There was a point last semester when I didn’t think I would survive being a PLNU student, editor-in-chief of The Point Weekly and running cross-country. I wasn’t getting much sleep, I was cranking out homework at the last minute, workouts were rough and any semblance of a social life was nonexistent. Lots of people asked me, “Why are you doing this to yourself? Why are you spending 20-25 hours a week working on The Point Weekly when you have so much going on?” I felt like I didn’t have a very good answer.
But now, looking back on this year as it comes to a close, I think I do. Why have I worked on the PW editorial staff? I’ve worked for that final product, being able to physically hold something in my hands each week that I helped put together. I’ve worked for the flush of excitement and pride I feel when I see someone browsing through The Point Weekly in Bobby B’s, the library or on Caf Lane. I’ve worked because I want to make sure our school newspaper adequately informs, entertains, enlightens and challenges our campus community and holds those in leadership positions accountable. I’ve worked because I love the group of people with whom I’ve shared this responsibility, friends I probably wouldn’t have gotten to know as well if it weren’t for the paper. I’ve worked because I love journalism, and I love seeing the impact it can have on our Point Loma bubble. I’ve worked for you, our faithful readers. And it was worth it.
So this is the part where I’m supposed to talk about all the great memories I had with my fellow Pointers (like embracing mutual obsessions with Beyonce) or dote on some of the more weighty stories (there were some doozies) or even express what it was like to give up so many hours a week, including Saturday and Sunday nights into the wee hours of the morning, ultimately leading to the demise of my (pretend) social life.
But my year working for The Point Weekly wasn’t really about any of those things. It was about you. And I hope you felt that way. Amid all the tense investigations and controversial storytelling, you, the Point Weekly faithful, were the nucleus of it all. Each week we critiqued every word of the paper and brainstormed ways to improve and better serve PLNU readers. I was honored to join a tradition of excellent journalism, and I hope this year lived up to it.
To me, The Point Weekly is a place for wrestling with contentious issues, reporting the truth—even if it isn’t what is popular—and telling the compelling stories of our very own students, staff and faculty. If at least one story from the black and white opened your eyes, dug at your emotions or provoked thoughtful conversation, then that’s all that matters.
Abby Hamblin, News Editor
Sometimes I felt like an informant. For the last two semesters, I held a job in Student Development and an editorial position on The Point Weekly. Yes, I admit, I may have once or twice snuck away from my desk with pivotal information to make a quick call to a reporter.
As a journalist on the third floor of Nicholson Commons, I’d see or hear things and wonder, “Do these people know what I do?”
Of course they did; I personally delivered their stack of newspapers every Monday. Nevertheless, while my fellow Point Weekly staff members were complaining about not being able to get interviews, I was sitting at my desk, talking to Jeff Bolster about Ke$ha. A pack of RDs once asked if I’d pause my work so we could watch the latest SNL digital short. Instead of returning them, Caye Smith once gave me a pair of jeans that didn’t fit her son.
Every day I arrive at work, I am faced with a beautiful, humbling and assuring fact: Our school is run by wonderful people. The longer I am a member of that office, the more I realize how little we are hiding. Sorry, but there are no grand conspiracies, no decisions that are made without heavy consideration and no villain rubbing his hands together, saying, “Good… good.”
And to be honest, that’s what The Point Weekly has been trying to tell you all along.
Cory Saul, Features Editor
My time as A&E editor has been the textbook definition of “interesting.” Before “interesting” gets read as a “never want to see a copy of The Point Weekly again” kind of “interesting,” let me explain. . . .
In less abstract adjectives, my time at The Point Weekly brought opportunities that have challenged and changed me in ways that a year ago were wholly unforeseen.
Throughout the year, A&E was formed on a key word: possibility. Art, like faith, always offers the capacity for conversation. Both challenge our awareness of who we are, where we’ve come from and where we wish to go. Both deepen our relationships, internally and externally.
Foremost, working for the paper has given me a crash course in the vital role story plays in our daily lives. We are people of story; whether printed or said aloud, the story continues far beyond what any page can contain. Working for the paper has shown there are spheres of our story that probably will never make it to print or become immortalized in an InDesign layout.
Yet A&E has centrally shown to me that the community formed around our collective words is vibrant, unique and creative—a description that applies and extends to the PLNU community, and is in no way limited to the stories told in The Point Weekly.
The Point Weekly has become a family to me that will live on in stories—lots, lots, lots and lots of stories, that are probably suited to another page, so for now? Back to “interesting.”
