This is not an exit

Farewell to Flux

In Uncategorized on March 18, 2013 at 11:48 pm

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Fifteen months ago I sat down in a booth at the Fishbowl opposite two senior staffers from Flux: Managing Editor Maya Lazaro and Copy Chief Kendall Fields. I had applied to be a writer when they noticed I had experience copy editing. The magazine was looking to fill a few copy editor positions and the ladies asked if I’d be interested.

“Why not?” I replied.

I left the Erb Memorial Union feeling good about my shot at a writing gig with the School of Journalism and Communication’s flagship magazine. I’d been enamored by the publication ever since I visited the UO campus in November of 2004 for the Duck Preview. The spreads featuring geocachers, capoeira artists and shotgun weddings have been crystal clear in my mind since the first time I laid eyes on them — that saddle-stitched issue is still hidden away in my closet, right at home with other relics of my days as a high school senior.

I wasn’t expecting the phone call I got the following day. Kendall was on the other side of the line when I answered. She said I interviewed well. She also said she had a question for me.

“I’m leaving at the end of this term,” she said. It was December 2011 and fall term was just about to end. “And we were wondering if you’d like to take my spot as the copy chief for Flux.”

I had no idea what to say. I had spent so much time focusing on administrative work the previous year when I was the editor of The Torch at Lane Community College that I hadn’t done much writing at all. That’s why I wanted to be a writer for Flux. I wanted clips. I wanted to grow as a storyteller. I wanted to do as much as possible to ensure I’d have a job waiting for me after graduation. So I made a few phone calls and I talked to old advisers, former editors and my friends.

The answers were all the same: “Take the job.”

I was reminded that I was one of a handful of people trying to push out a newspaper once a week at Lane. The job at Flux gave me much more flexibility. I accepted the job and I couldn’t be happier with the year that followed.

I’ve made great friends, worked with some of the most talented students and professors at the J-School and contributed to stories that have won national recognition. I had the privilege of helping shape the course of one of the most prestigious publications the University of Oregon has ever produced and I still can’t believe how fortunate I’ve been. Without Flux, I would never have joined OR Magazine, taken three educational and enlightening trips to Coos Bay nor traveled to Portland for its first ever commercial comics convention.

Maya and her co-editor, Max Brown, worked out a way for me to continue on as a senior staffer after last year, creating a position specifically tailored so that I could help the magazine adopt an issues-based approach to storytelling and assist in its digital operations.

I owe Flux a lot, particularly now that it’s led to a gig as the managing editor for The Emerald‘s print editions. I’ve wanted to work for a newspaper since I got my first byline in The Bruin, my old high school paper. My goals for The Emerald are designed to accomplish just that. Strangely enough, my vision for The Emerald’s print editions is similar to what I wanted to help accomplish at Flux.

As I wrap up my work for the magazine I can’t help but wonder what its staff will achieve next term. I was fortunate enough to walk onto an award-winning publication — that will not change with my departure. My feelings for Flux’s future can be summed up in four words: Dis gon’ be good.

But what do YOU think?

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