I started working for the Weather Vane almost before I arrived on cam- pus my first year. I knew Jason Sprunger, then Co-Editor, who had been a friend from high school. Talking with him the summer before arriving, the idea was planted in my head. It was reinforced again at the first ice cream social I attended, when I was again invited to participate.
I dove in then, and have kept up with the paper since that time.That first time was not a sure thing. The Weather Vane offices were still hosted in the Intensive English Program building’s basement, far from the beaten track. I recall looking for it that first Wednesday and getting horribly lost. But eventually I found the building, and slowly found a space for myself.
I volunteered as a staff writer that first year. Opinion pieces were my mainstay, though I dabbled in other genres. Sophomore year I found my- self work study eligible, and took up a post as opinion editor until I traveled to the Middle East in the spring. Returning from cross-cultural, I took up the position of Co-Editor in Chief, partnered with three fellow students across the four semesters.
It has been hard at times. Co- Editing is a substantial commitment of time and effort. Writing, editing, planning, and coordinating fill many hours. There is an emotional commitment required, and the pressures that arise from holding such a public position have been difficult at times. The paper also intrudes into my thoughts regularly I have Weather Vane on my mind the whole day through.
Despite this, Weather Vane has been entirely worthwhile. It has forced me to improve myself: writing, speaking, interviewing, organizing, and leading. I have acquired an eminently useful toolkit to take with me as I finish up my time on campus.
Weather Vane is more than a utilitarian position to learn knowledge and struggle to produce. It is also a fun time.
I have had the pleasure of sitting down with administrators to discuss university happenings. There have been late nights with students and the odd community that sleep deprivation produces.
But few things approach the satisfaction of holding a printed copy and seeing what one’s work has gone into.
Sometimes the best experiences are also the most unexpected. After no substantial interaction with the Weather Vane during the first six semesters of my college career, I decided to boldly apply for the position of Co-Editor in Chief. While the Weather Vane generally tends toward hiring those with more relevant experience, my other involvements on and off campus gave me the confidence and leadership skills required to take on such a position.
That is not to say the process of taking on this role has been easy. In fact, the learning curve has been steep. From balancing the interactions of staff members to writing for a larger audience than ever before, the challenges of working for the Weather Vane have been both stretching and rewarding. Week to week, Co-Editors in Chief are responsible for attending work- shops, running planning meetings, and overseeing the production of the news- paper on Wednesday nights. We make decisions regarding content and style of the paper, always taking into consideration the Weather Vane constitution and guiding principles.
The position requires time, energy, and a deep interest in and care for the life of EMU. It necessitates an attention to detail and an eye for the big picture. Like any great undertaking, it draws on many skills and helps to develop many more. My unexpected entrance onto the Weather Vane scene has been an unexpected plea- sure, and I have learned a great deal.
Joel and Ryan are one man shy of being the three stooges.