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Sunday, July 27, 2008


These are my people

In case you don’t already know, I’ve pretty much abandoned any hope of being a photographer, at least for the time being, and returned to my real strength: editing. At the urging of the estimable Mack Lundstrom at San Jose State, I applied for and received a newspaper copy editing internship under the auspices of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund. For that reason, I’m currently working full-time on the copy desk of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson.

Before I came here, though, I had to report for a two-week training residency held at the university I had just graduated from. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to it — after wearing a cap and gown, campus was the last place I wanted to be. But when I got there, something wonderful happened: I met 10 other people who cared about the proper use of the English language just as much as I did. Some of the first conversations I overheard were people discussing the writing mistakes that bothered them the most. I said to myself, “These are my people!”

Dow Jones internships aren’t just handed out to every Tom, Dick and Moron that asks for one; it’s a reasonably competitive program. If you walked into the training classroom without knowing that, you’d soon figure it out: This was a sharp bunch of people. Handsome, too.

After two weeks of spending most of our waking hours together, we split up to go to the newspapers that had agreed to employ us for 10 or 12 weeks. I’ve certainly found more kindred spirits on the Star copy desk, but I’ll never forget my fellow trainees at the West Coast Center for Editing Excellence. I won’t attempt to sum them up for you, but I hope this little slide show will give you a glimpse into the special breed of people that want to work the rim.