Thursday, December 15, 2005

What Was I Thinking? Unclear

I've been sitting in my room all day trying to figure out what I was thinking when I (proverbially) sold my soul to a newspaper for the next year. True, it is one of the things I've found most rewarding in college. True, I have a vision for how things in my section should be. True, since I walked on campus as a bright-eyed freshman two and a half years ago, I have given the people that run this newspaper star status. And I think I even have a copy of the paper from my first visit to Columbia after I was accepted here. (Dorky, I know.)

This newspaper is one of the best things I've done so far with my college career. And yet, I cannot fathom what I just did. Part of it is that I have apprehensions about religious observance which are valid and which I need to work out and part of it is that I have apprehensions about giving up sleep for an entire year and the effect that it will have on my GPA and part of it is just the awkwardness of a bunch of distinct people molding into a cohesive board that can put out a paper for a whole year.

And here I find myself, a newly-minted editor, confused, dazed, and very, very nervous. But I also needed a reminder about what this is all about, about how much I love this newspaper, and about how much this is truly what I want to spend my time doing. I found it searching the paper's archives. In a senior column, I found this quote:

"College is a time when we get to try out those things we never thought we'’d have the chance to do and may never have the chance to do again once we'’re outside the gates. Occasionally, we try things out during college that become our life'’s passion."

Are journalism and editing my life's passion? I don't know--they're not easy professions, and they are harder for Orthodox Jews. Have I given up on law school? Not as of now, but it's also not my only option anymore. All I know is this: my experience at the newspaper highlights my time at Columbia more than any classes I've taken or books that I've read. It has become a part of me in way I never dreamed possible. It has somehow made nights when I didn't leave the office until 7:30 a.m. into the best nights I have had.

I will probably not ever get the chance to stand anywhere near the helm of a daily newspaper again. And though I cannot even describe the anxiety and fear I have for the next year, I also cannot describe my excitement. I owe this job a real chance, after all, it's something I "may never have the chance to do again."

I was just about to hit the "publish post" button, but realized I couldn't because that last paragraph may sound pretty, but right now I'm far, far more nervous than excited. All of a sudden, I'm in charge of something (not the whole paper, but for some unknown reason I don't feel like giving my position) and I don't know where to go from here. I don't know if I can do it and I don't know if I have the stamina to try. I don't know what I was thinking and I don't know why I did this. And, quite frankly, this was not a decision I made hastily or without knowledge of what it entailed.

But all of a sudden, it's real. All of a sudden, I'm in charge and I have responsibility and I am nervous. Shaking in my boots, don't know where to go or what to do nervous. Nervous like when you're about to open that e-mail that tells you if you got into college. Nervous. Really nervous. That's the truth.

We'll see what happens.


At 12/17/05, 6:32 AM, Anonymous jewishreader said...

Hello. I just discovered your blog and am finding it very interesting to read. I was wondering, have you read a book called "Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels?" It is a, I think, an important book (sensitive and fair, in my view) and, something I think would be of interest to many in the CU community. I urge you to take a look. I also think (though I may be wrong) that the author is a Barnard grad.
Gut shabbos!

At 12/17/05, 6:53 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

Wow! Congratulations! That is amazing! I am really very happy for you... you have talent and you are persuing doing what you do well.... You will do great!


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