Loving Lecture

I’m really lucky this semester; for the first time ever, I think, I can say that I enjoy all my classes. That might be (as in comm law) because they are simple and straightforward, that might be (as in magic and religion) because they are about Harry Potter, that might be (as in women and the media) because they are stimulating and discussion-based. But they also might be all about what I want to do with my life. That’s magazine editing.

Going into this semester, I had been told my numerous accounts that magazine editing is hell. Graded on a negative scale regularly pushing  negative 200, this class is not supposed to be easy. I joked this summer that I still hoped it would be an enjoyable hell, because I want to be an editor for a magazine, and this is the first class I’ve ever taken focusing on just that.

So I am very, very happy to report that it isn’t hell; in fact, it’s just the opposite. I absolutely love it. Which is weird, I know. Never in my life have I been this excited to go to lecture and this engaged for the entire lecture period. But how could I not be when we’re talking about types of magazines, roles of an editor, layout of editorial content and things like that? Every class the professor lays out another aspect of the office and world I see myself in once I leave Mizzou. I would go to a weekly discussion of magazines and the magazine industry for fun, so I don’t think twice about the fact that I’m doing it for credit.

And then there’s grammar lab. That, for most people, is the hellacious part. Clauses and phrases, parts of speech, commas and semicolons … most in my section have a dazed look in their eyes or a puzzled wrinkle on their brows. On the other hand, even though I never really had a straight grammar class, it just clicks. Maybe I owe it to Schoolhouse Rock (which we watched in class, by the way), but I get this stuff. It’s logical and it’s orderly, which is what I always loved about math and what people told me I wouldn’t find in a word field (wrong!). And then there’s the homework, our weekly copyediting assignments, which, in some sick and twisted way, I kind of enjoy doing. Kind of meaning I would really, really like doing them if I weren’t worrying about points and grades. It’s actually fun (don’t commit me!).

So, the point is this is really exciting. After two years of classes teaching me the basics of journalism theory and reporting practice, my first magazine class has exceeded my expectations. I thought magazine editing was what I wanted to do for my career, and this editing class has confirmed for me that I am in the right field and major. I get it, I like it, and I’m not going to be miserable at work for the next 30 years, which is more a relief than I could ever express. It’s also thrilling to know that I get this energized by lectures on the topic; just think how much I’ll enjoy the real thing! The only bummer is that I only get to take two editing classes in earning my degree, and there’s so much more I want to learn.


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