Photojournalist turned mom remembers time on staff

by DEVIN REYNA/Staff Writer

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I really don’t know how to begin. It’s always difficult to say goodbye to friends, family, and professors. It’s even more difficult to say goodbye to the place that changed me.

My first day at South Plains College was a little crazy, from running from building to building to get to my classes on time, until I came across one room, classroom 130 in the Communications Building.

As I walked by and looked in, I was a bit confused if it was a class. I even had to double check my schedule and the classroom number again.

As I looked up, this barefoot girl walked up to me and asked, “Are you looking for Publications?” I said, “Yes,” with a confused look on my face as she told me her name was Sierra Taylor.

I walked in and sat at the back table, waiting for the class to begin, and as I sat there, I saw people with their feet on the desk,  people walking around with no shoes, and I noticed many awards on the wall.

Our Advisor/Professor, Charlie Ehrenfeld, walked in and called our names and told us to introduce ourselves. One question he asked was “Why are you here?” I then replied with, “ I love photography, and also my uncle told me that you were a great advisor and I should join this class.”

After everyone was done introducing themselves Charlie stood up and said, “This room will change you, if you let it,” I looked around and thought to myself, “Yeah right!”

But six semesters later, I was completely wrong, because this was the place where I had met amazing people I call Family.

Becoming part of the Plainsman Press campus newspaper was the best decision I made. It made me an award-winning writer and photographer for my Odean Skeene article. The funny thing is, I am not a writer, I am only a photographer, and I was scared to write. But Charlie believed in me, so I went for it.

I won many awards. I took many awesome pictures of the Texans basketball team that I received awards for. I also took trips to Tyler for TCCJA competition and won a live photography competition award. I also got to go on two amazing TIPA trips, but I’ll get to that later.

But the people in that newsroom will remain my family forever.

My photo editor, Sierra Taylor, taught me so much and took me in like her kid. She helped me grow as a photographer, and she became one of my close friends. She is an amazing photographer and is very successful. She is beautiful inside and out. I look up to her and admire her so much.

When she left, it was hard to fill the shoes of an amazing photo editor. But I was honored she asked me. I always knew with her if I needed anything I could just shoot her a text and she would help me.

Jayme Lozano, my first editor-in-chief, is funny and very outspoken. She is an amazing writer and interviewed some of the coolest people. She absolutely loves Blue October, and they were in almost every paper while she was on staff.

Don’t forget, you always have to have that one clumsy person in the group. Oh, Jenny! Jenny has one of the biggest hearts and is so sweet. She has become one of my best friends. We had many classes together and always helped each other.

Derek is like a brother to me, and I knew I could always talk to him about anything. He helped me when I was completely lost. He is a great guy and is very sweet.

Now it’s time to talk about my Savage Squad, which consists of Chesanie, Nicole, and Joshua(UA). These guys are something else; I am so blessed to have these guys in my life, and I know I can count on them.

Chesanie Brantley, you have done so great this semester with the staff and kept them in line. You are so beautiful inside and out, and I’m really going to miss hanging out with you. But you have big plans ahead of you, and you are going to be real successful in life with Corn Adam. Also, thanks to you and Skylar for throwing me a newsroom baby shower. I am forever thankful for y’all.

Nicole Trugillo, first off, I can’t believe you are getting married. I am extremely happy for you and Ralph. You are extremely strong and brave to be far from the one you love. But your future is going to be filled with happiness and adventures. You have done an amazing job with the staff and the famous Nicole line, “Hey guys, it’s a Paper Night!” You will forever be the girl with red hair.

And UA, you’re the hype of the squad, just kidding. You are a great writer, and you have done an awesome job for the paper. There is never a boring moment with you in the newsroom; you are always making everyone laugh with your randomness. You are going to be very successful in life.

These three have helped me create so many memories this semester (especially at TIPA) and have been there when I needed them. I love y’all guys, and if you ever need anything or a good laugh, I’m just a phone call away.

