Dear Viking Saga,
Thank you. You’ve been there through three long, long years of high school. Long nights as a J1, scrambling to get quotes for a print article quickly turned to long blogs as a Web Chief, writing about any topic that set my words on fire. I didn’t always appreciate you, don’t get me wrong. I had been on sports teams, but the Viking Saga was the first time I had been on a real, collaborative, academic team. In lacrosse, you could mindlessly pass the ball off to a teammate, and that doesn’t take much effort. But in Journalism you have to thoughtfully carry out your end of the system to keep it running, whether that be writing a 250 word article or not hogging the camera or posting a gallery quickly enough to keep it timely. When you do something right or wrong, it impacts every area of this machine, not just your own.
It was hard to adjust to this at first. The deadlines seemed to constantly loom over me and I just didn’t seem to ever have interest in what I was writing about. After all, editorials are reserved for editors.
When I had to opportunity to move to web going in to my junior year, things changed. My responsibilities changed, the team dynamic changed, and my stance on various topics changed as I had the freedom to explore them through blogging. I found myself writing passionate, heat-of-the-moment blogs in 85 minutes, and taking my time on others, drawing out the process over a few days when I needed to get the words just right. I found myself firm in my opinions, even if it meant getting into a minor argument (or arguments) with our fearless leader. That may sound bad- but it’s living proof of the way the Saga has taught me to defend my opinions and believe in them despite criticism- something journalists face with every piece of work they publish. This same leader pushes me to think deeply about what I say and what the implications of my actions are, while challenging me to view the world and life in different ways. No, I don’t always appreciate it in the moment, but I realize the importance of his pressing questions when I reflect back on them and the impact they’ve had. Learning to defend your opinions from all angles and consider opposing points of view is a crucial trait not only in Journalism, but in any path life takes you. (Of course, I’d never admit that to his face).
So, Viking Saga, thank you. For revealing my good, bad, and ugly. Not every revelation you’ve given me has been a good one, obviously, but everything I’ve learned about myself through this class has been useful. To change your not-so-great traits and habits, you have to first admit they’re there. On the other hand, you’ve taught me that I can be firm and believe in myself, even if other people don’t. You taught me to advocate for others who may not be able to speak for themselves, who may not have the privilege or audience that I do.