Graduate Column: Ethan


Valerie Lynch

These people have inspired me dearly since day one. Derby, Cedric, Abigail, Catrina, Zoë, Will, and Lily, I cannot thank you enough for the tireless work you put in every week. Every one of you posses the gift to brighten my day, and to motivate me endlessly toward a better tomorrow.

Ethan Neal, Reporter

“This was the student life office, huh?” I boredly pondered to myself as I sat outside Valerie Lynch’s office door, waiting anxiously for at least 20 minutes.

Just earlier in the day, I scribbled down the provided information onto the application’s blank spaces, overthinking far too much if I would actually become a member of the college newspaper. A two page response to a six word question seemed rather unnecessary and brutally careless to any reader.

But within, I knew that I desperately needed to start somewhere, especially if I wanted to develop a career as a customary journalist—to make the first step in the right direction, and to release me: the 19 year old who had a never ending passion for writing, but had never had the opportunity to write for a (nonexistent) high school publication in Windsor, or for some reason, never applied as an intern over the summer.

Nonetheless, after being asked questions ranging from my lacking experiences, to siblings, to rapper, Cardi B, one week after my interview with  (director of Student Life) Valerie Davis and (Newspaper Editor in Chief) Derby Roan, I was sent a surprising message, that I was officially apart of the 2017-2018 Navigator News staff.

I was suddenly surrounded by people who were much more vocal than I in an area in the Luther Student Center, which is referred to as the, “Nav Room,” or just the news room. In the back of my worried mind, I was observing my surroundings and thinking to myself, “there’s not a chance that I’ll be able to survive with all of these intelligent minds!” I was already fearful in the middle of my first meeting.

This fear decided to strangle me tight, all throughout November and December, which were my first months on staff.

Hours before I interviewed anyone in my existence, I completely froze, turning frantic.

Thankfully, Derby was there to answer any of my mindless and straightforward questions in regard as to how interviews operate here at Lake Land.

My foolish struggles and lack of understanding didn’t end there after the first interview, however.

Managing Editor, Zoë Donovan came to the rescue, not once, not twice, not a third time, but four times, simply because I could not operate the prominent, Canon EOS camera. I eventually learned.

A pen, notepad, camera, and other journalist friendly tools have remained by my side since winter, and have shown me why the world of journalism is the career for me.

The pen, notepad, camera, and anything else have served a wonderful ultimate purpose.—To connect with a total stranger, and to learn bits and pieces about them was gratifying for me. Whether it was information that leaned toward personal (family), or rather casual (celebrity interests), I ate up every single moment.

Even if an interpersonal interaction with a fellow student or athletic coach only lasted a minute, it gave me a glimpse as to what my future may possibly behold for me.

More so, the Canon camera, (which I’ve hauled around for many different gatherings and social affairs) summarized the community that is Lake Land College.

Attending the underappreciated events hosted by the S.A.B. was thrilling in its entirety. I was impressed by the talent that the board invited on stage every week. Arriving elsewhere, such as the Field House, many buildings, and library to photograph the ins and outs was surprisingly fun from start to finish.

Going to award banquets, movie nights, sporting events, and induction ceremonies displayed the finest group of people at the college, and they all

I must confess that a similar sentiment, but much grander was felt and somewhat achieved across the very short timeline as a reporter for your local, student newspaper.

Surpassingly amounts of knowledge were shared and ultimately learned between myself and the staff, and I couldn’t be any more thankful. For the first time in my life, I was proud of myself, feeling accomplished to see my own words onto folded pieces of paper.

In the future when I progress further along as a journalist elsewhere, I will always remember where I came first. I will always remember the kind-hearted people in student life that dealt with my ridiculous behavior. I will remember the trip to I.C.C.J.A., which was my defining moment on the Navigator News. I will remember the Nav office, as if I could ever forget that sort of coziness. But most of all, I will remember how happy I was, and still am because of everything written above. You, and Lake Land College as a whole provided me the opportunity to learn, grow, and to yes, read my stories. I am forever grateful for the memories I’ve secured, and only wish that the succeeding Navigator News staff can continue to give journalism the reputation it deserves.



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