About three weeks ago, I was sitting in Jeanne’s office going through a story revision about two friends competing in a local running-kayaking race in town.

It was one of those stories that was coming along pretty easily, and it showed in the natural way the story progressed in writing.

So after our quick chat, Jeanne asked me about my plans for the spring semester, as far as coursework and what classes I would be enrolling in.

“Will you be taking intermediate writing next semester?”

Pause. I had to think a minute and put my mind back into long-term planning mode. Usually I can’t even plan what I’m going to eat for my next meal, so of course my mind was completely far removed from the idea of registering for the second semester of my junior year.

“Yeeeeeess, I believe that’s one that I have on my Wish List,” I drew out.

I vaguely recalled seeing an email from Kim about picking up request for consent forms for upcoming class registration.

The reason Jeanne asked was to recommend that I take the writing section taught by Jacqui Banaszynski.

Another pause.


Pulitzer Prize-winning Jacqui.

The Jacqui I had first heard about from Liz Brixey, then later heard speak during a guest lecture in Intro to News Reporting, and then again in Cross-Cultural Journalism.

I really enjoyed her guest lectures. Friends have taken some of her classes and absolutely loved the experience of working with her. Jeanne was recommending that I work with her in the future.

I kept this in mind when I went to pick up my paperwork from Kim in the Vox office.

At the top was a stapled slip of gold paper that acted almost as a warning. I basically said that section 8 of intermediate writing would require a lot more in-depth field research, reporting and, of course, writing. I looked down the sheet behind it. Section 8: Banaszynski.

My first reaction was one of dread, a foreboding feeling of signing my life over for the next semester to the same stress-inducing work that I’ve encountered this fall in the newsroom. But potentially amplified.

I consulted some of my friends who had taken her courses in the past. One advised that I absolutely take the opportunity to work with this instructor, and later apologized for “fan-girling” about it. It was okay, though, because it definitely helped me feel reassured about my final decision.

This thought of anxiety mixed with anticipation was pretty much stamped in the back of my mind (and honestly has been as I think about class registration), I decidedly marked section 8 as my number one placement choice. Of the three forms that I had to fill out to register for courses, that one was the easiest.

Last Wednesday, I got my permission numbers to enroll in section 8 of intermediate writing.

As of today, I’m pretty set in my finalized spring semester schedule. I’ll be taking two journalism classes as my core magazine requirements: intermediate writing and magazine editing. I plan on scheduling an appointment with someone in the sociology department to talk about establishing a sociology minor as well and am taking two more sociology classes to round out my semester.

It’ll be another long one. I expect my ego/self-esteem to be checked many a time. But it’ll be built back again, and I’m excited to learn along the way.


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