Opinion Editor Says Goodbye

By Brian Klose
Former Opinion Editor

If I could go back in time to tell little high school Brian that he would work with the college’s student newspaper for a majority of his time there, I would bet he look at me in disbelief and say, “That’s ridiculous, why would I do that?” To that I’d say, “Great question, I’ll have an answer in another four years.” My time with The Elm has been an interesting journey, starting off as a flaky, unreliable sports writer to working my way up to sports and opinion editor. Through all the ups and downs, only good things have come from my experience with The Elm.

My life at The Elm started the way that many get their first taste of the writing scene on campus: the Lit House Open House. I had never really considered myself a writer before college, and I went to the open house with very few expectations. The sports editor at the time, Taylor, first caught my attention when he mentioned sports writing. Sports had been a considerably big part of my life at that point, and I had never been offered an opportunity to write about it. So I wrote my name and email on the sign-up sheet, attended the first staff meeting the following Monday, and I was on my way.

For most of that first semester, I had no idea what I was doing with sports writing. Sure, I had an idea of what was happening during the games themselves, but the journalistic side of the articles scared the hell out of me. I was too shy to approach the approach the athletes, so quotes were few and far between. One thing led to another, and by the end of my freshman year, I was fairly sure journalism wasn’t for me.

The next year, I returned to the paper as a sports writer and took it more seriously. I worked my way out of the hole I dug myself and earned the title of sports editor at the end of my sophomore year.

My time as the sports editor my junior year was some of the most fun I had doing an extracurricular activity. The editorial staff, especially the Nick, then opinion editor, made every Monday night a blast. I became much closer with the staff and our advisor, Melissa, and learned a great deal about leadership and managing a staff. I also learned InDesign is a ton of fun, in my opinion.

Speaking of opinions, I switched from sports editor to opinion editor my senior year, a section vastly different from what I was previously used to. I don’t consider myself an openly opinionated person, so finding topics I could confidently write about became tougher than I imagined. Of course, being the opinion editor during the 2016 presidential elections provided plenty of opportunities to skewer the political landscape, but I felt that would be too easy. And with the election of President Trump, I wanted to make sure the section didn’t become another platform for Trump-bashing.

Ultimately, I can only look fondly on my time with The Elm. My favorite moment will always be watching the premiere first trailer “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and recording our nerdtastic reactions. Will I be doing any journalism after I retire from The Elm? Probably not. But the times I did spend with this beast of a career path will always be some of the most influential and memorable.

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