Michelle Beaver, a senior in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, says she enjoys attending ASU and living in Tempe but is happy to be interning at the Roundup for six weeks this summer.
She says she cannot count all the people who have been kind and helpful to her during her first week in Payson.
"But that's not just because there are so many it's because I'm bad at math," she says.
In addition to self-deprecating humor, Michelle enjoys running, reading, cooking, and writing in the first person. Perhaps the best way to introduce Michelle to our readers is to let her do that herself:
"I'm glad to be up north," she says. "The weather is exactly what summer weather should be warm, yet refreshing.
"Payson is a beautiful town, and it's fairly easy for newcomers to find their way around. (This includes summer interns who are bad with directions. Geographic orientation must come from the same part of the brain that figures out equations.)
"I grew up in upstate New York, so the rolling hills and many trees of Payson are very familiar to me, as is the character that comes with a small town.
"I'm also enjoying the character of my co-workers. I have worked at three newspapers, and never before have I encountered staff members who work so well together. The Payson Roundup gang works hard and plays hard. They're a fun group.
"The only drawback to staying in Payson has been my frantic mother, who calls from her Las Vegas home to make sure I haven't been abducted by Robert Fisher.
"She almost called the cops last night, because I was on the other line and didn't answer her nightly, 'if-Michelle-answers-the-phone-it-means-she's-not-dead' call. She was certain all hell had broken loose in the approximately 16 seconds which elapsed since we last spoke. Surely I had been captured by Fisher and made to be a lookout from whatever cave he's hiding in.
"Or maybe I was on the other line with the pizza delivery boy. It turned out to be the latter, and it's a good thing. Had it been the former, I'd probably have to cover the story myself. At least I'd have an easy time getting quotes from the victim.
"In any event, it's comforting to know people care enough to worry (thanks, Mom) and it's comforting to live in a town where most everyone smiles (thanks, Payson)."