Small cities have a strong feeling of home

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Column: Staff Notes, by Tiffany Krupke

Hello, Albert Lea Tribune readers!

I am new to the area, but certainly not to small town life. I grew up in Paynesville, which is small town of about 2,000 people located in central Minnesota.

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As a child, I appreciated small town life. My sister and I had a big yard to play in. All of my teachers knew me because they had my sister in class years earlier. When we went trick-or-treating on Halloween, we didn’t have to check our candy to make sure it was safe. I knew everyone in my grade, and mostly we got along.

Tiffany Krupke

Tiffany Krupke

In school, I was known as the quiet girl who was either reading or writing. My plan from an early age was to become a doctor.

I began writing for town newspaper when I was 13. My column was titled “Teen Perspective” and mostly chronicled my journey through school. When I was 16, I was asked to intern at the paper. I jumped at the opportunity, and I thrived in the small-town paper environment.

Still, my plan had been in place for such a long time. Now was not the time to change my mind. But part of me still itched to see what else was out there.

My ideas changed when I began taking classes at St. Cloud State University during my junior year of high school. As a post-secondary enrollment options student, I was able to take college classes for free and get high school credit.

My first class that I attended at SCSU was biology in a crowded lecture hall with about 500 other students. I don’t think there were 500 people in my whole school district back home. The professor seemed bored and uninterested. He told us we would most certainly fail if we were freshmen. Later in the semester, I realized how much the harsh light of the lab was bringing me down.

I ended up getting an A in that class, but I changed my mind about becoming a doctor.

Soon after, I switched my major to journalism.

When I moved to St. Cloud after my high school graduation, I left the small town lifestyle behind. St. Cloud only has about 66,000 people but is a large city compared to Paynesville.

I loved attending SCSU but hated the feeling of being a small fish in a big pond. I was able to connect with other students by joining the student newspaper. Eventually I became editor, an honor that I still treasure to this day. Still, something was missing.

So what brings me to Albert Lea and the Tribune?

I love small towns. I enjoy getting to know people in the community. I appreciate the slower pace and the peaceful atmosphere. Most of all, there is an indescribable feeling that comes with living in a small town for me. The only word I can think of to describe it is “home.”

I am excited to be here, and to have a chance to report for the Tribune.

I have only been here for a matter of weeks, but already I can tell this is a wonderful place to live. I look forward to meeting you all and sharing your stories.


Tiffany Krupke is the new special projects editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She began Jan. 2. She can be reached at 379-3439. Her email is