Off Assignment is delighted to welcome intern Jordan Cutler-Tietjen to our editorial team for the summer of 2018. As an organization that started as a university project, we continue to place strong faith in the idea that young folks are the future. We decided to sit Jordan down for an interview—to get the inside scoop on what it's like to be 20 years old in this, the year 2018.
Q: Dear Jordan, welcome to Off Assignment! Where are you from? What school do you go to, and what do you study?
A: I’m from Altadena, a suburb’s suburb in Southern California. I’m an English major at Yale University.
Q: Why do you want to work in journalism?
A: Because I want to listen to and share stories that haven’t been heard before. Because I believe my life is not my own, so my work shouldn’t be, either. Because I want to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange. Because of Terry Gross, Anne Fadiman, Hilton Als, John B. McLemore, Mac McClelland, and Tom Tietjen, among others. Because they are just so many amazing people, places, and things out there!
Q: What publications do you read most frequently and why?
A: To marvel at the magic of a well-crafted story: The California Sunday Magazine, The Atavist, The New York Times Magazine
To reevaluate what I believe: Mother Jones, The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Jacobin
To find creative inspiration: Kaveh Akbar’s DIVEDAPPER, The Paris Review, Clickhole
To center myself in the communities I’m local to: NPR’s 89.3 KPCC, The New Journal, The Sacramento Bee
Q: Where is the best place you traveled recently?
A: I just spent two weeks in Morocco on a reporting trip with The Yale Globalist. We were stranded on an abandoned train, spoke to queer activists and women’s soccer coaches and birdwatchers, and drank gallons of mint tea.
Q: Where have you never been but desperately want to go?
A: I’d love to wind my way through the national parks of the American West on one of those mythical all-the-time-in-the-world road trips.
Q: Social media platform of choice?