Our Final Good-byes to ‘The Montclarion’

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Published August 15, 2015
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The Montclarion
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Nicholas Taylor, the Chief Copy Editor of The Montclarion from Fall 2012 – Spring 2015

It was January of 2012. I had just earned enough credits to become a sophomore. At the time, I wasn’t doing anything besides schoolwork. It was just a routine of driving 15 minutes back and forth from my home to the campus of Montclair State. I had no reason to stay on campus.
In the issue of The Montclarion for that opening week of the semester, I had noticed a house ad for an open house at the newspaper office on a Thursday evening that coincided with my dismissal of class. I had never thought of myself as a journalist, but I was curious if there was a position for proofreading. To my surprise, then-Editor-in-Chief Kat Milsop told me at the open house there was; it was called “copy editing.”
You’re probably wondering why I would take such a mundane position. I was often eager to read the latest issue of The Montclarion every Thursday upon leaving my last class of the day. I always thought it was a better way of knowing what went on campus. I also grew frustrated by the errors that could have easily been corrected.
The inspiration to join The Montclarion dated to an issue from November 2010 when a staff member of the paper attended the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, D.C. There were numerous grammar issues within the article, including spelling MythBusters as MythBuster’s and not referring to Yusuf Islam’s former stage name, Cat Stevens, even once. However, one sentence particularly stood out: “Soon it was on to the benediction presented by Farther Guido Sarducci from SNL.” This paper deserved better proofreading and I thought I could help.
There were times where I thought copy editing was tedious, having to read every single article in the paper, correcting numerous cases of double-spacing and misuse of “it’s” and “its.” However, it was somewhat of a blessing and a curse to find one absolutely riddled inside and out with every misuse of English in the book.
However, I would also find the amusement in the absurdity that people still wrote like this at a college level. The misspelling of “Hoboken” as “Hobokoken” still goes down as the best typo I came across at The Montclarion. That one came from an otherwise good writer, by the way.
The best part is that under my position, though requiring a lot of mental demand, I had the freedom to write about rather irrelevant yet appropriate issues. I wrote a commemorative column once for voice-over actor Jess Harnell’s 50th birthday. It was primarily an excuse to mention my long-forgotten favorite television series, Road Rovers. There was also a (serious) fashion article I wrote about slippers. I still wonder if anyone actually took those pieces to heart.
If there’s anything that my time at The Montclarion has accomplished, it was giving me a reason to spend less time wasted on campus and at home. It gave me opportunities to connect with students that didn’t consistently change with each class. It was also one way to find out how to take some media courses as well.
I’m especially fond of the bonds that I created between all of the editors at the paper, especially my fellow graduates Catherine and Monika. Without their support, I would have walked out on them a year ago after having a disastrous meeting with a professor that gave me doubts about my own position as Chief Copy. They pulled me under control and wanted me to stay. So I did.
After three years of service, I think this past semester was probably the best one I ever had at The Montclarion, especially with Zachary Case collaborating and now succeeding at the Chief Copy desk. I hope Zach passes on his Homestar Runner knowledge to everyone and to “keep it rollin’” in terms of aesthetics at the paper. Thanks a bundle to Zach and everyone at The Montclarion for giving me a brighter future.
As I close this little retrospective, I think about the sea of people that may or may not have left a mark here at Montclair State. I think that, personally, I could have done so much more, but at least I have this column of my grateful experiences that thousands of people may or may not read. Wouldn’t you like to write something like this, too?
Congratulations and God bless you all.

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