200 Days in the Life of the College

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Wednesday, March 2

Headlines, deadlines, near-disasters: Spec vets know the story

By Allison Eck ’12

It’s my birthday, and The Spectator is going up in flames.

Well, not entirely. But to those of us on staff, it feels as though some conspiracy has been launched against us. Why would our layout software crash just as we’re racing to meet deadline? Moments before midnight? Cruel.

Not only is my birthday fading (along with any hope for more than four hours of sleep), but tonight’s issue is also the last for Kate Tummarello ’11 as editor- ​in-chief. Obviously, she would prefer a smooth close on her final evening at the helm and doubling as deputy reporter, design goddess and commander of copy.

The Spectator is Hamilton’s independent student newspaper that hits campus every Thursday. I am now managing editor, tending to whatever Kate can’t tackle herself, and will take over as editor-in-chief after spring break.

After some scrambling about, the awry software, and staff, are under control and all documents are secure on our desktops. Losing what we had worked on would have cost us irretrievable hours of hard work. But luckily we are safe, and the hours wear on. Some pages meet Kate’s approval, some don’t. Some section editors bicker over word choice, others haggle over font size or pull-quote placement. But amid photo snafus — and birthday brownies — what remains constant throughout the waning hours is our sense of camaraderie, our excitement about the imminent breaking of controversial news nuggets, our devotion to professionalism and our desire to present our fellow students with a well-designed record of the current Hamilton zeitgeist. As in the wee hours of every close, we deliberate over everything from AP style to headlines until the paper is complete.


The next step? Click “submit,” pack up and save the last third of that cup of coffee for the morning.