celebrating a decade
today i went to the 10th anniversary reception of the start of wright college's newspaper, diversity. some of the people i worked with were still in college. but i am sure they have all moved out of their houses and whatnot. it was a small gathering of about 60 people, mostly staffers of diversity, all dubbing themselves as journalists.

the old enemies were still my enemies, because even though i truly am indifferent to our past conflicts, i didn't make an effort to say hi to them any further than the group hi.

the evening didn't try to make a big deal out of what could have been, and i realize that to try to extend myself further to people who i only vaguely remember and who prolly never really remember who i am would be to fake it. so i stopped asking how everyone is, even though i was sincerely curious.

tom is one of the former editors-in-chiefs that i thought was strange then, and pleasantly, a happy marriage hasn't tempered his teddy bearlike demeanor. he blushed when his wife teased him into admitting that he said there was no AP office in chicago, ahaha.

carol pleasantly recounted how we watched a second city show, the only second city show i am ever to watch, and how the actors nicely posed for a photograph with us afterward. i still have black and white photos of that event in one of the photoalbums in my room.

steven, erstwhile graphic designer and my closest colleague at that time, still wore a leather jacket even in humid may, still tried to be articulate in his own way. except that now the jacket smelled of cigarettes instead of leather, ahaha. he says i've never changed a bit.

curtis is graduating from depaul university law school. he now works for the city law office. his top boss is city attorney mara georges, who i always see on TV trying to defend just what the mayor's done this time, ahaha. he talked about his adventures obtaining a scholarship being as he is hispanic.

victor, david, sarah, karissa were all there and it was great to see them. i remember victor's scathing editorial about mexicans disrespecting their flags. david's consistent news reporting - one of the most reliable there was during our tenure. sarah's commenting on my accent as i read homework to her. karissa's editorials about being directionless just like the rest of us.

rita, EIC after sarah, was nowhere to be found. even sarah didn't know where she was. i remember her asking for comment on her editorial, her first as EIC, and my giving it without having read it, and her finding out, ahaha. even then, i can't lie very well. i remember rita speaking portuguese, and sarah, at the dinner, half-jokingly wondering out loud whether she'd been deported back to brazil.

another girl who sided with me about tommy hilfiger's alleged disrespect against asian americans was absent. her name escapes me now, but i remember her long, wavy hair. i remember it most because it was so blonde. she was editorial page editor and later brought up the issues of race again when 15 of us got in a scholarship at northwestern university whereas she and the other nonminorities didn't. and northwestern actually took in a caucasian student from loyola university. i can't remember what happened to her after we returned from northwestern.

i don't really have all that much ahead of everyone else in there. i didn't get to talk to too many people. everyone actually left after the speeches were done, ahaha. it ended at 9 p.m., four hours after it started at 5 p.m. i didn't put in as much into the evening as i could have, but it didn't matter - with diversity, the newspaper, what mattered most was the time and effort you put into writing the thing. i noticed how no one seemed to mince words that evening.

but i think everyone just wanted to go to the four seasons sheraton to party, ahaha - they had two hotel rooms, one for the keynote speaker and the other for the students to crash. that's one tradition that i hope never breaks ahaha - and my batch of editors started it. but i can't tell, ahaha - y'alls know the rules. what happens between writers stays with the writers.

one thing i could complain about though - one editor got up there and made a sort of a spoof of how our professor critiques the paper. it made me smile because she copied him well, but it also made me wonder. the students laughed when our professor compared the paper with what the new york times has done. he sees them as the future writers of the u.s., and the students laughed at that vision.

but i can't say, i didn't ask them why they laughed - they could be thinking of jason blair and the various other nuances that make people consider the new york times an "eh" paper as opposed to a good one.

but i don't think the NYT is that too far a shot for wright college students.

wright college was always a transitional place - no one stayed too long there, and the writers lived it up because the end of the month and deadlines don't go away. so even the thank yous were deliberate and sweet. and that's how i considered the new batch of editors and writers - they were starting something on their own. for those who want to continue, there's much to be done.

as for me, the school was a mere community college, but it gave me the start to everything - and the paper was no exception.

looking back now, what i needed most at that point in my life was space. for a writer, space is key. diversity was that to me.

but yes, even the keynote thought it was strange that the paper was named diversity, ahaha. but, being one of those who started usa today and only being invited to speak, he diplomatically only had good things to say about it. besides, with the 10th year dinner, the name's stuck.
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