Journalism major recalls learning experiences, close friends

Throughout my life, I was never certain about what I wanted to be when I grew up.

As a kid, I played a lot of video games, read books and graphic novels and watched a lot of television and movies. Growing up, I always imagined I would be creating video games, writing comics and directing movies one day.

But it was not until I started high school that I realized that all these dream careers involved some form of writing.

I have always enjoyed writing, whether it be in school or writing random stories during my free time. I decided to major in print journalism, as there are many opportunities to go to different events, meet new people and to hone my writing skills. Even though it was not one of my dream careers, I knew that the countless opportunities I would get from journalism would introduce me to new experiences that could later form my future.

It was not until I walked into the Plainsman Press Newsroom that my first journalism experience began.

Being a member of the Plainsman Press staff was my first opportunity to escape my comfort zone at South Plains College. Despite being at SPC for only one year, I still achieved a lot working in the Newsroom.

Meeting and working with new people while on the newspaper staff is one experience that I will always cherish.

The first, and most influential, person that I met is Charlie Ehrenfeld, my advisor. I met him at summer orientation when he helped me schedule my first classes and assured me that I was going to like being on the staff.

Attending Charlie’s classes and working with him in the newsroom has been some of my most fulfilling learning experiences.

When I walked into the Newsroom on the first day of class, I only had one high school journalism class under my belt. I thought I had a long, tough journey ahead of me trying to learn the ropes of the Newsroom. But after hearing Charlie’s motivational speech at the beginning of the year, I knew I would be working in an environment where I could learn and hone my skills.

Charlie is one of my most favorite teachers I have ever had. He is always willing to help his students. I really respect how he critiques my work and gives me his most honest opinion.

I have always appreciated when teachers do not sugar coat my mistakes. I wish I could have stayed on the staff for at least one more semester and learned more from Charlie. He is one professor who I will never forget.

Being a print journalism major, I got the opportunity to meet other knowledgeable, passionate professors in the Communications Building.

Billy Alonzo is another teacher who is really passionate about what he does and what he teaches his students.

IMG_6817Whether it be in the classroom or on set in the TV studio, I really enjoyed working with Billy. He is fun and knows how to get his students excited to learn about video production.

Another teacher that I would not have met if I were not a print journalism major is Margaret Kirby.

Mrs. Kirby was next to Charlie helping to schedule my first classes at orientation. Even though I only had one class with her during my time at SPC, I learned a lot about the media field from her intriguing lectures.

These teachers are people who I would have never met if I was not on the newspaper staff. Whether I am attending Texas Tech University or working at my dream job, the knowledge I have acquired from these professors is something that will always be impactful in my life.

These professors are not the only people at SPC who have impacted me and my major.

During my first semester on the staff of the Plainsman Press, I met many student editors and writers who acted as mentors and role models.

I really want to thank Matty Molinar, Riley Golden, Tovi Oyervidez, Brandi Ortiz, Tyler York, Dom Puente and Nicole Lopez for showing me how the Newsroom worked and being examples of how a true reporter acts.

Whether it be answering my simple questions or walking me through the process of how a story is published in the paper, these students were more than happy to help me. Without them acting as role models, my start at the Plainsman Press would have been a lot more difficult.

More importantly, I want to thank the other staff members who I have worked with since my first semester, and the ones who joined during the spring.

Working with Autumn Bippert, Tina Gonzalez and Randi Jines for two semesters has been a blast.

Working with Autumn as a staff writer and an editor has been a great learning experience. She has taught me a lot about InDesign and page layout when I attended my first Paper Night. I know Autumn will do great leading the staff next fall as editor-in-chief.

Tina is the person I have known the longest, since we both attended Coronado High School. Being a quiet, introverted person working with an extrovert, like Tina, has been a fun experience. Working with her has helped me realize to take time to appreciate life and to have fun.

Being on staff with Randi has also been a fun experience. I did not get to know Randi until this spring semester. But through paper nights and a few classes together, I got to know her more and was introduced to her funny demeanor, which I will miss.

I especially want to thank the staff members who I have had the pleasure of meeting this spring semester.

Kendall Rainer, Maddie Benavidez, Meghan Arnold, Jordan Patterson, Caleb Brown and Kyle Ewing are all people who joined the Plainsman Press during the spring.

It is bittersweet that I am transferring to Texas Tech, as I will not be able to work with these individuals at the Plainsman Press for another semester.

I really enjoyed working with Kendall in the Newsroom. Being the only two guys working during paper nights was very interesting. I will miss his sarcastic, hilarious remarks that he makes toward the rest of the staff and Charlie.

Maddie is a person who I am going to miss working with in the Newsroom. Whether it be in other classes or during paper nights, she always cracked me up with her funny roommate stories about Tina.

Meghan is a person who has taught me to look at life with a positive outlook. Her personality makes her great to work with in the Newsroom. Due to her attitude, I am constantly reminded to stay positive during tough or exhausting situations.

Kyle, Caleb and Jordan are people who I wished I could have talked with more. Since they did not attend paper nights, I did not get a good chance to get to know them. I wish them the best, whether they stay on the staff or explore new things.

The people I met during my time at the Plainsman Press gave me my best college experiences so far.

If I had not met these instructors and fellow classmates, I do not think I would have had any great college memories. Whether it be in or out of the Newsroom, these people are what made my SPC journey fun and exciting.

Being on the newspaper staff has given me many other opportunities to grow as a person and a journalist.

One huge benefit of writing for the Plainsman Press is the work environment.

Charlie works to make the SPC newspaper as close to an actual local paper. Working in the newsroom has exposed me to strict deadlines, the news writing process and designing the paper.

These are experiences that are hard to get at other colleges. I am grateful that I have been a member of the Plainsman Press to receive these opportunities.

Without the Plainsman Press, I would not have been able to travel to Dallas for the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association competition and conference and would have missed the opportunity to compete and meet other reporters.

Working in the SPC Newsroom has given me many chances to grow as a journalist and to interact with people in the journalism world. I will never forget the people I have met and the things I have done while at SPC.

I am very grateful that I got to experience everything the Plainsman Press has to offer. Being on the staff has given me memories that I will cherish forever.

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