June 1, 2020

After three years, just shoot me

I think I’m the only person to ever join the Signal staff by accident. And maybe the only person crazy enough to keep the same position for three years.

Early sophomore year, I was eating in Eickhoff and minding my own business when a freshman year floormate passed by and said The Signal was looking for a photo editor and I should apply. Why the hell not? And what the hell is The Signal? Luckily I was na’ve enough to think a photo hobby and a 3.2 megapixel camera could land editor, and conveniently enough, The Signal was desperate enough to take me on the spot. My first assignment was a front-page color photo of the entrance to Health Services. I still can’t believe it was that easy, but I’ll be damned if that wasn’t the best chance either of us has ever taken.

For better or worse, The Signal has made me a photojournalist, something I was already becoming without knowing how to express it. It has made me cut class, piss off students, faculty and especially Sodexho employees, try new creative things, meet (famous) people I otherwise never would have and forced me onto sports fields against my will. I’ve seen Signal editors change with the seasons, bringing a new round of people telling me what to do. I’ve seen wannabe photographers drop like flies because they didn’t realize how thankless this work is sometimes (and that I took all the good assignments).

I wonder how many hours total I’ve spent taking pictures . or how much more free space I’d have on my hard drive(s) if not for three years’ worth of continuous photography . I wonder how much money I saved getting into all those events for free and how much I would have saved if I didn’t need all this photo equipment.

My brain can barely fathom the idea of someone else doing my job, but I know Devon and our tiny but resilient staff are going to be great. I’ve often said that if I had the opportunity, I’d be Signal Photo Editor for the rest of my life (a sign of clinical insanity, I’m sure). Maybe if the real world, or the “newsletter” Candida and I are working on, doesn’t work out, Signal will take me back.

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