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Any given Tuesday

Anneliese Woolford | Wednesday, April 28, 2004

If anything, it’s made me more predictable. Choose any given Tuesday within the past year I can tell you exactly what I’ve done between 6:30 p.m. and 4 a.m. I guess that’s what working as an Assistant News Editor at The Observer does to a person.Had I initially been asked what I’d gain at the end of my time in this position, predictability would be the last thing on my mind.I never considered the fact that my roommates would leave an open parking space in front of our apartment without my reminding them. I never expected that my friends would go out to the bars without asking me along, and I certainly never guessed that I would have a Tuesday dinner routine at Reckers. Actually, my cooking skills are virtually non-existent, so I shouldn’t be too surprised by that last one.As I write this, tonight is my last at The Observer. Now I’ll need a reason to come to the basement of South Dining Hall and I can’t deny that I’ll miss having one.To be completely honest, I’m surprised that I’ve stuck it out this far. I announced my “retirement” from all Observer-related duties at the conclusion of my term as Saint Mary’s editor in March. The realization that I would no longer have an income and the persistence of a certain news editor were the only aspects that prompted me to stay.Without trying to generalize, I think many Observer readers fail to appreciate the time and effort that goes into a daily newspaper. Before working here, I too simply picked up a copy each day to flip through on my way to class. I didn’t know how the stories came in, how the paper was put together or how it managed to be printed and delivered by 10 a.m. I didn’t care.Now that I’ve been here week after week starring wide-eyed at a computer screen into the wee hours of the morning, I do care. With editing each story at least two times and laying out pages, many of which begin from a blank template, nightly staffers are lucky to make it out by 3 a.m. I’ve even witnessed a few occasions at 5:30 a.m. myself.Coming in at 7 p.m., that’s a long night. It’s made even better by time spent waiting for late stories to come in, negotiating with someone to write an inside column and uploading stories onto the Web site. At least the weather’s finally warm enough where I don’t have to scrape the ice off of my car and wait for it to warm up before driving home.Regardless of it all, I’ll miss my counterparts here more than anything else. With slogans like “News: We Put Out The Fastest” and a blown up microwave over a simple bag of popcorn, how could I not look forward to coming in each week? I’ll definitely reflect back on this experience positively, but can already say I’m anticipating the much-needed free time. Corby’s here I come.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Anneliese Woolford at [email protected]