh ones were donated. They were abandoned on a long, hot weekend and one died. We managed to keep one alive, a hybrid known as Dogwalker, which was graciously donated to us. Leafly describes Dogwalker as "a complex profile of woody and skunky aromas," that delivers "a strong cerebral calm that radiates throughout the body over time." We do not speak of his fallen comrades, but their presence can still be felt on the rooftop, along with memorial mounds of soil and dead plant matter, sitting like unburied coffins.
In three months of calamity, highlights included: using fertilizer without diluting it, many days of triple-digit weather, a dearth of rain, an unhealthy dose of smoke and Dana being unanimously named the worst weed-growing intern in newspaper history. There are worse things to be called.
With Croptober on the horizon, the fate of Dogwalker seems more certain than ever. Another poor intern, possibly with as little familiarity as us, will try to carry the baton across the finish line and harvest the plant. It's too bad we're leaving a few weeks before harvest.
Future WW interns take note: If you start interning soon, there will be free weed samples in your future.
GO: Details on how to apply to intern at WW can be found at wweek.com. The internship is unpaid. There is sometimes free weed.