All things Point Weekly, from weekly Monday meetings to de-stressing Sprinkles style with the fellow editors, every contributor, staff member, reader (and of course our amazing adviser Dean Nelson) has helped to make my PW experience weirdly wonderful and entirely unforgettable (aka “interesting,” in the best way imaginable).
Alexa Mangrum, A&E Editor
I wake up on Mondays feeling like P. Diddy. I’ve had very little sleep, I don’t know what happened the night before and I need to grab a paper as soon as possible to see if I’ve messed up.
While usually my mistakes are only noticeable to the AP-savvy elite, I will never live down the time I let the headline “a pychologists advice column” go to print. Note the two major errors and the sound of face meeting palm.
But my experience with the newspaper has not been all shame– I did get to rub elbows with the Loma famous, take part in ethical debates and learn more about our campus than I ever thought I would. Plus I had the added perk of getting to hang out with Dean Nelson on a weekly basis. And I’d like to take this opportunity, now that the year is over and my position of power is no longer at stake, to come out: I was the inspiration for most of the Awkward Sea Lions. This was not a choice; it’s just the way I am. I thank you all for providing me with your support and community.
In all seriousness, this has been one of my favorite years. The Point Weekly staff has some of the most hardworking, silliest and downright most lovely people I have ever met. I don’t know what my Sundays will be like without them (probably, sadly, lacking in “Parent Trap” references). I am so grateful for each person who came in week after week to make this publication. It was amazing to feel like such an integral part of this school, like the voice of the people.
Being part of the newspaper has shown me what a great place I’ve lived in for the past four years. I know it seems like we try to push the boundaries, but it’s only because we love this place so freaking much. We love asking the hard questions, we love the people and we love giving voices to as many as possible.
Point Loma PLNU, for everything you’ve given me, thank you.
Also, P. Diddy seems like a lovely gentleman and I apologize for my first paragraph.
Hallie Steiner, Copy Editor
Remember a year ago, when I was not planning on doing The Point Weekly again? Yet here I am, not a student, and still doing it? Filled with Hallies and Annies, Wellness Centers that are not so well, surfboards, baseballs and financial need brochures, which obviously didn’t help me, this year has left its mark in the Loma history books.
Once again, I was a part of history. I have left my mark. This is my final piece here at PLNU. There’s no way I can afford to come back. This is how I’m leaving PLNU: reflecting on my hopes for the future. I want to teach graphic design. I want to inspire as I’ve been inspired. For those who have time here, I encourage you to study abroad; it’s the most life-changing experience. Make the most out of the time you have at PLNU. Be yourself. Make lasting relationships. Get involved. I did. So even though I don’t get to walk down the Greek in cap and gown, and even though I won’t get a 30-cent tassel to hang from my rear-view mirror, I can leave knowing that I left my mark.
“I’m on the in!” (Despite never finishing my degree at PLNU.)
John Castillo, Layout Editor
Add together the Awkward Sea Lion, a Camron Cluff comic, some pieces that are angsty, profound or funny, and you get the opinion page, which I’ve had the privilege of putting together for the past year.
The task has been stressful, fulfilling and, at times, ego-inflating. Like all the other sections, the opinion page is dedicated to presenting the truth whether flattering or insulting—a key component of journalism and Christianity.
As a Christian, the opinion page has given me the opportunity to have my beliefs challenged and restructured when necessary. It has taught me to be “quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19), which is a lesson I will take with me when I graduate.
Now, I leave semi-sure of what lies ahead but comforted in the truth that I will never fully know what may come after my walk across the Greek. At times like these, I read the words of Madeleine L’Engle, “Do not seek to comprehend. All shall be well. Wait. Patience. Wait. You do not always have to do something.” And it usually is.
Miguel Covarrubias, Opinion Editor
Senior Web Editor
It’s been four years since I walked up Young Hill for the first time. Having finally made it to the top, I can’t help but reflect on the countless breathtaking sunsets, relationships come and gone and wisdom imparted.
Standing with five years of the college experience behind me, and nothing but a single finals week and the Greek amphitheatre in front, there are a few individuals I’d like to specially thank. Dr. Dean Nelson and Dr. Robert Thompson, it has been an absolute pleasure to learn from you. Lastly, I couldn’t have done this without my brothers in Christ who were ever sharpening.
PLNU, thank you for your time.
Ethan Linstrom, Web Editor