Over the past few years I’ve started to get used to things on this campus. The pace hasn’t really changed but the people have. Everyone is focused on their education. Sometimes I feel like I am standing in the middle of a moving crowd just getting in the way.
Actually that was exactly how I felt when I got to The Express. I had originally signed up for the class because I was looking to fill up 3 units so I would be a full time student and not be dropped by my insurance. I was a brand new photographer, with only a few pictures to my credit.
But after my first assignment I found my calling. I was told to take pictures of an event so the photo editor at the time could see what he would be working with. I took it a step further. I decided I needed to write an article. I had always been a writer, but had taken some time in my first round with college to go explore the creative side.
But here I would do just the opposite. My allegiance was to the truth. Of course being a new guy my assignments weren’t the most exciting. Heck, only a few of my pictures ever made it into the paper in my first tour with The Express. But by the end I knew what I was going to do.
The next year I found myself sitting in with one official position and two others that I helped run. One of those other sections was handed to a new member that semester. But I was still going strong. I never burned out completely but was very close.
The next year I held two more positions, again one informally, but I was always busy. In that time I was never short of anything except for sleep.
Now as an editor-in-chief, and this being my final paper at LPC, I’m taking the time to reflect on everything that has happened in my time here.
Before I continue though, there are some people I would like to thank.
To the advisors of The Express: George, Marcus and Melissa, thank you for everything. Working with all y’all I have learned a lot about the technical and writing aspects of putting together a newspaper. Because of the structure you provided and the support you have given, I am hoping to make this the beginning of a career.
To Dyan Miller, Clarence Morgan, Bill Eddy, Jason Craighead and the members of the Athletic department: Thank you for letting me bug you at all hours. The time I spent in the gym just talking with all of you and honing my interview skills are moments I hope to reflect on for a long time. I am looking forward to seeing all the amazing talent play for LPC in the coming years.
To Sean Prather and the Campus Safety officers: Thank you for the countless hours spent in your office doing interviews, going over photos and for all the advice. I am forever grateful for that.
To the countless number of professors I have interviewed: Thank you for dealing with my erratic interview style. Your dedication to working with students and helping them grow is what makes this a fantastic college to attend.
To Travis Danner: Mr. Moustache, you were the first EIC I ever worked with. You were there when I struggled while on the paper and helped keep me going. I always look forward to reading your work. I have learned so much from working with you. Thank you for everything.
To Managing Editor Ben Castro: Dude, thank you for putting up with everything. At times you were the butt of every joke, but you took it in stride. I have not only gained a tremendous amount of respect for you from the first time we met. You have been an integral part of this paper and I am glad that you have been here with me to help finish my run on this paper. I am honored to call you my friend.
To Photo Editor Anthony Reader: You crazy Brit, I’m going to miss you. When you go off to Texas, please do not forget us. Through our time working together on the newspaper and magazine you have become a great friend and I am sad to see you go.
To the staff of The Express: Thank you for this semester. Y’all have been great. Things may not have been perfect, but everything was done very well. Together we made a great newspaper and I am proud of every issue we put out. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next semester has in store for you.
And finally, to you the readers: You have seen the photos I have taken and the articles I have written. And somehow you all haven’t come to hate me. So thank you. Please continue to support this wonderful resource as it enters the next chapter.
Things have changed. I have changed. I’m no longer the same person who showed up to just take a class for the hell of it. I’m here because this is my calling.
Before I go, I want to leave you with a final thought from one of my favorite actors, Alan Alda. It was only through this wonderful journey of discovery that I realized who I really am.
“You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.”