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Home away from home

May 6th, 2010

After being named co-editors, Brian Bayer and I hoped to share a bonding experience before we began to tackle the editorial and op/ed sections of The Carroll News. Brian surprised me with a gondola ride through Venice, Italy. What a man! He hired world news editor Sean Webster as our gondolier, who effortlessly moved us along the Venice canals with a single oar. 

That is the story the photo tells, anyway. 

Photoshop is just one of several pastimes that keeps the staff of The CN lively and laughing as we put together this award-winning publication. 

The newsroom is a place where humor reigns and thick skin is a must. Staff members are undoubtedly going to be stereotyped, nicknamed and digitally altered with computer software. 

When I joined The CN staff after transferring to John Carroll at the beginning of this school year, I had no idea that the paper and the staff would become such a huge part of my life. 

I had no idea that I would ever want to spend so many sleepless hours in a room filled with pizza boxes, old newspapers, coffee cups, and a strange and unpleasant smell. 

But it happened. The newsroom became one of my favorite places, filled with some of my favorite people.  

Lena Chapin and I were discussing the idea of “home” the other day, and we decided that the newsroom, in a sense, is a home for many of the staff members.  

Actually, it’s like the family room – it’s where you go when you want to hang with your people and work, talk and play. And when your people start driving you nuts, you can escape to your bedroom (or in this case your apartment, dorm or house). 

Being home is about feeling comfortable and satisfied, and mostly, it’s about eliminating the “embarrassing moment.” 

We all have those moments. You say aloud some random thought or bust out a freaky dance move and then scold yourself internally when you realize that your company probably thinks you are a very strange individual. You’re embarrassed. You want to hit rewind. 

Home is about being in the moment and being honest without feeling the wrath of rosy-cheeks and regret. 

I feel that way about being with The CN staff. I’m comfortable with these people, and I genuinely like them. 

When they pick on me, I’m not offended, and even the nicknames I am given are accepted as terms of some kind of endearment – even when they call me “Snooks,” a nickname I acquired thanks to my good fortune of sharing a first name with one of reality television’s infamous guidettes. What an honor!

The kind of name-calling and menacing that goes on in the newsroom is the kind that occurs among siblings. It’s never meant to be hurtful; it’s only meant to provide a good laugh, and it usually works. 

Every Tuesday The Carroll News staff works laboriously to complete the week’s issue of the paper, but behind every issue are hours of fun and games to accompany the articles, columns and layouts. 

I couldn’t be happier with my decision to come back after that first CN staff meeting last fall.