Goodbye is bittersweet

November 10, 2011





A year and a half ago, I walked into The Tech Talk newsroom like a scared puppy. I didn’t know anyone on the staff and had a tough-talking editorial staff to which I had to answer. Taking 12 hours, I didn’t realize how time-consuming The Tech Talk would be.


Now, as I prepare to step down as editor-in-chief, it could not be more evident how this newspaper has become my baby.


Reporting forces journalists to come out of their shells. As a freshman who didn’t know many people at Tech, I learned quickly that it’s best to just throw yourself out there.


People don’t know you; there’s nothing to lose. That spring quarter I met many friendly faces on my beat at The Tech Talk from the International Student Office and College of Business.


I mingled with Tea “Partiers” and counter protesters at a Tax Day Tea Party rally. The professors at the Institute for Micromanufacturing were even gracious enough to give me a tour of otherwise private laboratories.


I like to think I learned a lot that quarter. But since then, my growth has been exponential.


Once I joined the editorial staff, the Keeny Hall basement became a home. As I learned to edit, interact with peers in a professional environment and continue writing, the 1970s-style sofas in our lab became an eating, napping and homework spot for me.


Perhaps more importantly, I have grown to love the people I work with. Of course there are bumps in the road and we are all still learning, but I have been blessed to learn from and hopefully teach a tight-knit group of journalism students.


Putting this newspaper out has not always been easy, but there is definitely a sense of pride in knowing students have the power to make a difference.


As I remember last fall, the Student Government Association’s Wagon Project comes to mind. Though the matter seemed trivial to some, others, even some in SGA, had concerns about the cost of the wagon.


The Tech Talk published an article explaining the item and the controversy it caused at an SGA meeting. Though I’m sure SGA members may not like me for it, The Tech Talk helped ensure that the wagon would not be overly expensive.


This quarter we published a story about downtown parking. In the past week, the story has run in The Ruston Daily Leader and appeared in broadcast on KNOE Monroe. While the city of Ruston has yet to make any changes, the problem has gained the publicity necessary for reform.


With that said, I hope to remain involved with The Tech Talk. I don’t think I could simply abandon something I have worked so long and hard on. Still, I have come to the apex of my college journalism career. It’s bittersweet.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, though, I am grateful for the incredible opportunities The Tech Talk has opened for me. For these reasons, I can confidently say you’ll be seeing me. I don’t know when, where or how yet, but I hope to continue what I started here – and take it wherever I can.


Kelly Belton is a senior journalism and political sciencemajor from Houston who serves as editor-in-chief for The Tech Talk. Email comments to belton.kelly@gmail.com.


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