It has been a long, grueling, unforgiving semester filled with disappointing, dream crushing, heart smashing, and most importantly, a very passionate staff that I'm extremely grateful for.
I started out this semester as a designer-turned-editor thinking this was going to be a piece of cake. To some extent this was true, but most of that notion was immediately proven wrong. Managing a staff of 10 with 40-50 writers is very hard.
But it wasn't just the staff and new management challenges which arose, it was the burden having to baby a new redesign to a publication that hasn't had a refresher in nearly eight years. Wait, yes, exactly eight years. I think we did okay, though. Those long days in the summer, pent up in front of a computer monitor with a bag of cheetos, were worth it. I had my adviser and managing editor to assist briefly at times, which took some of the burden off.
One thing that I didn't expect was having the hard-working and passionate staff that came to be. I've been with The Clarion since I started at Madison College, and I've only ever seen one or two staff who are passionate at a time. The whole lot of us invested a lot, though, and I hope it continues into next semester.
Some things I know I will be better at next semester:
- Designing efficiently: towards the last three-or-so issues, I could design nearly the entire publication alone. One of our designers left, so I had to pick up the slack. About 4 pages of slack, to be exact.
- Managing story and budget meetings
- Knowing when to use food as a bribery: almost never used it this semester, except at the end when I knew people would fall off the face of the planet.
- Knowing when to put a foot down and say no
- Planning for illustrations and graphics
- Knowing what stories to look for and who to give them to
- Reacting to staff drama: all of it focused on one staff member, who ended up having to leave us.
My graphic design classes could never teach me these things, and I'm glad I can utilize these skills now while still being able to design and have fun on a visual level.
All that's left this semester is to apply for the SND annual contest and hope for the best.
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