Journalism course helps student find passion, career path

by JOSHUA RAMIREZ//Sports Editor

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Someone once told me that the Plainsman Press could change my life if I just let it.

I blew them off.

Who would believe that something so small could really change a life?

My first impression of the newsroom was more or less wondering what I had gotten into. I took a seat at a computer thinking nothing of it. Before too long, I was told I would have to move because that seat belonged to someone.


Are they serious, I thought?

They were. So feeling like the real-life Forrest Gump, I got up and moved.

I sat in the second row on the outside of the aisle, behind a few girls in the front row and in front of few others in the third.

The girls in front seemed normal enough, but those behind me seemed to have some problems.

Some redhead, a little brown girl, and a mean one who called herself Bbrown from the Beyhive had me wondering if I should just stand in the back.

I got my first assignment for the paper, just a little sports opinion on the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal.

After that, I was hooked.

Writing for the Plainsman Press became something that I really wanted to do. I finally felt like I was doing something that I enjoyed and could eventually do for the rest of my life as a career.

The assignments kept coming, and I continued to get more comfortable. I learned the names of the Trouble Three in the row behind me were Nicole, Brittany (AKA Bbrown), and Devin. I still had no idea about the two in front of me, but I learned the third girl on the front row was Cindy Sykes, who had been kind enough to give me rides back to Lubbock on Paper Nights.

As much as she annoyed everyone else, I didn’t find her to be so bad, considering my whole first semester of being an editor would have never happened if I didn’t get rides from her. So thanks, Cindy.

Assignments came and went, and six issues were over before I knew it. The winter was one of anticipation as I waited to get back to writing.

On the first day of my second semester I came to the newsroom feeling at home and ready to work. I was happy to see that everyone else was back too.

It wasn’t long before we were back in the swing of things, pumping out award winning stories for the greatest college newspaper in the world.

Then came the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association conference, a weekend of schananigans with a group of “printies” no hotel could handle.

We took TIPA, along with the city of San Antonio, by storm, and I can honestly say it was one of the most fun trips I’ve ever taken for school or otherwise.

The trip brought us all closer to each other and changed our friendships forever.

It wasn’t until the last Paper Night of my second semester that I had my first sad experience with the Plainsman Press. That was the Paper Night when we said goodbye to our editor-in-chief, Jayme Lozano, and one of my best friends on the paper, that mean girl in row three, Bbrown.

So I stood back as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” blared on the computer and watched everyone cry, hug, and laugh about how we would all see each other tomorrow as we turned the page on another semester none of us would forget.

Bbrown was one of my best friends on staff, and one of the most talented sports writers I’ve had the privilege of meeting. I learned a lot from her and will always think of her as a friend. I know she is going to do big things, and I hope she can fulfill her goal of one day working along side her idol, Beyonce, the way she always said she would.

Jayme was a great editor-in-chief, and I wish her nothing but the best in her career as a journalist. I hope that she continues to write the things that truly interest her.

Following Bbrown leaving, I became the sports editor for the paper, something I had been looking forward to since my first semester on staff. I spent the semester writing as much as possible. I even wrote the best story of my career as a printie, a sports feature story about transgender Olympic athlete Chris Mosier.

It was by far my most high-profile story, and one that won me a second place award at TIPA.

Lots of new faces arrived my third semester. Some didn’t last, but of the ones who did, I can honestly say I’m glad I got to meet you and spend two semesters on staff with you.

I’ll definitely be keeping in touch with Riley and Matt, who have become two of my closer friends on staff. I’m sure the two of them, along with the third musketeer, Mallory, will have a blast on staff for two more semesters.

Then there is the squad of Jonathan, Brandi, and Dar. I look forward to seeing what Jonathan is definitely a character and constantly pushes the boundaries on social media but he’s a talented writer and editor and I think he will do good things for the news paper in the future.

As for Dar and Brandi, I’ve truly enjoyed meeting the two of them, and would say they are two of the most unique people I’ve had the opportunity of meeting.

Nick has been a great sports writer since I met him. His passion is easy to see, and I know that he will do well as the sports editor next semester. I wish him tons of luck on The Roy Report.

Sara has been the photoeditor for the past two semesters, and has done very well. I wish her luck and hope that she enjoys the rest of her time on staff.

My third semester on staff ended with another casualty for the Plainsman Press, as a little potato we called Skylar was saying goodbye.

Skylar was definitely one of the staple characters of the Plainsman Press when I got here, and she still is even in her absence. I won’t forget all the funny things I got to experience because of her.

Tovi is on of the goofiest most caring individuals I have ever met, she is always kind and her photography skills are amazing. I will always remember having botany and golf together, along with all our time on the Plainsman Press.

So now, it the end of my fourth semester on staff, it’s time to write my last story for my last issue as part of this anomaly we call a school newspaper.

My fourth semester has been the most fun by far. Being able to experience my final six issues, and the last TIPA competition with the current staff, were the highlights of my academic career up till now.

But all good things must come to an end, and my time here at SPC is no different. But if I must go, I will take as many with me as I can.

So on my way out, I’ll be followed by, Jenny, Devin, that redhead, Nicole, and one of those quiet girls in the front row, Chesanie Brantley.

Jenny is definitely one of the most out-of-the-box characters I’ve come across. She is always making friends and helping someone in their time of need, who are usually rookies on the staff. A lot of things can get her off balance, literally and metaphorically, but she never stays down and she always does her best.

Devin is one of the best sports photographers I’ve ever met. I have had the luxury of putting her pictures on my pages for two years, and they were always on point. But I’d expect nothing less from a member of the #savagesquad.

Nicole has been around since the beginning of time. She was here before me and has stayed up until my very last semester. As much as we get on each other’s nerves, I’m sure I can count on her if I need to. She is getting married soon and will be starting a new chapter in her life, one that I hope is very long and happy, and written in a way that only Nicole could write.

Chesanie changed from one of the quiet girls in the front row to the best editor-in-chief I’ve had on the Plainsman Press.

At first glance, she was a quiet, sweet, and intelligent girl. But once you get past that, she is probably one of the most inappropriate people I have every met. The things she says should never be repeated. But she is also one of the best friends I’ve had in a long time. We came on to staff together, and now we’re leaving together. That is something significant to me, if only me.

But these friends who leave with me would have never been, if it weren’t for the friend who’s staying behind.

Charlie Ehrenfeld is the advisor who presides over the paper, but he has been so much more than that for me.

I met Charlie at a time when I had no idea what I was going to do with my life, I didn’t like college and had actually already dropped out once.

Charlie took the aimless kid I was, pointed me in a direction, and said, “walk.” Then he stuck around for the trip to give me the tools I needed to eventually walk that path alone.  Charlie has done something for me that very few people ever have. He literally changed the course of my life, and I’m so grateful for it.

Charlie was the one who said the Plainsman Press could change my life. He was right. It did.

When I first got here, CM130 was just a room with picture frames on the walls, and it still is. The only thing that has actually changed is me, and I know I’ll never be the same.

Because no other news room will have a coffee pot overflowing with post-its, or a football trophy for writing headlines. I know the days of family dinners have ended, and they won’t be coming back. But for two years of my life, these things were traditions held by a group of people I took pride in being a part of. They are just a few of the small things I will remember when I look back on my time with the Plainsman Press.

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