Commentary: So long, Pub Lab


Photo credit: Ultimate Exposures

My first photo from the 2018-2019 Oracle staff. This photo was on the lanyard I wore when I reported. Since my first year writing for The Oracle, I have held positions as a Staff Reporter, Cultures Editor and Features Editor. 

By Thea Leimone, Features Editor

The room is filled with endless light, and the walls are packed with awards. The bookshelves are filled with books and posters on ethics and reporting truth. Students sit, bent over computers or chattering away as they discuss the news of the community. This is the Publications Lab of the Diana Meehan Center for Learning. This is the home of The Oracle.

I’ve been a part of Archer publications since my freshman year, and to be completely honest, joining The Oracle staff was an accident, but the best accident I could’ve made.

In my first year on staff I was the only freshman and a painfully nervous and self-conscious one; I second-guessed my every move, and going out and interviewing random people about various subjects was well outside my comfort zone. Approaching a stranger, inquiring about their thoughts on the servery and having my work posted on a public site truly instilled fear in my heart.

Nevertheless, I will miss the impromptu interviews and the tight deadlines as I now sit and reminisce on all of the memories The Oracle has provided me and the person it has allowed me to become.

I have met some of my closest friends on this staff as we’ve bonded over news team deadlines and late-night story drafts. The staff has changed each year, but always remains a tight-knit family I know I can rely on. In the Pub Lab, there is always someone to ask a question or provide an answer for.

Through reporting on my community, I have come to learn the immense value of the press and the student press in particular. I have become well-versed in ethical dilemmas and AP style and know how to jump on a breaking story with speed. I have developed a true passion for learning and sharing about my community, from the day-to-day moments to the community-changing stories.

Now, none of this would be possible without the most incredible journalism advisor, Kristin Taylor. Ms. Taylor steps beyond the role of a teacher as she guides and mentors each Oracle staff member through a deep dive into the world of journalism and the role of the press. She has held our hands, but only for a moment, before sending us off to amplify the voices of the community. Throughout my four years in her class, Ms. Taylor has always been a voice of reason, supporting each and every one of us and working hard to create an award-winning publication.

Beyond learning, The Oracle has changed me as a person. I’ve been forced to become confident in my questions, writing and reporting — to face the comments and critiques of my peers and grow from them. I have learned to connect with my community and with people I would have never interacted with otherwise. The Oracle has expanded my horizons as a learner and a person, and for that I will forever be grateful.

While I am deeply saddened to be saying goodbye to WordPress, Otter, my reporter’s notepad, the Pub Lab and The Oracle, I know that every class and story written is one that I will carry with me into the future. My love for this publication is endless, and I cannot wait to see the deeply impressive reporting it will do in the future.