I’m sitting in the newsroom today for the last time, looking at everything that’s going on.
Shaina Cavazos has taken a spot next to me and is working on an editing test for the Chicago Tribune. Bari Bates is sitting caddy-corner from me, editing her piece on a local theatre troupe. Julia Boudreau, in for Caitlin on this GA shift, is working on a life story.
Zach Murdock and Jim Ayello were talking about a man who was arrested at the Large Hadron Collider who says he’s from the future, where there are “Kit Kats for everyone,” but that ended when our arch-rival journalist’s newest story came out and Zach started looking into it for the Missourian’s own piece.
Hannah Burkett and Ray Howze aren’t here; I’m seeing Hannah tonight for the last Magic Tree trip of the year, and I said goodbye to Ray this morning. He’s going to Argentina, so I won’t see him until August. The other Hannah (Spaar) had her last newsroom day yesterday, and Alicia Stice left for Colorado a few days ago.
It’s 2 p.m. and I’ve already had a story posted on the food drive at Broadway and Providence Rd. The graphics, photo and story about STEM majors at MU that I’ve worked on for a month are all done and ready to hit page one tomorrow morning as the centerpiece.
There are five hours before I leave to hit my last event as a Missourian reporter, and I’m not sure how I feel about that.
The knowledge that I (knock on wood) won’t have to write another obituary, preview a school potluck or keep tabs on boundary changes in CoMo delights me, but I look around at the people I work with and realize that I’m actually going to miss this place.
**Almost as soon as I pressed the “Publish” button, my ACE handed me an obituary to write. Also, there’s nothing made of wood in our newsroom.
I won’t miss the stress of being unable to properly transfer a call without Cheri Cherry’s help, or getting called on at budget meetings when I haven’t read anything from the day’s paper.
But I’ll miss saying hello to Liz, John and Katherine when I walk in. I’ll miss bugging Jeanne every morning when I give her the status report on my stories. I’ll miss seeing the same five to six people sitting at the gray tables, and Shaina and Lainie working as my usual editors on GA shifts.
That’s truly the saddest part of leaving the newsroom. When I walk out this evening, I will be saying goodbye for a time to people I have grown to love seeing every day.
And so I write this to all of you who walked this journey with me. My last post was about things I wish I had known before walking into the Missourian in August, and I briefly mention you guys, AKA the “coolest people you will ever meet” (to quote “Mean Girls”). However, I don’t think that even comes close to covering it.
Everyone I worked with here had an impact on me that I have a hard time putting into words, which tells you something since I’ve been spending a semester putting things into written words. Friendships were built and strengthened, and even though some days were unbearably long and tedious, we grew together to become stronger writers, smarter reporters and generally more professional, responsible and talented human beings.
We can thank our editors for that, I suppose, but I think we owe ourselves a lot of the credit, too. Without the encouragement and challenges you all gave me, I don’t think I would have gleaned as much from this bittersweet experience.
Even though we may be split down the middle as Magazine and Print & Digital reporters, we’ll continue saying hello to each other in Lee Hills Hall, the newsroom and throughout the entire J-School. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for stories written by the Advanced Reporting team, where I know many of you are headed.
So here’s to you, fellow Missourian reporters. We may be done with the semester and moving on, but know that I will never forget the impact you all made on me in such a short time.
Grazie e amore,