As a business journalist working on the digital desk of a national TV station, I’m far from where I started at the Gazette as an arts and entertainment editor.
I had wanted to be a journalist since I was a kid (although I had also wanted to be, in no particular order, an architect, city planner, lawyer, teacher and Harriet the Spy).
My four years in that newsroom, and around the people who gathered there, was a ridiculously good education. And I say that not only because I spent significantly more time in that newsroom than in the classes I was nominally at Western to attend.
Some of my most visceral memories of Western are of the late nights our team spent hunched over the layout table, mapping out lines and column inches for the next day's edition with a pencil and paper.
For the ones who didn’t escape, life at the Gazette quickly expanded to fill available space and time. I was at the paper’s office for twice as many hours in a week as I was in any lecture hall or tutorial.
I fell in love with the Gazette, every aspect of it. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was, how important it felt, and how amazing — and talented — the other volunteers were.
I remember being in a circle with former Gazette luminaries, drinking beer and listening enthralled to their stories about how they made it to the Toronto Star, to the Globe and Mail and about their triumphs at the student newspaper.
A wise editor once told me that people who work for a student newspaper will spend their careers trying to recreate the life they had during that first, heady plunge into journalism.