Jessica Iannetta Reporter

I am a senior Newspaper and Online Journalism and political science major.

I have worked for The Daily Orange, Syracuse University’s independent student newspaper, as an assistant news editor and news editor. I have also interned for The Star-Ledger newspaper in New Jersey and for its monthly magazine, Inside Jersey.

My favorite room

Growing up in suburban New Jersey, my childhood was defined by backyards. There was my best friend’s backyard, where we spent hours roasting marshmallows and listening to the train go by on the tracks just beyond the fence. There was my grandparents’ backyard completed made up of woods, where my cousins and I constructed forts made of sticks. And of course there was my own backyard, the site of countless games of soccer and baseball as well as a swing set constructed by my dad and extended family one day when I was in kindergarten.

When I was in elementary school, the entire backyard flooded, and my brother and I waded into the newly formed lake and floated around on inner tubes as Hurricane Floyd continued to dump more and more rain. A few years later, my parents redid the backyard so it was no longer a flood plain. The backyard got smaller but the addition of a patio meant it continued to be my favorite place.

During the summer, we would throw hamburgers on the grill and eat dinner on the patio. Later on, we would haul out the fire pit and make s’mores as we listened to the cicadas and the sounds of our neighbors laughing and talking in their own backyards. I’ve spent many lazy summer afternoons reading in the patio chairs with my dog stretched out at my feet. While others may consider the start of baseball or blooming flowers the first sign of spring, for me it always begins when we take the patio furniture out from storage and prepare for another summer of relaxing outdoors.