Newspaper Kids: Sophie’s 30

Sophie Chau, Lead Editor

When I first stepped into the old newspaper room, my first thought was, “What a mess.” And it was a mess. Papers were piled high on tables strewn across the tiny portable, the ground seemed to be replaced by plaster and bright linoleum, and any sounds of outside life faded behind the thin wooden walls. But then we all gathered round into a disorganized circle of people to review the summer issue, and it all made sense.

Actually, that’s a lie, no it didn’t.

None of it made sense. I sat there as people shot one comment after another, giving input and suggestions about the edition, some of which seemed impossible to comprehend. “The stroke is too large,” one of them said. A stroke? That sounds serious. “The cutline here is formatted wrong,” said another. It felt like an alien language.

And in some ways, it was an alien language. As the years flew by and I gained more knowledge, though, it just became language. You know, learning, and all that. With it, newspaper became more than newspaper, it became a part of me: a pain in my ass…but in the way that all loved things are difficult. Not a single paper gets printed without the hard work of over two dozen people, and as is often said, trauma has a way of bonding people together.

As cheesy and cliché as it sounds (because it is cheesy and cliché), newspaper became a family to me. They’re who I say hi to in the halls, and the people who I’ve suffered countless late nights with, staying up sometimes until 11 p.m. just to make print deadline.

We humans tend to organize ourselves into groups. In high school, there are the “band kids,” the “theater kids,” the “yearbook kids,” the “football kids.” I do not know who I will be as an adult, but I do know that I was, and to some extent always will be, a newspaper kid.