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So long and thanks for all the fish

By Hannah Vickers

Section: Features

April 30, 2010

My interest in journalism started while I was studying abroad in Australia. Up to that point I had planned on taking the most popular path among my peers: law school. After all, I have always loved writing and, on more than one occasion, my father has declared that I can talk my way into or out of any situation. While I was in Melbourne, though, I started to think about what I wanted out of my life. Most people I met over there were more concerned with getting into a field they enjoyed than anyone in America.

I began to reflect on what it was that made me happy and what I could see myself doing in the future. That was when I first got the idea of pursuing sports journalism. When I returned from studying abroad I took two journalism courses with Professor Eileen McNamara, “Ethics in Journalism” and “Media and Public Policy,” and fell in love. I found the excitement I was missing in some of my other courses and was welcomed with topics I could really sink my teeth into. I officially declared my journalism minor this fall and loaded up my schedule to complete it in time.

Around the same time I decided to join The Hoot. When I first began I had no idea how far I would go. As the younger paper on campus, the smaller staff made for a close-knit family, a place to feel at home. I covered everything from the women’s basketball team reaching the NCAA Division III Elite Eight last spring to player and team profiles.

Once the existing editor graduated last spring, I took over. It was intimidating at first, especially during weeks when the responsibility fell on me to fill the two pages assigned to me. I worried about giving everyone fair coverage, trying to make sure each team was highlighted.

Don’t get me wrong: there were weeks where I was tearing my hair out trying to get it all done. But the pressure was exhilarating.

As a lifelong procrastinator, the newsroom and the tension of production night just seemed to fit.

And now, on my last production night, I could not be more grateful for my time here. Through my college classes and even more so through my time here at The Hoot my love for journalism has grown more than I could have ever predicted. As I look to the work ahead next year when I will attend the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern, I can say without a doubt that I will miss my Thursday nights in Shapiro with this team.

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