Columns, News, Opinion, UCM News

Journalism taught me more than just writing

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

These words from Winnie the Pooh accurately represent my thoughts on transitioning out of college, specifically with the Muleskinner and moving on to “a big kid” job.

I’ve been so lucky to get to work with the staff of the Muleskinner and under the supervision of Matt Bird-Meyer. Each person has dedicated their time to bettering our campus community and I can’t think of a better way to spend my time at school.

This is why this “goodbye” is one of the most difficult ones. I can be dramatic but this was such a place of growth and experience for me, with the kindest and supportive people. I can’t comprehend how it’s all going to be over in a week.

My schedule began with mornings in the newsroom, between classes I was in the newsroom and on occasion, later in the evening I’d be in the newsroom. It was where so many moments of friendships, brainstorming and learning happened.

Photo by Kaitlin Brothers/News Editor

From left, Erin Wides and Matt Bird-Meyer take a break between editing stories.

Journalism not only gives back to the community by telling others’ stories, it also benefits the reporter. I have found it helpful in writing my own story and helping me reflect on what I value, how I want to live life and just being grateful for what I have, while I have it.

I have become close with so many people I never would have met had it not been for the paper — Eddie Osbourne, Jill Wilson, Lacey Hites, and so many more.

I’ve been welcomed into places not everyone gets to see — the president’s office, the Missouri Innovation Campus and the Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport.

When I am asked what my favorite story is I laugh because I’ve done so many and they have each been so special in their own way. Some of my favorites have been, well…wait.

I had to go back and scroll through them because honestly, you forget some of them when having to think of them off the top of your head. As I was scrolling, I vividly got brought back to the places, people and feelings I had when I was covering them.

I will say the one that always comes to mind, even two years later, is a music professor who took the extra step to make his students feel appreciated.

John Check, music theory coordinator, said he likes to reward his students for working hard. One unexpected day each semester, Check brings doughnuts in for his entire class.

This story came about in a conversation with a friend one day. Completely not intending to find a story but I did. You could say, a serendipitous story.

Not only did I get to talk to Dr. Check, I was able to sit down with some of his students and hear first-hand how he was positively impacting their lives.

These are the stories that I got to cover and the people I’ve gotten to talk to. I consider myself incredibly lucky and so cared about in the Warrensburg and UCM community.

To Matt, our fearless leader and adviser, you ignited my passion for writing, staying curious and keeping an enthusiasm for a sometimes difficult career.

Jason Brown, you stepped into the managing editor role with little experience managing a paper and have exceeded expectations. You’ve led us through a crazy and fun semester of news, while also contributing and being a great friend. You are destined for so much greatness, you don’t even know. Thank you for your patience and wisdom.

To all the 2018-2019 Muleskinner staff, thank you for always passionately pursuing stories and making me smile every day. It’s going to be rough not seeing everyone every day, but I’m comforted knowing that each of you has talent and a heart for journalism.

H.L. Mencken, an American journalist, said it best, “I know of no human being who has a better time than an eager and energetic young reporter.”

It’s time to go have a good time.

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