Southeast Missouri State University student publication
December 4, 2013
The final stretch to successPosted Monday, September 24, 2012, at 12:32 PM
I'm in the middle. As the page designers, we're proofing pages and working out details of the paper.
Saturday was the last day we worked on publishing a paper. At the budget meeting, we learned that everything going on the front page was going to be late. I decided that page 1 and 16 (the jump page for the front page) was going to be mine. The others agreed. One of the other page designers decided to do the center spread for the first time. The guy who pretty much did the graphics agreed, and we set to work. We sent a couple of pages early, about three before 5 p.m., which was actually pretty decent, I thought, considering we had like two stories finished. The reason we had so few stories was because the first days the pre-written stories were used, as much did not happen then.
Throughout the day, past presidents of SPJ came in and told us that the paper (the two published issues so far) looked great. People were actually calling out the page designers to tell us the paper looked fantastic. I was nearly bursting, and I think the others were too. They were impressed with the stories and the photos; he said in the past that some of the stories were so offbeat that the readers wondered if the staff members were even in the same city. I don't think that's something they tell everyone.
Everyone seemed to know where we were and wanted to see us work. Yesterday's paper had names spelled wrong. We checked carefully for that in the proofed pages, and published a correction. The SPJ Creative Director told Laura, our supervisor, that the paper looked great, and she said he was impressed. He works for SPJ so I was pleased about that.
In the midst of laying out pages, we had a dinner invitation.
We went to the awards banquet dinner (for free that cost $40). We had salmon and steak; while I liked both, I switched my steak for salmon with my roommate and the other page designer. She was from Texas and we kept joking she was a real Texan (because she mostly just liked the steak). I adored that salmon; it was so good and tender. The male page designer got the vegetarian dish and I ate his Key Lime pie because I love Key Lime pie, but I ate a piece and a half only because it was so sweet.
At the banquet, everyone cheered for us when they introduced us, and the professionals were called "volunteer professionals" on the powerpoint. We were listed with our position, title and university. Then, we left early to finish the paper.
We finally got all the pages laid out, but editing took awhile and there was some confusion. I did a lot of the proofing because I'm used to the process, and it went quickly. I PDFed a lot of pages as well and sent them, but of course the others did as well. But, we finally finished the paper.
We missed our official deadline by 15 minutes. But we were done before midnight, and everyone seemed relieved we were done. We cheered.
We had our final closing meeting at midnight. We were supposed to have it on Sunday, but our boss had a dinner date on Sunday night and had to catch an early flight out. It was a lot of fun; we pretended to plan another paper on Monday, a fun one with what tourists could do in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He told us to send thank you letters to the Miami Herald. We exchanged business cards with the professionals. Our boss told us to email him our resumes after Oct. 1 and he would look at them. He told us one page and three references with phone numbers. When I gave him my business card, he had me sign it. We hugged everyone and then we left.
The night wasn't over, though. I went to the beach with one of the reporters, Pash, because I wanted to see it at midnight. We talked for a little while. She went to bed but I wasn't tired. I got a text from the other students and went to where they were. I went with another one who wanted to go that I found in the hallway. In the cab we were in we found $7, enough to cover our trip! We hung out with the others, talked and played pool. It began to pour, so everyone decided that instead of walking we were going to have to take a taxi. Then, the guy I found the money in the first taxi with paid for the taxi on the way back. I gave him the final dollar I found in the car in payment. It was pretty fantastic, and fun hanging out with them.
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A college student who ponders about life, college, faith, hope and love! Follow me @rmweatherford1s and @rachelwarrow
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