Brittany Brown, aka Aunt Beyoncé, aka the Queen Bee, I have missed you so much this semester. This girl is super sassy, but she always stays classy! She is my go-to girl. You have become one of my best friends and someone I can talk to about anything. Thanks for being someone I can count on, and for being there when I need you.

To all my new bee’s, Brandi, Dariella, Alex, Mallory, Matty, Jonathan, and Riley, thanks for all the memories we have created at TIPA. Thanks for all the laughs, smiles, and crazy ideas. Im so glad I got to meet all of you. I love y’all all ,and remember to be nice to Charlie and every once in a while, give him a hard time.

Skylar Hernandez is the other half of me, my minion, my sister, my partner in crime, daughter, and forever the best roommate. I don’t know how I would’ve got through some of the times here at SPC without her. Bring on all the pamphlets for all the days, because the tears are about to come.

I cared for her so much, even though we would fight like no other. She always made me smile and laugh. We even cried together a couple of times. But my favorite memories I cherish with her is our 2 a.m. trips to Lubbock, our craziest adventures when we would just want to get away.

My best memories are with her. I can honestly say she knows me a little more than I know myself, a little creepy if you ask me, but I love her. I will forever have her back and be there when she needs me, even if that means I need to drive to where ever she is.

She is always there when I need her and has never given up on me. She believed in me, even when I couldn’t believe in myself.

She has a beautiful journey ahead of her, and I know she is going to be very successful in life. Always believe in yourself, and never be scared to try something out of your comfort zone. You, my friend, are amazing, and I want to thank you for letting me use your car every night. I can thank you for what I have now (She knows what I mean).

To my family in Anton, thank you! I love each and every one of you. Without all of you I wouldn’t be where I am today. Thank you for pushing me into going to college and pushing me to achieve my goals. Thank you for supporting me in anything I do. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend SPC. A big, big thanks goes to Lucas Flores, my uncle, for telling me about Charlie and how basically awesome he is, because I have had some of the greatest memories in college with him as my advisor.

To my parents, brothers, and now baby sister, I love all of you. I know I can always count on you all for anything and everything. You have pushed me and helped me so much. When I thought I couldn’t do something or thought I would never get to where I wanted to be, you always were there to keep me strong and keep me going.

And to my brothers and sisters, definitely go to college. I promise you will love it. I didn’t want to go when I was in high school. I was scared. But some of my favorite memories were made at SPC with some of greatest people I have met. I love y’all, and will forever be your #1 Big sister.

To Trey and Zaylee, here come more tears. Thank you for being my motivation to finish school and keep me going. I love y’all so so much. I have been blessed with my own beautiful family. Thank you Trey for helping me, even if it means staying up till 3 a.m. finishing homework or studying. This adventure has been amazing and having y’all by my side is the greatest thing God has given me.

Zaylee, my beautiful daughter, you are the best thing, besides your daddy, that happened to me. I hope one day you too will be like mommy and go to college so you too can meet some amazing people, like Charlie Ehrenfeld.

Speaking of Charlie here we go, bring on the tears already for all the days. First of all, he will probably be proud of how much I have written, because I hate writing! He has helped me grow as a photographer and always believed in me. You are the best advisor anyone could ask for! He is truly the best, and I will miss him extremely.

It’s not going to be the same without hearing someone say “Creep Jar!” or Charlie complaining at 4 a.m. about widows, white space, and every once in a while a headline he doesn’t like but approved off early in the day. But I guess we can thank him for complaining, because he helped us achieve success and receive awards. He is someone I know I can always count on, and someone who will push me to go further.

Charlie, one day we will find out what that dang fox says, and all about the ancient mystery.

This isn’t a goodbye; it is a see you later. Thank you all for giving me some of the best memories SPC. Thank you for introducing me to all these amazing people, and sorry if I didn’t mention you. I love everyone I got to meet on the paper.

Well, Plainsman Press, here are some wise words from your one and only TD, “Stay small, cute, and fierce!”

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