The Eternal Sunshine of a Sleep Deprived Mind

Reflections of an Editor


Kamille Ritchie, Cactus Editor

It’s amazing we are able to consistently come out with an edition month after month. This semester steadily kept the Cactus staff on our toes. Considering the controversy with our Governing Board and the issues occurring on campus, I’m thrilled we were able to get the paper to our readers. When this semester began, I mentioned the uncertainty I felt taking on the role of editor. It’s a lot of responsibility and I did not want to stagnate the progress the Cactus has made during the last few years. From what I hear, we are still received well. I can’t take all the credit, though. This paper would be nothing without our Cactus writers. Everyone has something special to bring to the table and I look forward to standing by you through our future endeavors.

Although this semester has been one of the most stressful, I managed to prevail and learned some things along the way. Every college student develops a set of skills. We can take something small and expand it into an x-number of pages, paper, sometimes in a short amount of time. These improvisational skills received a thorough workout during this semester. Take April’s editorial, for instance. It started off as an article discussing the need for student attendance at CAC’s governing board meetings and our results from the four day/five day survey we administered on campus. However, when unforeseen circumstances forced the Cactus to pull its front page article, we needed a plan B. We decided to break the student attendance/four day/five day article into two separate articles, one focusing on the four day/five day week, the other on the need for student voices. My fellow editor, Dominic, and I expanded each from 300 words to 900 plus in the span of a night. With those articles conquered, I thought we were in the clear… until I got to school and realized my editorial needed to be changed. Why? It related directly to our previous front page article so that wasn’t going to work. I needed a fresh editorial and I had no clue what to write about. On a deadline, we came to the conclusion that my article on student voices would have to do. In the span of an hour, I sliced and diced my now 900 plus word article back to around 350 words. With that done, it was off to the printers. I learned a sad lesson that day. Not everything you write will run. If it does, it might not be in its true form. It’s okay. That’s newspaper life. It comes with the job.

Through many trials and errors, I feel I’ve grown not only as a writer, but as an adult. Usually a shy girl, I’ve learned to not care what people think. What I mean by this is I’m willing to go after stories despite the possible consequences. Of course, if it will affect my colleagues, I will think twice. However, if something needs to be said and we’re in agreement, you bet I’ll go after it. Our purpose here is to bring you news, to inform you of what’s going on. While being a Cactus writer can sometimes raise your blood pressure, it gives me a way to voice my concerns. Coming from a creative writing background, that voice needs repairs some times. I still have the tendency to write as if I am in a college English class. I’m working on it. While I am ecstatic for the semester to end, I will still be on the job finding new stories for you.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);