Thursday, April 12, 2012

Daily Universe no more

Today in the newsroom we had a little finale celebration. This happens every semester but this year's was different because today is the last day the Daily Universe will ever be, well, daily. The paper is going all-digital starting spring semester, which is pretty crazy to think about, especially for people like me who sure do love having a crossword puzzle to do. (Luckily for me the Brimhall still has plenty of New York Times every day.)

It was a great little celebration. Desk editors gave out awards. Kaye, one of the advisers, who for lack of a better term really is the heart of the newsroom, gave wonderful thanks for all the hard work that has been done this semester and over the years in the newsroom. Rich, the other adviser, said absolutely nothing but that was to be expected; I think we all would have been very surprised had he taken the time to say something. We all know how Rich feels about things without him giving a little speech. Both of them have ended semesters plenty of times before, but of course today was different because there will no longer be a daily paper. They'll be moving on in their lives and that's hard/weird to think about. I was only in the newsroom for a semester but the thought of going back without Kaye and Rich being there is hard to comprehend. To me there isn't a newsroom without them.

Perhaps the most touching part of the day was when the A&E desk editor, the inimitable Court, played guitar and sang a little song. I hung out in the "sports corner" of the newsroom and didn't have too much interaction with Court throughout the semester, but he was always good for a laugh and definitely kept the newsroom lively, so him singing was pretty much perfect.

This semester has been difficult and long but wonderful and far too quick at the same time. I spent hours and hours in the newsroom. Some days I was in there for two or three hours at a time. This was mostly by choice and it was definitely a good one. The newsroom is a magical place. I'll certainly miss going to the back of the room, to the farthest corner from the door. The sports desk people are a little out of touch with the rest of the newsroom at times, or so it seemed. We loved that, though. I think the thing that will be most strange is the fact that we won't be able to pick up a physical copy of the paper and look to see who got front page. I think everyone from the sports desk got on front page at least once, which is awesome. It was nice reading my friends' stories and seeing what great writers they are.

It's also been wonderful to see I'm in the right place. I can write and I should be writing. I am legitimately good at writing and I'll be able to do so for a career of some sort. That's definitely something writing for the Daily Universe has taught me. As a kid in my history class would say, "I can do hard things." Yes, I can. And even more exciting: I can write about sports, which is actually really exciting for me.

By far my favorite moment of the semester was going to the Real Salt Lake home opener against New York. I'd never been to an RSL game, let alone get to sit in the press box and go in the locker room to get quotes from players after the game. Without writing for the paper I never would have gotten that opportunity. I just look forward to doing more stuff like that in the future. Something awesome about the recap I wrote for it was the fact that the girl who edited it before it went online said it made her want to go to watch RSL play. Something I wrote influenced someone to want to do something. That was incredible to hear.

I'm excited to see how things go with the transition over to all-digital. Things will settle down eventually but for now it's all new and exciting. All of us writers, at least on the sports desk, are full of speculation and wonder for how things will change. It will certainly be interesting for the students writing in spring. We're all just really happy we didn't have to be the first group experiencing it.

There's something special about being the last group of kids to write for the Daily Universe, and I don't think that feeling will soon be forgotten.

Last YouTube video I watched: Disgusting Cookies - The 2012 Hunger Games

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