Personal Education through Variety

Leaving the Spectrum on a high note

Oof, I’m a bit ashamed of how grumpy I was last week and don’t want my Spectrum tenure to
end on that note. The biggest mistake I made in writing for The Spectrum was taking for granted how much
the staff and readers appreciated me. Such things usually happen when spring fever blends with winter
blues because spring can’t make up its mind what it wants to be. “April showers bring May flowers,”
should probably be followed by, “April showers last weeks, not hours.”

I had a good time writing for The Spectrum and attending college while also working here. I love
NDSU as it has quite literally become my life and livelihood. I worked and continue to work with
wonderful people who only sought to see the good in me.

College was fun and I recall more highs than lows. It was in my broadcasting class a few years
ago that I was recommended to write for The Spectrum. I contributed articles based upon comparing
books and films because it was something that interested me. I had always enjoyed the film criticisms of
Roger Ebert and Terry Teachout of the Chicago Sun Times and Crisis Magazine respectively. Somehow,
they made writing about movies sound so profound.

I wrote for The Spectrum because I found it to be fun and something to look forward to. It was a
good escape from the studies and work I partook in at NDSU. But on the second year I felt I wasn’t
tackling any important subjects such as current events, and then contributed mainly to the Opinion

I will only say this of then, I doubt my opinions are changing the world as we know it.
I’m very thin-skinned as a writer, and this year at least, I fear the skin gets thinner the more I
contribute. I enjoy writing but it demands much. I become as nervous as a bag of cats wondering what
people think of me or what they will take away from the article. The toughest part of writing for a
newspaper is that you don’t know who is reading or if they are, they don’t tell you.

The people who did help me along were my editors. Had I not been treated so kindly by my
Variety and Opinion editors I would have quit in October. I don’t consider myself a “bookworm” or
“movie-buff,” I just found something I enjoyed and found a way to monetize it. I have realized from my
constant contributions to The Spectrum that I should probably get out more often, meet more people, make
new friends, try new activities and so forth.

Variety was the most fun I had because I felt as if I was writing something witty. I tried to
embellish dry humor and unique phraseology to make people chuckle. I could attempt to be a class act
while expressing ideas I found important. Recently however, I have realized I don’t need to review so
much media-related content, nor do I have to discuss personal self-evaluation. I feel such things are
treasured more by myself as personal preferences.

The articles don’t change but instead remain a time-capsule of what the writer thought about
something at the time of writing. The writer changes though, and gets more experience, learns more
aspects of their environment, life and themself. I cringe at the thought of some of my work being
available on the internet; it may as well be carved in stone at that point. I know I had a good effect on
many people though only because my editors told me, and I offended people which I know only because
I was told that as well.

In hindsight, I think I had a good run writing for Variety. I was given free carte blanche and
realize that sometimes I should probably be kept on a leash when expressing a few things. I will now go
forth from the college, looking back on my Spectrum work as a great steppingstone in my journey as an
Agricultural Communication graduate. And if it’s not, I have at least accomplished part of my dream as an
author, having a reputation and attracting an audience. Thank you all for putting up with me, it was very

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