The Ides of March are on the precipice, and I am out of a job.
Like a warm spring breeze to winter’s calloused face, I am full of feels for the job I occupied for three years. With the completion of my senior year at Olivet College, I will no longer be the editor of our school’s paper, The Echo.
It is a job I occupied for more than 1,095 days; it’s a passion I starved for. It’s too bad I am not full -- just yet.
As a baby-faced freshman, I longed to be the next Pulitzer, the next Hearst. I wanted to change a dying art form – print – and create an audience which looked forward to its weekly reads.
Fast forward to my senior year, with a clock playing tyrannical Tom, and I am no longer stationed in the bottom of the Kirk Center, the college’s cafeteria. I will no longer be dazed by the bright lights of the cramped, four-computer office. The production room that smelled like stale chips, tabloid papers and burnt coffee burps is going to be but a distant memory.
Did I make an impact of Mount Olympus proportions? No. Did we report on some interesting people, places and events? I’d like to think so.
Looking back, it was fun, stressful, rewarding. Like most daring components in life, there are obstacles, leeches and Geisel Grinch characters with hearts three-sizes too small. It is up to society to pick out these individuals and cast aside their negativity – their doubts about an industry now meant for online.
As the editor of our student paper, I ran into these types: the two-day-late-deadline writers, the guest speakers (T.J. Duckett) who denounced a student body and the sources who flaked out late into a news story just to save face.
But that is the beauty of the juice wheel. Round and round the newspaper room goes until the paper ferments. No matter said situation, a paper was always printed here at Olivet, whether in the weekly format (sophomore and junior years) or in the bi-monthly format (senior year with the creation of a new website).
This is my proudest memory. Not the humbling accolades, or photo shoots with Gov. Rick Snyder.
As I head now down Life’s Great Balancing Act Street, I am left to introduce the next editor of our paper. His name is Brian Freiberger, a soon-to-be sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communication.
Freiberger is a football player and a talent of unequal proportions. His jingoism to turn in stories on time – often with style – is the reason I am excited to relinquish my duties to him.
As readers of our paper and website, please encourage Freiberger in all of his doings. If he succeeds, tell him so. If he fails, tell him so – but in a constructive manner. If. If. If. There are enough ifs in the world to make Rudyard Kipling smile, so remember that as you read.
This editor’s post Freiberger is taking is no joke. It changed my life. I didn’t know what life entailed for me as a bewildered freshman, but now I do, (sort of) and it revolves being a journalist.
In closing, there is a great quote I learned and memorized by Alfred Lord Tennyson in my British Literature class. The quote measures up the strength of a decaying power -- of Great Britain during Victorian times: “We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are, One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
Similarly, the print industry is this Ulysses power in the 21st century.
I am hoping Freiberger can reinvigorate print’s dying power to Watergate and Pentagon Papers proportions. I have no doubts in his capabilities. I have no doubt in the future of The Echo.