So the Thorn’s final issue, a commemorative issue to Dr. Hulbert, our departing president, is done. I just e-mailed the PDFs to our printer, right at the 05:00 deadline.
I ended up becoming only one of the halves of a lap onto which the paper was dropped. I look at what’s finished, and I realized I did very, very little. How disappointing.
We were supposed to have most of the content in by April 30, so we wouldn’t be doing this shit at 04:30 on the night before distribution. I, however, didn’t write my story until Monday this week, dragging my heels because I didn’t want to write my first-ever “news article” in such an important issue. I ended up writing two articles combined into one since my other writer reneged, but, alas, such is life.
I wanted to get my page on coeducation done last night. I wanted to get the template and content of the center-spread timeline laid out so all Bob would have to do would be to scan in the pictures I picked out and place ’em. I wanted to help Bob figure out what we wanted to do with Hulbert’s old 1976 interview, so that would be cake as well. I didn’t want to be a bitch at people’s slowness or ignorance, and I didn’t want to be the one holding back progress on production. These were my goals for the past two days.
I did get my page done, for the most part–all that remained for tonight was copy editing. The timeline–well, I should have known I wouldn’t have have been able to do something artsy enough to satisfy Bob. My work was pretty much for naught there, and Bob seems to have started from scratch on content there, and that spread (largely not copy-edited) was what held back sending the PDFs in until 05:00. It did look sexy, but there are bound to be embarrassing mistakes.
I didn’t get clear specs on what we wanted for the interview page, so my time spent hacking a 3300-word interview down to a 700-word interview that would fit on our original plans for the page was also for naught, and Luke ended up doing that whole page himself.
So I did one page of a twelve page issue. I wrote a rush article on one of Hulbert’s crowning achievements and gave it a half-page (remember, this is tabloid-size, 11 inches by 17 inches). All else, I found myself unable to finish. I bitched out one of our copy editors when she pointed out my lack of productivity (I e-mailed her an apology about ten minutes later, but female-female “friendships” [by which I mean a favorable acquaintance, really] don’t really recover from these things). I left in the middle of production tonight to get another three hours of sleep (and, admittedly, to avoid alienating anyone else).
There’s really no excuse. If I can get along just fine and fly through two exams on three hours of sleep every night for a week, surely I could have done more for the paper, been more helpful, been more patient. My crowning achievement this week (aside from the aforementioned exams) was not completely slaughtering the writer who didn’t give me a story for this issue. And that’s kinda sad, because at the time I was in a energy lull (that odd, almost-mealtime drop that is accentuated with little sleep and no exercise), and just too tired to muster anything other than resignation.
This doesn’t bode well for me being News Editor again next year or anything else after Bob and Luke graduate. I think this is was the first week where I really didn’t feel like working on the paper, where InDesign actually pissed me off with its quirks, where this felt like a burden rather than a fun escape from an existence lacking in social interactions (note to self: more on that at some later date), and where the office banter just wasn’t enough to keep me there all night.