The final frontier (my attempt at hip lingo) of my Drake career begins on Monday. We’ve reached that dreaded part of the break where students consume inhuman amounts of ice cream/popsicles (my attempt at justifying that half-tub of Blue Bunny) and create vague, syrupy-sweet goals like, “Have my best year ever!” and, “Live it up!”
But given my life-writing fervor, I’m taking part only in the ice cream half of that equation.
Tonight, I’m meditating on my senior journalism capstone, in particular. Yeah, yeah, I know I completed it in May, but I admit I’ve felt (productively) traumatized by the experience until now and am finally realizing the extent of its impact.
Besides, had I written this post before today, it probably would have read more like, “Inman (my professor), why are you making me rewrite that damn lede? A–hole!” Fear not, we created a ticker for every time he received that name. Each addition to the ticker, I now realize, wasn’t proof of malice but proof of all he taught me.
The rumored horror of writing all night and texting your mother, “I am going to die from copy editing!” (all right, maybe that one is just me) is all true.
But you’ll love it, I swear. Capstone teaches you more about what it takes to work on a team than about anything media- or writing-related. It’s not about the final product, that portfolio piece or that telling photo.
It’s about the jarring, angering but ultimately eye-opening reality of what you’ll face in the big-kid world.
While capstone taught me many important life lessons (don’t drink that record eighth cup of highly caffeinated black tea), it taught me the importance of failure, above all.
I failed big-time in capstone — often. I don’t mean letting the conniving (FYI, my thesaurus app listed “Machiavellian” for an alternative) Oxford comma into the tablet edition of Think Mag.
We cut an article I wrote. I waited way too long to lead the fact-checking charge. I wrote an article that we eventually cut by an entire page (if you ever need to know anything about the alarming trend of heroin in the suburbs of the Twin Cities, tweet at me or something).
But it all worked out — really, it did. We created a killer tablet edition, I now know the price of heroin in every major Midwestern city and in the end, I learned to communicate and function on a team. And I learned to fail epically.