Thursday, June 25, 2009

My College Writing Days

For those of you who don't know much about me, I attended Carroll College (Now called Carroll University) in Waukesha, Wisconsin from 2001-2004, earning a bachelors degree in Communications with an emphasis in journalism. During that time, I was a staff writer and sports editor for the student run newspaper, The New Perspective. Along with four of my friends, I also created an independent student publication titled Amorphous. That's Carroll's "C" logo above. Carroll College had it before the Chicago Bears did. True story.

While surfing the net today, I decided to search for a few of my articles and was thrilled to find that Carroll University has catalogued it's past issues of The New Perspective online. The paper is over 100 years old, however, only the past ten years are currently available. Here is the link to The New Perspective.

It is very easy to navigate through the site. You can search by subject, author or issue date. If you go to the author search, you will find that I am listed under three names: Ryan S. Watterson, Ryan Waterson and Ryan Watterson. Most of my articles can be found under Ryan Watterson. The article filed under the mispelled Ryan Waterson was the only one I wrote for the 2001-2002 school year and it takes a look at how our baseball field wasn't big enough for college players. It is spelled correctly in the actual issue. Also if you are lost on where to find sports, it is always on pages 14-16 of the New Perspective.

My "junior" year at Carroll, I began writing basic recaps of sporting events and enjoyed doing so, but it was during my senior year, as sports editor, I had my own column called "Chalk Talk." In this column, I talked about whatever was on my mind. It was really like my own sports blog, except it was just before the era of blogs. If you ever have time to check them out, notice that each Chalk Talk features a different photo. I remember often scrambling to get a good photo by deadline. It reminds me of this blog where the photos mean as much to me as the picture. At the end of this column you will see individual links to Chalk Talk

Here is one amusing quote I found in my final column found in the The New Perspective on April 29, 2004 (Vol. 17, issue 12) :

"This year enabled me to write about basically whatever the hell I wanted to, to my heart's content. And I think I did a decent job due to the fact that the positive responses outnumbered the hate mail."

It has been a special afternoon for me going back and reading some of my articles, as well as some of my friend's pieces. My jaw is currently on the floor and I'll tell you why. Some of the articles I wrote were good, and I don't mean fair, I mean they were better than the pieces I write here. I'm kind of having a hard time believing it was me who penned them. I'm not sure what was going on in 2003-2004, but I wrote with an air of confidence that I haven't felt up until recently. The writing was clever and had the potential to attract non-sports fans. I would not say I was ever copying Rick Reilly or Bill Simmons, both journalists for ESPN.com, but my writing style was a mix of both writers. This is a strange moment for me. I, the 28 year old Ryan am looking back on the 22 year old Ryan - and that young guy is blowing me away. Whatever he had going on upstairs, I want it back.

I'm just reading one from April 8, 2004 where I talk about what sporting events in history I'd change if I had a time machine. There were your typical fun Red Sox, Cubs and other popular ones. But there were also serious events like Monica Seles being stabbed, Dale Earnhardt dying at the Daytona 500 and the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, all events in which I'd want to prevent. During the peak of my writing for the paper, the Kobe Bryant scandal was going on, so there are many references to that.

In the October 30, 2003 column I write a letter to the NHL complaining about all the trouble that was going on in the league at the time. In the column I also write a fictional letter from the NHL, responding to my complaints. There's something about the creativity I was using then that is making me truly excited to be writing again

I did make one mistake that I don't even need to look up, but I still kick myself for writing it! It is in the October 2, 2003 issue. I was talking about my World Series dreams. October 2, 2003 I repeat. That was right before New York Yankee Aaron Boone hit his series ending home run against the Red Sox in the ALCS. In the article I predicted the Red Sox would beat the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. That wasn't the mistake. Early in the column while talking about the most successful franchises in history, I mentioned that the Yankees had won 26 world championships and so had the Boston Celtics.The Celtics had only won 16 at the time. That is a pretty big error to make. It made me feel somewhat stupid. Other than that, the column was okay.

If you get the chance, check out the October 16, 2003 column. It is about homecoming weekend. During the same weekend, the Bears, Vikings, Packers, Wisconsin Badgers and Carroll College Pioneers all were victorious. It was surreal. I actually wrote in detail about a football game. Again, I don't remember writing these words, but obviously it was me.

I'm going to continue reading these. They are far more interesting to me than they are to you I'm sure. Again, thanks for taking time to listen to my ramblings about the past. Believe me, I'm not bragging in the above paragraphs about my writing. I am just pleasantly surprised at the collection of work I have accumulated over the years. It sure does prove to me that I picked the correct major in college. Who knows what the future holds in regards to my rekindled passion, but I am very eager to find out.


Here are the issues of Chalk Talk: (Page 14, 15 or 16. Give it 20-30 seconds to load)

September 18, 2003 Summer of memorable headlines

October 2, 2003 World Series Fantasies: Sox win

October 16, 2003 Homecoming weekend magic

October 30, 2003 What happened to pro hockey?

November 13, 2003 NFL: Say goodbye to the dynasty

November 26, 2003 Brewers can't get it right on and off field

February 5, 2004 Pete Rose's dramatic apology arrives fourteen years too late

February 19, 2004 Wake me up when March arrives

March 4, 2004 One curse will be reversed

March 25, 2004 Some March Madness memories

April 8, 2004 Back to the past in my S-10

April 29, 2004 Chalk Talk erased

1 comment:

ellie said...

Not only has your writing been featured, but so have you! Do you remember the feature I wrote about you and your keychains?

Good memories :)