Letter to the Editor: My Troubadour retrospective

Ben Miller
Layout Editor

It’s been quite a journey.

Four years at this university, and through the majority of that time I have been working with the Troubadour.

In my current position as one of two layout editors, I get the distinct pleasure of being crammed into a small office with three other editors and expected to produce an eight-to-10-page paper over the course of two days.

I love it.

No, seriously. I know a lot of people wouldn’t expect to enjoy working on a newspaper, but it truly has been a lot of fun.

I have been part of 34 layout weekends as of this print, and I have met so many people through this job, many of whom are now good friends.

In my time with the Troubadour, I have seen many of my friends and coworkers write their last column and take the opportunity to reflect on their time, so I wanted to join their ranks and express my gratitude to this humble paper.

Thirty-four prints. Few things stay constant that long, and, indeed, our staff has not. I’ve got to see our staff change nearly every semester I’ve worked here. It’s strange to now be on the other side. I’m leaving the staff, and a lot of constants in my life are about to change.

Thinking of leaving and of legacy, my mind is drawn to the Troubadour office.

If anyone has ever been to the Troubadour office, they are familiar with our overheard wall. Yes, just like those numerous “overheard at Franciscan” pages, the Troubadour has one as well, but it consists of sticky notes on our office wall.

One of my favorite parts of layout weekends is rereading all our random quotes when in between work. This wall stretches back a few years, and it’s a really interesting legacy to leave behind.

I know a lot of the people on the wall, but there are so many quotes that predate my tenure. In a sense, it’s a glimpse into the lives of previous editors. There are some constants — jokes about not working are abounding — but there is also so much personality present.

Aside from the wall though, there are many things in the office that give me glimpses into the lives of past editors.

Some of our best prints hang on the wall in negatives. There’s a police report sitting in a folder with a name redacted. There is a photo of a past editor’s wedding because a lot of staff attended. There are paper cranes and notes from past editors on a corkboard. Don’t even get me started on our hate mail. One editor even framed their “editor of the semester” award.

Ok, that last one might have been me.

Long story short, there are so many reminders of past memories in our closet-sized office. It makes me happy to just exist in that space even though I don’t know half of the stories on the overheard wall.

So, what am I trying to say here? Thank you.

Thank you to the Troubadour for introducing me to so many wonderful people.

Thank you to previous editors. You’ll likely never read this, but your friendship makes me smile.

Thank you to the current staff of the Troubadour; I’m grateful to have met and worked with you all.

Most of all, thank you to my current layout group for putting up with me. Please know I count you all as some of my best friends. I hope that previous and future groups can be just as close as we are.