As I sit, penning my first Lettitor in the current calm of the OP office, I can’t help but wonder, “How on earth did I end up here?”
I started at Douglas four years ago, enrolling in the Print Futures: Professional Writing program with the career goal of “something to do with writing.” Being a wide-eyed 18-year-old, I found that my parents were quite alright with the nebulousness of my aspirations. In keeping with those aspirations, it came as little surprise that my timid self tip-toed into the friendly din of Room 1020 one September Monday. It was all I could do to keep myself from bolting down the hallway with an easy brush-off of, “I’ll go next week!”
Our then-opinions editor (and current Distribution Manager), Jacey Gibb, bounded up to me with a, “Hi, I’m Jacey!” Unable to make a quiet escape now that I’d been noticed, my fate was sealed. I started writing after a few meetings—nothing groundbreaking: Tim Tebow, BC Place, and other mostly sport-related bits and bobs. But each tidbit pulled me deeper in: my name in print, my awful attempts at wordplay, my endless ellipses driving my editors insane… I was hooked. And those raw writings ultimately proved to be enough to land me a Staff Writer job a month later, a position I would hold for two years.
I eventually took on the title of Sports Editor when our incumbent finally departed the hallowed halls of Douglas learning. It was the job title young Eric had always had in the back of his mind while sorting through towers of hockey cards and brushing turf turd off of caked cleats: to write about sports, take photos, and get paid for it. And so I immersed myself in Douglas College athletics, discovering in the process how stellar a program the school has. In rain, wind, raucous gyms, and everything in-between, I followed our teams, doing my best to provide coverage each week as I slowly discovered the life of a sports reporter is often a less-than-glamourous one.
I took on Assistant Editor last year with some reluctance—knowing it would likely spell the end of both my oodles of free time and the Sports section for the time being. Despite the gig typically being the stepping-stone for Editor-in-Chief hopefuls, I never seriously entertained the thought until sometime in January. Now, even though I’ve technically been in the position for a month, it still hasn’t quite sunk in that I get to be the big, bad, boss man. Getting to sit at the helm of this crack-team of writers and editors is one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had—and we’ve hardly even begun. This talented crew can, has, and will continue to work hard week in, week out, to bring you articles that seek to inform and entertain. And they do it well.
Before this rambling first Lettitor finally draws to a merciful close, I’d just like to explain my signoff: “Danke danke.” I took a couple semesters in German one year (if you’re reading this, my apologies for my awful showing, Frau Ebeling) on a lark. My father being Irish/English and my mother being Chinese, it seemed like the logical choice. The best way to learn a language is to use it as often as possible, so, one of the first words I started to use incessantly was “danke.” My mother once, in a moment of Russell-Peters-inspired goodness, said it twice in quick succession with an accent. The pronunciation so amused me that I often use it in place of “thanks” to any I’ve achieved some level of comfort with.
It can be taken sincerely. It can be taken with a note of humour. Or it can also be seen as slightly unconventional. In other words, it’s exactly how I view this newspaper.