My Experience on The Skyline View

Last semester I picked up a copy of The Skyline View, as was my routine between classes, so I could catch up on what was going on around campus.I sat there with a grande mocha, no whip, and skimmed the headlines.An ad caught my eye.The ad was for The Skyline View, asking if I had ideas and wanted to write.

Why thank you.I did want to write.

After signing up as a freelance writer, I attended the first class. Running late, as I constantly am, I entered the newsroom and looked around with disgust. There were students sitting in front of the computer typing hurriedly. There were students animated, engrossed in lively conversations with each other. There was one sitting on the desk, nodding, with earbuds on. I made the sign of the cross and hoped that I was in the wrong room. Finally, one friendly guy acknowledged me and even retrieved a chair for me. My first instinct was to turn around and leave. My second instinct was to stay and write. I went with the second.

I decided to take a journalism class and write for the paper, rather than just freelance. Hmmm. Like a glass of cheap liquor, I may regret it in the morning.

The crowded newsroom was bursting with various personalities, almost overwhelming me. I knew that it was best for me if I kept fairly quiet and observed the staff. So many times I wanted to join in a conversation or comment on something, but these people were kind of intense. There seemed to be a closeness between them, they spoke to each other like they knew each other fairly well. They seemed comfortable with each other, and I did not know any of them. If I inserted myself into their conversations, it may not be appreciated. Any outsider runs the risk of being ignored. I decided to play it quiet. When I felt comfortable, I would join in.

Most of the staff was polite, and I respected that so I maintained professional and polite communication with them.I considered them talented and creative and knew that I had something to add to the mix.I consider myself creative and a talented writer.So I tried to demonstrate my writing skills to the newsroom.

I cannot pinpoint the day that I felt most comfortable with the newsroom.It just happened. It happened naturally. I just got in the mix with the eccentric, fun bunch.

There was one day that I felt like I could be myself in the stuffy newsroom. There are windows located up high, towards the ceiling; in that newsroom that no one was in a rush to open. There is something about a room full of folks breathing in and out the same old recycled air that grosses me out, so one day I blurted out, “Stop breathing all the air and for (bleeps) sake crack a window.” To my surprise, there was laughter. No one took it too seriously. Someone opened the window. It felt really comfortable to me, to say what I wanted to say at that particular moment. It felt good to relax, talk smack, and have a little fun while getting serious work done.

The experiences writing for the paper challenged me to learn how to interview people.I learned how to write on a deadline.I learned how to write news features, opinions, and sports stories.It is definitely not easy.I learned how to appreciate my own skills and talents, which I was used to, being my own worst critic.In the newsroom, there are writers, photographers, and copy editors with so much skill and desire to do better that I gained so much respect for them.

I feel like I have pushed myself to learn about the craft and had exciting opportunities to try out what I learned.I have encouraged people to read the paper because I am proud, not only of myself, but the other staffers that put so much effort into a great publication.Each staff member brought a unique perspective to the paper, shared their opinions and ideas, offered critique, and helped others get an assignment completed.It felt like a family.I felt like a new member of that family, perhaps even the prettiest family member, ha ha.

The semester went by so fast, from that day when I first came into the newsroom, treading lightly and considering high tailing it the heck out of there to the present. Now, when I stroll into the newsroom and take a seat and prepare my work, I own it. It is such a rewarding feeling. I still like the window opened, too!

As the semester winds down, I feel euphoric, similar to stepping off of a rollercoaster that took me up over 100 feet and plunged me into a drop, sending me through loops, and screeching to a halt. It was exciting and scary and I wanted off that thing. Funny how I want to get in line and ride it again.