Journalist writes silly goodbye

Raquel Tuohy

[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Raquel Tuohy” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]

I came to UW Oshkosh to pursue a career in nursing. I told my high school guidance counselor I would only consider schools that had a reputation for solid nursing programs. I picked UWO because I heard from several people Oshkosh was known for their quality nursing school and the University was far enough from home that I wasn’t running into people I knew from high school.

It wasn’t until I was sitting through another endless presentation at Odyssey orientation that I realized I was doing nursing for everyone else but me. I was doing it because it was almost expected of me, given my complex medical history and surface-level interest in medicine. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but nursing wasn’t it. And to my parents horror, I went into college having an undeclared major.

I dabbled in political science, psychology and criminal justice, but I didn’t feel they were the right fit for me. I didn’t consider a career in journalism until a friend recommended it to me after we were watching the Godlen Globes together and I was able to list off every celebrity on the TV. I didn’t know what it was, but I didn’t think it had anything to do with journalism. On a whim, I declared a major in journalism with an emphasis in public relations.

Now I had a major and an overall idea of what I wanted to with my life, and it was time to get involved in something that could give me some experience. At the beginning of my sophomore year, Katie Knox came to my Journalism 141 class and recruited people for the Advance-Titan. I figured it couldn’t hurt, so I emailed her and became a news reporter.

I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, but notebook in hand, I went out and wrote a (bad) story about Run with the Cops. It never ran, but Katie and Brenna McDermot gave me another chance with a story about the cost of the chancellor search.

I will never forget causally walking past the newstand in Reeve and seeing my story on the front page, above the fold. I grabbed a handful of copies while dialing my mom on the phone, completely forgetting I was interrupting her business meeting. I could barely string together a sentence, I was so excited. All that came out was “story” and “front.” Later, she told me she has never heard me so thrilled about anything before.

It’s moments like that, that make me proud to have joined the A-T. Whether it was seeing my hard work pay off in an article, or simply goofing off in the newsroom with everyone on Wednesday nights, I will miss going down there and feeling like I’m home. I like to think that I have grown so much as a writer and as an editor. I’ve learned how to meet deadlines, how to yell at people who don’t and what it means to put together a quality newspaper.

I just want to say thank you to Jessica Johnson, who will probably roll her eyes while reading this. Jess, you have been a great friend and I’m so glad we’ve had each other to vent to and learn from. I’ve seen you kick butt as an editor-in-chief and I know you will do amazing things after graduation. I also want to thank Vince Filak for instilling confidence in me when I came to you with my constant editorial/life problems. Your passion for teaching and your students is something that I needed and appreciate. And to all the professors in the journalism department, thank you for teaching me and being kind. Dr. Jean Giovanetti, I hope to run into you at Target sometime soon. I also want to thank the entire A-T staff who has put up with my incessant questions as I try to gain my footing as an editor, I appreciate you all. And to my grandpa, whom I lost in October, thank you for talking me into keeping my editor position when I was second guessing myself. He told me I should continue to work at the A-T if it’s something that I love to do. And yes, yes it is.