It’s the end of the school year, so I have a steaming plate of spaghetti on my mind. OK, I have more than spaghetti on my mind, but I’ll get to that later.
At the end of the school year, my fellow Bulldogs and I always head to Spaghetti Works, a Des Moines staple, for one last meal. As we spin the slimy noodles and gulp ice-cold Italian sodas, we discuss the year — the highs, the lows, the mistakes, the lessons, the realizations.
I’ll give you a taste of my piece of the discussion (Don’t expect a taste of my pesto spaghetti, however).
This school year, I took on a new role as a manager. I was no longer solely responsible for my own work. As sports editor at The Times-Delphic, I had to manage a staff of 20 writers, some novice, some not.
Slowly, I realized what kind of support each writer needed. Some had never been to a tennis match. Some, I only had to say, “Hey! Write 500-600 words about men’s tennis,” to receive a well-sourced, publishable recap.
Management in the news is all about the staff and what it needs to succeed. It’s not about a title, a fancy nametag or using the “boss” voice whenever possible (I have yet to develop a “boss” voice, and that’s OK).
This school year, I also realized that I want to take my talents to a major city one day.
In October, The Times-Delphic staff visited Chicago for the National College Media Convention. I was in awe as I gazed at the glowing NBC logo atop an insanely tall building. My awe didn’t stop at NBC, though.
Later that same day, I gazed up at the glowing logo at The Chicago Tribune. That was all it took to convince me that I want to live, work and write in a major city.
Lastly, I realized that I am bilingual as a J-School and English student. In a single day, I wrote an essay about revenge in the English Renaissance and a Times-Delphic story about the delay in the plans to install a key-card system in the residence halls.
The two disciplines mingled in my mind, making for two odd assignments, initially.
My revenge paper consisted entirely of one- to two-sentence paragraphs, an English no-no.
My Times-Delphic story included words like “oppositely,” a news no-no.
Luckily, my edits fixed the odd blend of English and news on the page.
Alas, my stomach is now roaring, so I am off to relish in a heap of pesto spaghetti, the company of my favorite Bulldogs and the realizations of my second year at Drake.