When I was informed by Mr. Dawers that students would be required to complete two articles for the Inkwell, I was both nervous and excited. Nervous because I felt like I was being thrown to the wolves, and excited because it was something I had never done before.
I had no idea what the process would be like and I knew no one that worked for the Inkwell, but I soon found out that they are students just like me and understand where I am coming from. The thought of people reading and criticizing my work was frightening, but I guess as a student studying journalism, thats something I will have to work to get over, and writing for the Inkwell was my first step toward that goal. Also, after expressing my nervousness to my advisor, he gave me some advice to help me understand that it is not me that people are critiquing, it is the format of the words on the paper, and if you want to be comfortable, you are going to have to build some callouses.
For my first piece, it was my job to get the inside scoop on the Gamble Hall renovations and find out why no improvements had been made during the renovations to the restrooms to better accommodate people in wheelchairs. I chose to cover this because I thought it would be interesting to see the replies, if I got any, from the people who oversaw the project. I also thought it would be neat to rock the boat a little. I threw my hand up when the idea was pitched. I realized later that this was going to be way out of my comfort zone, but I pressed on and got some cop out replies just like I anticipated. I received the go-to response that everything was legally up to code. When informing Mary Dillard about the responses I received, she got a little angry because she felt that aiming only to meet code was the bare minimum that they could do. I was super nervous seeing this published in the Inkwell because it could definitely ruffle some feathers, but it was exciting!
I just finished my second piece. It is a spotlight article on the local band Me And The Trinity. I really enjoyed working on this article because I love music, and I am a musician myself. Learning about the members of the band and their inspirations was exciting, and many of their inspirations resonate with me, so I would say that I enjoyed writing this piece the most. I ended up going way over the word count and had to cut some parts out, which is a clear indication that this piece was not simply a task that I had to trudge through to get my grade.
Overall, I had fun writing for the Inkwell and I think that doing so provided my nerves with some insulation, or “callouses”.