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From naked bodies to the naked truth

After five years of classes, dropping out twice, andearning three associates degrees, I can say without a doubtthat I have gotten the most out of my time at Tyler JuniorCollege.

I have nothing put positive things to say about this college.

First off, I never had to take the SAT or ACT . I came to TJC straight out of high school and the tests were notrequired for entrance. N ow that I am transferring, all that matters is my transfer hours. I feel as though I have cheated the system while saving a few dollars on testing fees.Truthfully, I never appreciated what this college has to offer until I joined the student newspaper. A fter dropping out for the second time to persue a career in massage therapy, Icame back to TJC determined to get a degree in something and never rub another naked person again. I’m a massage school drop out, too.

I dropped out a total of three times. That’s not bad for a person with three associate degrees.

I have no recollection of what prompted me to attempt a journalism class, but my timing could not have been better. I came in on Laura Krantz’s first semester as the new journalism chair. It was a time of great change.

We moved away from the folded tabloid paper, with assorted gray boxes, and ‘TJC NEWS ” in big blocky, probably times new roman font at the top. We moved back to the Apache P ow Wow, which was the name of the paper when the college was founded in 1926, and began to print in color and sold advertisements.

I was always a pretty good writer, but I was by no means the best. I never even made a four on any essay on the TAAS tests, ever. N ews writing just fit. I was not only good at it, but I liked to do it.

I found my career. A fter two semesters in the journalism department, I actually have a pretty impressive portfolio, and I have gained the experience of a news writer, copy editor, and managing editor.

Slowly but surely, I’m learnnig how to manage stress. Somedays, I’m surprised that I have any hair and the people around me still have eyes. All in all at the of a very stressful day, there is nothing better to my self esteem than seeing my paper finished.

It wasn’t until I had to sit down and talk with faculty and staff members for news stories that I began to appreciate how wonderful it really is here.

People may say that the quality of education is low here and it feels like the thirteenth grade, but really that’s the beauty of TJC. The classes don’t feel as hard because the teachers actually care and want to see you succeed. I have never had to sit in a stadium of 300 to 400 people to listen to a lecture. I have never been treated like a number here. In large universities, there are so many people in those freshmen classes that you really are just a number and another paper to grade.

Fernando Figueroa, Dean of University Studies, attends all of the theater performances (at least all of the ones I went to) and provides unwavering support to the newspaper.Scott Nalley, Director of Student Activities, and the most quoted man on campus, has never turned down an interview.Thank you for that. The list goes on and on. Even though I am moving off to my big girl university, I will keep TJC close in my heart. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, and TJC was there to take me back, almost like a good friend, or maybe family. It was here that I found journalism. So, thank you for my three degrees. Perhaps one day I will even make it into one of those Alumni Association magazines.

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