It’s Never Too Late To Start

It%27s+Never+Too+Late+To+Start

Megan Dowden, Copy Chief

My time at the Ram didn’t start with attending an information meeting and signing up for emails as many others did. Instead, I had a conversation with a girl at a party about “Ratatouille,” and the next Tuesday night, I walked into our production room in McGinley basement, B-52, for the first time. I had no idea that one goofy conversation would lead me to be on staff at the Ram in the position the girl had when I was a freshman. So thank you, Colette, for assuring me it wasn’t too late to join and being ahead of your time in “Ratatouille” appreciation. This article is coming from my kitchen table in Walsh since I haven’t actually been able to sit in the basement of McGinley, but I’m optimistic I’ll get my chance. 

Though this is my first semester on staff, I’ve been copy editing for three years. Typically when I explain to people how much time and effort goes into making this paper, they sometimes ask if we get paid. Though I don’t think any of us would turn down a paycheck from Fordham, it always reminds me how unique being a part of the Ram is. What is so unique that we would want to do this? I could say community, experience or even the free pizza we’d normally get in person, but it’s probably some combination of a lot of different reasons. 

Every week we all come together, virtually for now, and work to make each issue the best it can be because we all care about this paper. The nights can be long, and the edits numerous, but I like to think a big part of why we all do it is because we remember what the community on this newspaper was like in person. The basement was a place where you walked in to see smiling faces no matter what happened in your life. Even the people whose names you didn’t know laughed with you at the latest grammar joke or vague public safety briefing. Whether they knew it or not, those smiles allowed me to forget about due dates, club meetings or whatever else was stressing me out that week. 

The biggest smiles usually came from the Copy Chiefs sitting at the head of the table. Sometimes this was because they wanted to tell us about the latest diffuser for the table or point out the new candy they had just gotten for us. Lindsey, Colette, Vanessa, Erica, Emma and Maggie were all Copy Chiefs who taught me a lot. I could try and list examples of what I learned from them, but I don’t think I’d do them justice. 

Unlike in previous volumes where there were two Copy Chiefs, I’m the only Copy Chief for Volume 103. This is a lot of responsibility, but from the beginning, Vanessa, Erica and Emma have been there to help me with anything, whether it’s reading articles or simply helping me when technology has not been on my side. Erica and I have worked the same copy editing shift since we started and used to talk about being on staff. I’m very fortunate to still have her editing with me. Vanessa has always greeted me with a smile and answered my many questions. This dedication and willingness to help regardless of their own responsibilities is the example that all of these past Copy Chiefs have set, and I will continue trying my best to follow. 

Fordham has said that things will be normal come the fall, and I hope the administration is right. Spending my Monday and Tuesday nights in B-52 might sound strange to most people, but to me, it sounds like the perfect way to start off my senior year. Right now, we are unsure of what the near future will look like, let alone the fall, so it’s nice that some things haven’t changed. Whether virtual or in-person, Oxford commas still almost make it to publication. I still have to ask the Sports Editor for definitions of terms that make sense to him, but not me. Lastly, I still get to work with the people who have become my friends in that basement over these past three years.

This year was not the junior year I had planned, and the only thing I know about senior year is that I’d be naive to think I know what it will be like. However, spending my Tuesday nights editing for this paper is one of the few things that hasn’t changed. I’ve learned a lot from the staff of past volumes, and now that I’m in the position many of them held before me, I see how valuable it is. The friendships, advice and even the bright smiles from practical strangers over the past three years seem like payment enough for all of these Tuesday nights.