Wow. It feels weird to be saying goodbye.
Goodbye to college. Goodbye to club. Goodbye to those experiences.
Goodbye to the Talon.
When I started writing for the Talon as a sports reporter, I was a scared, nervous freshman. I did not really know anyone. I had no experience writing. Nevertheless, I was excited to learn.
For my first “real” story, I interviewed legendary Coach Dan Hays. I met him in the Payne Athletic Center lobby, and we chatted about his life and his accomplishments. I felt so honored to get a first-hand encounter of Coach Hays: what motivated him, his love for basketball and his love for his athletes.
My sophomore year, I moved from reporter to sports editor. As Sports Editor for three years, I chose the stories I wrote and even created a new standing feature, Intramural Athlete of the Week. Through these articles, I interviewed hundreds of athletes and students at Oklahoma Christian. I loved honoring varsity athletes and I loved finding an avenue to highlight intramurals, which brought readers to the Talon and recognition to all students.
In basic terms, a journalist aims to provide information to the public. As a sports journalist, I intended to share recollections of scores, records and awards. At least, I entered as a reporter believing this was my only goal.
However, I walk out of the Talon office—hypothetically—for the last time realizing journalism means so much more than just being an avenue of information.
I learned about people—their dreams, their motivations, their fears and their stories—and I got the amazing opportunity to share their stories with the world. I got to be the voice for those who had not been heard.
Even though the campus of Oklahoma Christian is small, athletes often become placed in their own, secluded group. Other students know them for the points they score, the amazing saves they make or the records they break. While these are all amazing accolades, each of these athletes have amazing life stories.
My two favorite interview questions to begin with for each athlete were: “Why do you love playing your sport?” and “What prompted your love for your sport?”
These two questions alone show the motivation behind their passion, often fueled by inspiration from their parents or an outlet when they were younger.
Overall, the Talon taught me to listen better, ask more questions and dig deeper.
Yes, it gave me credits for my degree, and it helped me grow my writing skills, undoubtedly. However, the Talon also provided me with friendships. It gave me an office, which became my favorite place to go after class to discuss life, campus events or just to rant.
I loved working for the Talon. Every late night. Every difficult interview. Everything was worth it.
I loved the people I interviewed and, most of all, I love the people I worked with—leaders on Oklahoma Christian’s campus who taught life lessons of love, perseverance and respect. When you get to watch your fellow peers cover topics they are passionate about and invoke change on our campus—I knew I was surrounded by priceless, godly people who daily work to make the world the best place.
To every athlete and every intramural athlete of the week, thanks for responding to my emails, for being awesome and for sharing your life story with me.
To Dr. Patterson, you inspire me daily to think critically, fight for what’s right and to be the best I can be.
To every Talon editor, you changed my life for the better. You brought me friendship and laughs. You taught me to never shy away from difficult conversations and to pursue everything with honesty and passion in pursuit of the truth.
And to everyone—thanks for reading my stories.
So goodbye, Oklahoma Christian.
And goodbye, Talon.
I will miss you.
Morgan Boling– the “former” Sports Editor