Final curtain: It’s been a good run
March 14, 2019
*Walks to center stage*
I am not the smartest person in the room.
How could I be?
Looking back at the last year of being sports editor at The Daily Illini, I now realize how much I did not know.
As I sat down at the helm of a three-table mega-desk in a newly converted basement with dingy tile floors, I was completely clueless.
Sure, that may not be exactly what you want to hear from a man (boy?) who was trusted to be the editor of a Big Ten sports section.
However, do not get me wrong: I was nothing but confident about the actual logistics of the job. I felt comfortable editing stories. I felt focused on pitching content. I felt organized in my approach.
What I lacked knowledge of, and fell ignorant to, was the change I would see in myself nearly a year later.
For example, I did not believe people would care about what I had to say, whether it be over a silly tweet or in a carefully worded column.
I learned that, apparently, I am not a pushover.
I also came to realize teaching can be very rewarding.
I found out I could be a real jerk to my assistant editor, Miles; however, I want him to know I do not regret that.
I learned spitting rhymes can lead to a third-place column in the state of Illinois. Speaking of which, collaboration helps create the best sports front page in the state of Illinois.
I really love sports.
I have the work ethic to nearly double our staff in size from the previous year. I also have enough of a personality to earn the title of “office clown” from my co-workers. Thanks?
I can brush off the criticism or doubts.
I am capable of thinking on my toes.
I really love sports.
And possibly most importantly, I am hungry for more.
The position I have been fortunate to hold for the past year opened nothing but doors for me. I have had the privilege to meet some incredible people and facilitate the telling of some incredible stories.
As I move on to whatever position calls my name next, I can only hope I walk in as clueless as I did this one. After all, is that not what being a journalist is all about? (Sorry for the sappy rhetorical question.)
I want to be in a situation where I am always learning more about the world around me and testing the confines of my inner self.
The element of not knowing is what makes this career path so powerful and so worthwhile.
If curiosity killed the cat, then buy me a litterbox and dig my grave.
As I metaphorically stand here on the same imaginary stage where I made my “acceptance speech” in my first column as sports editor, I am ready to pass along the opportunity to grow and learn to another.
The winner of sports editor 2019-20 is Meghan Rest.
As she makes her way to the stage, my time here is done.
Meghan, this is the only thing I have left to say: Hoist that newspaper (trophy) high.