Discourse / Editorials / May 21, 2009

Thoughts from the Embers: Rising from the embers

Well, folks, this is it. It’s the seniors’ last issue: next week, we’ll pass the reins to the new folks and get the chance to go to Senior Meeting for the first time ever. It feels weird. I wonder if my body will remember how to sleep on Wednesday nights.

I figured out this week that I’ve made about a hundred issues of TKS. In the four years I’ve been at Knox, I’ve served as copy editor, assistant news editor, mosaic editor, managing editor, and, finally, editor-in-chief. On average, I’ve paid far more attention to the paper than I’ve paid to my grades, and I’ve spent more time in the Pub Office than I ever want to spend in an office that smells that weird again.

To be honest, I didn’t really want to be editor-in-chief in the first place. It’s a pretty dirty job that comes with long hours, bad pay, and lots of angry emails (so many!). I knew from watching former editors-in-chief Bill Mayeroff and Tom Fucoloro before me that TKS would soon occupy most of my waking hours and at least several of my nightmares. I walked into the position terrified I’d do the worst job in history, and that terror will stick with me to some degree until today at 3:30 p.m. when I see this week’s shiny new issue slide into the mailroom free of horrifying mistakes (knock on wood).

But I think we did more good than harm. As Elaine said in her Senate Perspective, there are definitely things I’d go back and change, knowing what I know now. Still, I always tried to act with integrity, and I do believe I took responsibility for the things I did wrong.

In general, this job did me more good than harm, too. This year’s TKS provided a forum for campus discourse, unearthed some things that needed unearthing, and helped to facilitate a Knox where students are informed, engaged, and willing to speak up for themselves and their school. I’m proud that I had a chance to be a part of that, and the lessons I learned about journalism, leadership, and how people tick will stick with me forever.

As I head out into the real world, whatever that means, I’m excited to check in on TKS to see how Knox continues to grow and learn and change. I have nothing but confidence in next year’s staff: this year’s paper would never have happened without them. So, everyone, if I can inflict a little old-timer advice on you: keep your eyes peeled, don’t be afraid to say what needs saying, and look me up if you’re ever in Chicago.

Thanks for everything,

Deana Rutherford

“The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Finley Peter Dunne

Deana Rutherford

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