Journalism, by nature, is unpredictable—you never know what’s going to crop up. I had planned to start the year on an optimistic note. I graduated last spring and I wanted to talk about that experience—and why I’m back for more. This editorial was going to be about being gung-ho for the fresh start of a new school year—cheesy and annoying. I probably would have deleted it and wrote something else.
Journalism does not like to go according to plan.
This morning [Aug. 29] I was at one of my other jobs when I got a phone call. My cat had died.
Bailey was 13 and he was my childhood pet—my only childhood pet, so this experience is new. This is the cat who climbed the screen door, all of the downstairs doorframes to the ceiling, aided my sister and I in pulling down both a large curtain rod, and, one year, our enormous Christmas tree. He scratched up the couches and chairs and the paint is gouged all along the edges of the window sills he would like to jump up to and sit on.
All of these physical reminders are distracting, but journalism, however, must go on, and the Nav. has a first issue with pages that won’t fill themselves.
Something that struck me while digging the grave for our beloved family pet was that this was the only event that brought my entire family together this summer—it was our first common activity in so long, I can’t remember the last time we all set to a task in unison, let alone were all in the same space together. Why?
Well, we’re busy. I have several jobs and school on the go, my sister moved out awhile ago and has a busy life of her own, and my parents and youngest sister are busy with a sundry of sporting, school, and work activities. There’s little overlap—except when the family cat dies.
Life is busy, and full of deadlines (including this one, which has whooshed by, in the vernacular of Douglas Adams—though I can’t say I enjoyed watching it go) and it’s okay to keep occupied with all of that, but if anything, this has been a reminder to take time out, and make room for things aside from work and school.
I swore I’d never turn this editorial into a dispensary for unwanted advice, but here it is, for one week only: this school year, every once in awhile, make time. Life is short, so drop the studying, put off the project for a few hours and spend time with the people and pets who are important to you. And if you have a cat, give him or her a hug.
As for journalism, look ahead to a year of diverse stories (and perhaps a dash of controvercy) from a fresh editorial staff. Producing the Nav. is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of job: deadlines do creep up and much midnight oil is burned in the process. Imagine taking five courses and then adding 3500+ words of research and writing (due every two weeks) on to that, and you understand the workload of many of the Nav.’s staff, but none of us would do it if we didn’t enjoy it and ultimately believe that you will too. Whether you love or hate the Nav.’s content, we want to know about it—and you might even appear in print on our letters page. Welcome to another school year from the Navigator.