Reflections on Four Years at Goucher College: The Q

"The 2010-2011 Editorial Board of The Quindecim poses in their newsroom on Monday, May 2, 2011."

My reflections about my time at Goucher College are not complete without some closing thoughts on The Quindecim, the institution that gave me a sense of purpose on campus and defined me professionally and personally. 

After being voted Editor-In-Chief of the newspaper, I led an extensive revitalization of all aspects of the publication. These efforts transformed The Quindecim from an inconsistent and unprofessional newspaper to a reliable, recognizable, and revered institution on campus. You can read about what we set out to accomplish at the start of that process here

We did a huge service to the Goucher community, one that unfortunately has been taken for granted and has gone largely unrewarded. You’ll get a sense of what I mean if you read here

What I didn’t refer to much in those articles, though, is the impact The Q had on my life at Goucher, and subsequently, in the professional realm. I joined as a photographer at the start of my sophomore year, and despite quickly developed frustrations about the editorial leadership of the paper, I was shooting every day. I was now more than just a photography student in a class. I had deadlines to hit and events to cover. Knowing that my photographs would be seen by more than just one professor, I forced myself to do better work. 

I was named Photography Editor soon after, and because Goucher is such a tight-knit community, I donned a “the kid with the camera at every event imaginable” type persona. It was this visibility that led to countless photo opportunities for the Office of Communications, The Quarterly, The Sports Information desk, the Dance and Music departments, Goucher Hillel, and other various student clubs. My newspaper portfolio was also good enough to land me my Photography internship with the Baltimore Orioles. 

As I started reporting and writing more as well, my involvement grew and grew. Serving as Editor-In-Chief was the most grueling task of my college years, but was without a doubt also the most gratifying. I learned about ethics, tough decision making, working alongside others, organization, time management, attention to details, the risks of making mistakes, and recognition and lack of recognition for good work. These are lessons that reach far beyond a newsroom. 

I view joining The Q as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. As silly as it seems, those first photography assignments about bed bugs and campus housing shortages remain just as important to me as any assignment for a more well-known publication. Without those assignments, I never would have gotten to The Baltimore Sun or The New York Times. Those first photographs ignited a passion that I hope will turn into a career, and for that, I love The Q.

Issue 14 – The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College

"The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College - Issue 14 - May 9, 2011 - Front Page"

On top of final exams, papers, and projects, we published our fourteenth and final issue of The Quindecim yesterday. In fact, it was a 24 page issue, our largest of the year. 

It was easily the most strenuous round of layout and production that we’ve ever had. Those layout nights are awful and wonderful at the same time. The only thing running through your head at 3 a.m. is how much you hate being there, yet when you think back on it several days after, you can’t help but smile. Here is a podcast I recorded and produced as my final project for the Writing for New Media class I’m enrolled in. It gives a sense of what those layout nights in the office are like. Take a listen:

We made several mistakes this issue, some of them major and some of them not. People were quick to point them out, which they should be when they see mistakes in their student newspaper. We’re all students though, each passionate about something different, and there’s a way to point out those mistakes in a way that’s considerate and constructive.

And I won’t let those comments leave a sour taste to the end of an incredible year. It’s imperative to note where The Quindecim was last year: lying in the dust. Without a doubt, there’s still mistakes, and there’s still much to improve upon, but look at all it’s become in just a year.

As you hear in the podcast, what’s most important is the lessons learned, friendships formed, and memories made. Be sure to check back for more closing remarks on The Quindecim to come shortly. 

Issue 13 – The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College

"The Quindecim, The Independent Student Newspaper of Goucher College - Issue 13 - April 22, 2011 - Front Page"

Our second to last issue of the year was a collaboration of current editors, soon-to-be editors, and staff, which is what I’d hoped it would be going into it. 

It’s a nice issue overall, although there were several sloppy mistakes that shouldn’t be acceptable on any publication, let alone ours. These were mainly logistical in nature rather than content-related.

There was one mistake, though, that taught us a good lesson: whatever material you publish, no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be, will get read and can be used against you if done incorrectly.

That being said, we’ve got a strong head of steam going into production week of our final issue! I’ll have much more to say when that time comes along.