Over the last two years, I’ve spent many mundane moments in the newsroom, listening to the quiet hum of the TVs. I’ve come to love the day-in and day-out of my work on the Talon.
I love the view from my chair at the back of the newsroom and writing in the yellow legal pads I keep on my desk. I love being called into Dr. Patterson’s office for a quick chat, which often becomes a much longer conversation. I love keeping my ear close to the news of campus—what others might call eavesdropping, we call good journalism. I love reading the wonderful articles my staff send in to me every night, and I love watching our copy editors meticulously polish them.
When I became a Journalism major my junior year, I never expected the Talon to be such a transformative part of my education. I certainly never expected to be Editor-in-Chief.
I was prepared for my role as the Photo Editor, bi-weekly meetings and new boxes on my to-do list. Instead, my experiences, the staff and Dr. Patterson have taught me many of the most important lessons I learned during my time on this campus.
I’ve always been an observer. In many ways, it’s what makes me good at what I do. Learning to see and hear the little details in every moment is a cornerstone of both visual and written storytelling. I’ve also always been a quiet person. When I came on staff at the Talon, I was content to avoid risk and observe quietly. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but because the fear of speaking outweighed the comfort of simply listening.
And then I spent two years in the newsroom, where I encountered kind and wise and sometimes a little bit wild mentors who led by example. I don’t know when, why or how, but one day, I realized I wasn’t so scared to speak anymore.
It has been a gift to play some small part in serving as the voice of the student body of Oklahoma Christian. This semester was arguably one of the most tumultuous times our campus has experienced since I was a freshman. I hope our humble work has told your stories well.
To Dr. Patterson:
No words will ever suffice to thank you for all the wisdom you so graciously share with your students. Thank you for trusting me with your paper, even when I didn’t trust myself. Your vast knowledge, constant encouragement and careful guidance has been a gift to me.
To Ann Magner:
You’re my right hand woman, the best copy editor in the world and genuinely one of the best people I have the pleasure to know. Thank you for being my partner and my friend. You are courageous and insightful and all things good.
To the staff who came before me:
Thank you for showing me the Talon is so much more than a box to check off a to-do list. Thank you for encouraging a shy and quiet member of your staff and for creating a space where I eventually felt comfortable enough to speak up. Your simple kindness and inclusion meant the world to me.
To the current and future staff:
You have truly been a pleasure to work with. You are all exceptionally talented writers and reporters, and I could not have asked for a more supportive and kind staff for what turned out to be a very eventful semester. Always remember: you are the voice of the students and the historical record of this school. Your work matters.
You’re going to be a great Editor-in-Chief. Enjoy the desk—and all that comes with it.