“It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.” -Jerry Seinfeld
I don’t know if Jerry Seinfeld was the first to consider how fascinatingly courteous it was of the news to fit so nicely within the friendly confines of a paper’s columns. I’m skeptical, to say the least.
I know he gave it more thought than I did, though. When I applied to be assistant editor for The Emory Wheel‘s sports section, I was too busy thinking about the Atlanta Hawks games I would cover to consider what it meant to produce a printed assortment of stories week in and week out. Visions of interviews with Derrick Rose blinded me from the looming shadow of commitment.
I can tell you now that the news (shockingly) does not perfectly fit the newspaper. The news and the space in which it fits are much more like oil and water than two peas in a pod. Trimming or expanding it into that allotted space is a magic trick that no amount of liquid luck can alleviate.
Gradually, I took on the role of section editor and, in so doing, became a Tetris pro. More importantly, I found a passion for journalism.
In my first year at The Wheel, I wrote nearly 50 articles on topics ranging from participation trophies to Emory’s ultimate frisbee team. I became the official beat writer for men’s soccer and basketball, while covering a plethora of other sports in between. I wrote about an Emory cyclist with a habit for adventure. I wrote about an Explosions in the Sky concert that spiritually changed me.
Writing gave me a peek into the journalism world, but editing plunged me down the rabbit hole. The Wheel was no longer just an extra-curricular activity; it was a part-time job. My life began to revolve around our small paper’s weekly deadline. Yet, time and time again, I found the satisfaction that came from our weekly print edition more than enough to keep me going to the next issue.
The Wheel and its staff were my greatest teachers in college, and I can’t thank them enough for allowing me to be a part of the journey. The lessons I learned at the paper will not soon fade: Truly, Mr. Seinfeld, I will never look at a newspaper the same way.