The Rocket copy/web editor reflects on beginnings, and newspaper experience

Published by adviser, Author: Shelby Stearns - Copy/Web Editor, Date: December 2, 2015

A week before I started college, way back in fall of 2011, my cousin Jonny sent me a text with lyrics from the song “Closing Time” by Semisonic. A simple sentence, but a powerful one nonetheless: “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” I packed those words into boxes and carried them with me into my dorm in Building E, to lecture halls, to poetry slams and job interviews. I saw college as a series of beginnings and endings, yet still appreciating all the wonderful moments that came in between.

In April 2014, I applied on a whim to be the copy editor for The Rocket. Being an education major rather than a communication major, I thought my chances were slim, but I decided to give it a shot. Much to my surprise, after a very uncomfortable panel interview where I said, “usually I shake the person’s hand after an interview, but since there are so many of you I’m just going to leave” and left awkwardly, I received a call from Kevin Squires (#itsrocketscience) that evening telling me I’d been chosen as copy editor. I was excited, but had no idea what to expect.

It proved to be one of my favorite beginnings of my college career. After extensive training from the very lovely Mary Leach, I was even more excited for my future as a member of the Rocket family.

Throughout my year and a half at The Rocket I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve learned so much about the world of journalism and media. I’ve made the kind of memories you hope you make in college before you get there. I’ve gained a sense of community and camaraderie from some incredible humans who were once strangers to me.

For this semester, fall of 2015, the social media/web editor position was integrated with the copy editor position. I received a whole new level of experience with web stuff that I’d never done before. With this change, I also gained an assistant, Victoria Davis, a powerful vegan and feminist who never ever complained about webbing the sports section and has been a great addition to our staff. I have some really great memories of my late nights in The Rocket office with my fellow “vikings” this semester.

And now, we are here. At this beginning’s end. I am about to graduate and start a million new beginnings. As I red pen my last issue, I am nostalgic and grateful for all the people who helped me along my college journey. Here’s where I get all acceptance speechy, so bear with me. Thank you to my parents and sister for constantly reminding me that everything’s going to be okay. Thank you to my boyfriend, Zach, for endless support in calming me down when I get myself all worked up and emotional about nothing. Thank you to my outstanding adviser, Dr. Jason Hilton for always answering my frantic emails and giving me wisdom and encouragement (there’s a chance I would have dropped out of college otherwise).Thank you to my floor friends from freshman year for all of the hilarious memories and for taking care of me. Thank you to the alumni of AM Slam Poetry Club for your inspirational words and introducing me to spoken word. Thank you to Dr. White, Dr. Permenter, Dr. O’Connor, Dr. McCarren and Dr. Oldakowski in the English department for fueling my love of language, literature and writing.

Lastly, thank you to Dr. Zeltner (Fetty) and the other beautiful human beings at The Rocket. I know it seems like the end of your time here is far away, but it will be here so soon, so enjoy it while you have the chance. Remember to never take your position for granted, and continue to laugh and make incredible memories with the Rocket team. I leave my duties in the very capable hands of Victoria and our new addition to the staff, Amanda Salvia, excited to see all that they will accomplish from their beginnings to their ends.

Peace out, Slippery Rock. Thanks for all of the memories and opportunities. Love you like a sis.



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