What does writing for The Triangle mean to me? Well, let’s go back a few years.
As a teen entering college, one of my guilty pleasures was watching “Sex and the City.” Of all the characters, I admired Carrie Bradshaw the most. She wrote her own column about the topics others were afraid to explore. More importantly, she was confident in herself and her ability as an independent and talented woman.
Now, Carrie may have been a fictitious character created by a host of writers and producers, but the message that she conveyed couldn’t be closer to the truth.
Some of you may be thinking, “Carrie? Doesn’t she write about relationships, life experiences and risque (and at times inappropriate) stories? What does her writing style and content have to do with sports?”
The real question is, “What doesn’t it have to do with sports?”
Teams are built on relationships. The best and most effective players are the ones who compete for the name on the front of their jersey, not the one on the back. Their experiences of traveling for hours on a bus together make them stronger as a unit. And risque? I don’t need to tell you about all of the sports scandals that broke this year alone.
As much as I hate to say this, sports journalism can at times border the line between mundane and repetitive. With statistics galore and games multiple times a week, it’s always a challenge for journalists to present the information in a new and interesting way.
My goal as sports editor has always been to bring an exciting twist to the content.
Each word that I type is an expression of myself. Whether I’m writing about the Jerry Sandusky allegations that rocked State College or the game-winning basket that sent the Dragons to the National Invitation Tournament, it is my hope that my readers see the story in a new light.
But back to Carrie.
As I mentioned, she was confident in herself not only as a writer but also as a talented woman. Now, I am not saying that I based my life decisions on this one character, but I did incorporate her confident approach to life into my own.
As a transfer into Drexel my sophomore year, I was nervous. Despite being from the Philadelphia area, I didn’t really know anyone. I was just a girl in a big city — the world was wide open for new experiences and opportunities. But where to start?
After meeting former sports editors Mike Mazzeo and Alex Falk, I instantly felt like I found my niche.
I could not wait for my first assignment.
When Mike called and asked me to write a feature on a softball player I jumped at the chance.
I showed up to the field after her game with a notebook in hand, nervously waiting on the sidelines. When she came up to me, I stumbled to find the page in my notepad where I had written an excessive 20 questions. Finally, I found it and I was ready to go. But as we started the interview I realized I didn’t have a voice recorder.
Panic immediately sank in, and I frantically tried to write down every word she said. Missing key words and phrases, I felt helpless, like I had failed before I even had a chance to start. At that moment she stopped what she was saying, waited for me to finish writing, and then continued at a snaillike pace.
Her kindness gave me a sense of calm, and I finished the interview — but just barely.
My way of thanking her was to write the best dag-on article The Triangle has ever seen.
After hours and hours of typing and deleting and typing and deleting, I was finally finished. I was so proud of my article — all 3,000 words of it. Did I mention it was in paragraph form?
As I hit “send” on my computer, it didn’t take very long for Mike to tell me politely that my article was more like a novel than a Triangle piece and was unusable for the issue.
My heart was broken. I had spent all this time and energy and for what? To be told by some senior that I wasn’t a good writer? After getting over my fury, I asked Mike how I could fix the article and format it appropriately for the paper.
He then proceeded to spend hours calmly explaining the proper Associated Press format and reiterating the fact that I shouldn’t be discouraged — to keep on trying.
That motto is something I have carried not only through the newspaper but also through my collegiate career.
Things won’t always go your way in life. In fact, oftentimes you must fall down time and again until you have the strength and courage to stand on your own two feet.
That is a gift that I will take with me throughout my life.
As this final piece sadly comes to a close, I can’t finish without expressing my sincere gratitude to the whole Triangle staff, and most specifically former editor Alex Falk and my current co-editor and partner-in-crime, John Chagaris. In addition I would like to thank the whole athletic department, especially Eric Zillmer, Mike Tuberosa, Sam Angel and Christina Puggi for being the wonderful intermediaries. You have all made my time at the newspaper truly special and something that I will never forget.
As I enter this new chapter of my life, I put on my brave face — or as I like to call it, my Carrie Bradshaw face. And I take with me the wonderful friendships I have made and the countless lessons I have learned as a member of the Triangle family.
I leave Drexel a talented, independent woman.