The newsroom: not just a place to write

If you walk the opposite way down Court Street of all the people heading to bars you will come to John Calhoun Baker University Center, which inside is where The Post newsroom sits.  Going to the newsroom is not just about a place to write article but where your friends are located. Food is another factor that attracts people and  most days there is food around the room that people eat that someone else brought in.

My chair, my desk and my past

My chair is crooked, and the seat cushion is stained with years of ass sweat. It probably smells, but I’m so used to it I’ve become immune. My desk is empty, other than the desktop I never touch and the calendar I never flip.

Photo by Pete Nakos

On my right is a barren desk of cluttered paper, filled with previous newspapers and miscellaneous papers that should’ve been disposed of weeks ago. On my left is a bulletin board packed with engaging pictures and fascinating stories, but most of the items are old. Nothing noteworthy has happened recently.

As for the inside of my desk, it doesn’t get anymore excited. Other than the dirty mugs and South African teabags, the only tenants are charger wires, a blue pen and a handful of my business cards. Are you hiring?

This is the newsroom, and this desk and chair are supposed to be coveted by The Post Sports Editor. That’s me.

It’s a strange position. For every optimistic and promising moment on my staff, there are a dozen other stories that I’d like to forget. I’ve had good moments here — four years of hard work to improve my dream of being a professional sportswriter.

I’ve had late nights that have spilled well past early mornings. I’ve watched friends come and graduate, only for a new batch of freshman to come in and try to make an impression.

A lot of times, that sucks.

But the constant transitioning has propelled me to the top. And for better or worse, I’m midway through my second year overseeing the best sports staff of any student media outlet at Ohio University, and maybe even the state.

The thing about growth, at least in this newsroom, is the constant requirement to change and adapt. Sure, writing well is important, but what about filming and editing my own video off my phone? What about the podcast I need to produce later tonight after I write my basketball game story. Oh, and I forgot I still need to meet with the executives to find a time for plan a new radio show.

This keeps me busy. Keeping busy is nice, but sometimes it’s easy to slip behind — either in writing or in class — and suddenly feel as though I’m suffocating to survive. Three weeks in and already needing a Reading Day is hardly an indication that life is going swimmingly.

Yet I keep coming back to this chair. This desk. This stuffy newsroom with no jaded faces and no windows. I’ve grown and matured a lot the past three years. Perhaps the easiest way to see that comes from daily trips to my newsroom desk.

Daily, not much changes. Our stories still seem subpar and I still feel like I’m falling behind in class.

But the mood is changing.

I’m a few weeks away from a fresh start, where daily budget meetings to discuss indoor track and field previews disappear and pay stubs and loans start to matter.

I’m looking forward to that. My current view — my reflection on the dusty desktop screen — has long lost is lure.

Happiness and memories thrive in newsroom

What makes something your favorite place? Do you feel happy when you are there? Does it make you most comfortable? Does it help you achieve your dreams? There are so many different questions that could be asked about someone’s favorite place in Athens?

Every person takes into factor different things but for me my favorite place in Athens is John Calhoun Baker University Center Room 325. This is the location of the place that I feel happy and most comfortable.

Students work in The Post newsroom. (Photo Credit: Eric Walker)

In that room is located the newsroom for The Post, the independent student-run newspaper of Ohio University. There is not much glamour in the room as it is filled with computer and papers lying around.To me happiness is one of the most important things due to events happening in my life that had me have less value in it so know it is what I value over most things. That is why the newsroom is my favorite place as it makes me happy and if I ever am in a bad mood when I go in it will immediately change.

This is the place where I met most of my friends and helped me grow as a person along with some awesome memories. You really do get to know someone after midnight when you work together on editing the paper. One of my favorite memories in Athens happened in the newsroom after 1 a.m.It was my day to do the late night editing with a few others and OU President McDavis announced in the afternoon that he was going to leave OU after his current contract ran out. We had an idea this was going to happen but were not positive so the layout of the paper was changed greatly and meant that all the stories would come in late.

As usual everyone was late on sending in their stories so we all spent the first couple hours of the evening talking as there was nothing to do. Once midnight stories started to come in and as we all became more delirious the more important stories started to come in. Even though it was a lot of work to make sure everything was correct it was fun to edit the stories and see how each person had slightly different styles of writing that all worked.

I do not have a single memory of ever being sad when I walk into Baker 325 as even if you are not “great” friends with some of the people in the newsroom there are always things in common and everyone is in it together.

The place where my friends are and makes me happiest should be anyone’s favorite place but for me it is. Room 325 is my favorite place for many reasons and it has brought me my favorite memories.