I was a zoology student for two full years before switching to journalism. Today, there is no way I could tell you what made me change to journalism. I cannot seem to recall hearing anything about the program or some overlapping course I ended up taking that piqued my interest, but what I do remember is arriving in Karen Lykins’ reporting class and the semester that followed. Heaps of gratitude from me to Karen for making news writing more than a formula for freshman to follow. Instead, she interjected real conversations and welcomed discussions that led to critical thinking. That class made me comfortable in a way I had never been as a zoology student and allowed me to think and speak freely, something needed in the news room and far beyond.
Dr. Wilson’s open office door has been a beacon, particularly upon graduation. My comic strip was from the heart in last week’s Oracle. Graduation prep is a blind walk through the set of Double Dare. When you need to know, ask. And when you need to know precisely and politely ask the ever-propitious Dr. Wilson.
Sadly, in a few inches of text I would fall short of expressing what Hutch has done for me as a writer and a thinker so I will simply send a “hey thanks!” his way in this format. And for his current and coming students, soak it in. You won’t get dry humor that good or that teeming with usefulness in the rest of your time here, maybe anywhere.
The faculty of our department is a resource students ought to become familiar with and seek guidance from. Try not to float by in the recesses of 369’s corner desks. Speak up when you don’t agree with whats in or out of the paper.
Write stories outside you beat that you just find. Talk to the editors and combine your efforts to make the Oracle the things it hasn’t yet been. And get involved in SCJ, make it a real functioning body of student journalists and apply to Oracle positions.
Don’t let it be the good ol’ boys club. Make it a paper that students read to get the news. You make these years exceptional by doing.