Volume 90, Issue 102

Wednesday, April 09, 1997



Final column: Supervising Editor

By Laura Koot
Supervising Editor

I drink my coffee black. Three pots every day.

And for the past three years I have sampled this dark brew from a coffee pot at the back of The Gazette office. The percolator is stained with use and has, over time, accumulated an amount of grunge that I'm sure enhances the thick liquid's flavour. Only the bravest Gazetteers continue to use this pot as their lifeline.

Unlike some junkies, I admit I have a dependence. I'm addicted to the The Gazette.

The pressure of meeting deadlines provides an addictive high but there's no question the lack of sleep and poor eating habits are detrimental to a person's health.

While my memory of the paper envelops the gurgling machine perched next to the water cooler at the back of the office it also encompasses other experiences. It includes the occasions I've awoken in the organized mess that is our office and the opportunities I've had to pass on senseless traditions like the late-night chair races around the University Community Centre.

It takes a certain breed of Western students to help fill the pages of The Gazette. Without thick skin, a sense of humour and a fare dose of intelligence one would be quite out of place within the confines of our office. But it couldn't be any other way.

The Gazette provides an education within an education – one where there is little reward other than self satisfaction and praise from people you respect. A fountain of criticism flows freely within these walls and it has helped to nurture some notable journalists and well-rounded people.

As I sat in my ergonomically incorrect chair this year, I have been continuously surprised by the number of people who have criticized the job we've done. I'm glad. It means we have captivated their attention. If someone was not complaining I think it would be cause for alarm. If someone is not upset, we aren't doing a very good job.

The last few years have been a period of discovery – learning about myself and understanding others. The experiences I've had at the paper have made me a stronger person. I can now distinguish the talkers from the doers and I know where I fit in.

Editors before me have had a tendency to get emotional when they write this piece. There are no tears welling in my eyes. I am satisfied in knowing that we are entrusting this publication to the people we have taught and I'm ready to move on.

Of course, now that my term is up I have to tear myself away without the help of a support group or a fancy medical patch. The fact that there is a job with my name on it at Saint John's Telegraph Journal makes this prospect a whole lot easier.

And yes, I've inquired. There is an industrial-sized coffee pot at the Journal. I hope they're ready 'cause I'm looking forward to trying a new blend of java.

No matter what path I travel, I will be pleased to call myself a Gazette alumni.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997