Final Blog: Amanda Granato

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Amanda Granato, Editor-in-Chief

I never planned to be a journalism nerd. In fact, newspaper never crossed my mind when I poured through the extensive list of courses my new school offered. Sadly, I had my hopes of classes I actually wanted dashed when I realized that students new to MISD got the last pick of schedules. But I’ve always liked to write, and I figured if nothing else I could do that in journalism. I can hardly remember walking into EO-102 for the first time- mostly because, by my math, I’ve walked into that room approximately 1,500 times- but I knew when I walked into the jour room I walked into something special.

Over my four years in the program my adviser-with-an-’e’, Leland Mallett, has become like a second father to me. Which makes sense when you consider I probably spend more time in his presence than with either of my real parents— which in and of itself is truly the mark of a journalism nerd. In journalism I found my niche. Before I was alone. I floated by myself in the awkward limbo of not band-kid, or art-kid, or theatre-kid. But once Mallett found out my writing skills weren’t half-bad, I found my place. I rose quickly through the ranks and now I sit pretty in the role of Editor-in-Chief.

So much of my collective high school memories have taken place in the journalism room. From Mallett strolling around with a boom-box, singing Bon Jovi, to the rousing games of ninja played between the maze of desks. I can tell you every corner and nook in that room. The spot on the wall that still has a bit of a glow-stick stain after Jesse and I held an after-hours glow-stick party of two. The black couch with red pillows that I and every other journalism kid has ended up asleep on at some point during deadline-flu season. My lonely PC in a room full of Macs that flaunts it’s superiority by bellowing ‘The grim reaper has arrived’ every time I turn it on (courtesy of one Russell Kirby). And the one corner, seven computers down on the back row, by the outlet and the small trashcan, below the clock, where if you stand still you can get the only certifiable cell service in the entire room.

Sometimes I wonder what exactly kept me in journalism. I love my job and I enjoy pushing the boundaries of my paper, but I honestly can’t imagine what would make any sane person want my position. Long hours, hair-graying stress, mountains of papers to edit and a never-ending list of things to do. The late night dinners in the editors office. Oh, and don’t forget the utter and absolute lack of pay. There were times where it was really only our unflagging loyalty to Mallett that kept my managing editor and I coming back to class. I came to the conclusion long ago that journalism drives you crazy. When you realize the thrill of telling stories, of seeing your name in the byline of a piece you spent hours on, of pressing the ‘publish’ button as an editor, the newspaper bug gets into your veins and pushes you back to the eternal grind for new content.

As Mallett says, “Nothing is ever done, it only meets a deadline.” And as I sat today fixing the hundredth story by myself, last minute, frantically trying to come up with a headline, I realized truer words have never been spoken. Journalism is like life. There are always things I wish I could go back and fix. Stories I wish I had better quotes for or crappy bits I threw together at the last minute. But the universal truth of life and journalism is that at the end of the day, what’s done is done. The words and mistakes of the past will always be there, glaring in pixellated, arial 10 pt font, but what matters is how you move on. Chasing that next big story, striving for less red on that next round of edits, and doing what makes you happy.