- Delaware US-OH
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By the end of the year, I want to write what I call That One Article - that is, the article I will frame on my wall for the rest of my life. It doesn't necessarily matter what it's about or what type of article it is, because if it's this good, it won't matter. I'd like one article I can always look at to remind myself that I can write, something that comes as close to perfection as possible without transcending or bursting into flame or something like that.
After writing my political bias article, I was kind of nervous as to how people would react. It was, after all, a political piece published just after the election, and my face was next to it in case people wanted to know who to throw various rotten fruits at in the hallway. Much to my surprise, I got compliments from people passing by in the hallway. I was awarded a doughnut a few days after. To this day, I still regard it as the best article I've ever written, even though I'm still very hard on myself about it.
I do not participate in other extracurricular activities.
Our original ladder process was really simple and easy, and in my opinion, it didn't really have a way to filter out the ideas that would be impossible or just too boring to write about. People would get stuck writing stories that could only go so far as "not bad" because no one could see these problem ideas until it was two weeks before the deadline and therefore too late. I took it upon myself to create a new ladder sheet, which asked for the relevance and interest factor in addition to the topic. People hated it a little because it meant they had to do extra work - in other words, mission accomplished.
Fair and Balanced and...(Issue 3)
I decided to write about a more serious topic than video games for this column, and looking back, I should have continued to write on topics like this one. Politics is one of those subjects that doesn't win too many friends, so I wasn't completely enthused with this assignment - I had to watch what I said. I could've walked on eggshells and given this sterile, impeccably politically-correct argument to the readers, or I could try to play it like Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart and look very irresponsible while making a great argument. Going with the latter, I wrote in a "flip" voice and did everything in my power to avoid writing an essay (the essay voice in columns is something I despise greatly), and I got compliments in the hallways from people I didn't know. I pulled it off, and I give most of the credit for that to writing with "spice" (as Paul would say) and just having fun with it. I wish the other members of staff would do this, because they're great writers - if they really used their voice, we'd have a lot of color for a black-and-white page.
Hardware Updates Aren't Worth $200 (Issue 2)
I was really, really mad at tech companies when I wrote this because they kept releasing so many new incarnations of their products, so I decided to complain to as many people as possible. I don't think I changed the world or anything, but I did change how I looked at op-ed writing - it turns out it's more of an art than it might look at first. This could've been a dry article that talked about economics in economic terms, but I instead went for the plain-English approach and threw in a personal anecdote that I believe really made this piece. It added a certain verisimilitude (there's a vocabulary word for you) to a piece that would've seemed really empty without it. I could quote all the statistics I wanted, and I would never make a better point than that.