I am a practical person. Everything I do has a reason that has been carefully thought out, researched and selected. If I cannot measure or quantify a benefit to work I am putting forth, what is the point?
This philosophy follows me in most every aspect of my life, except journalism.
When I began my schooling at Olivet Nazarene University in 2012, I joined The GlimmerGlass within a month. I really like to get an adequate amount of sleep, so naturally, it seems a bit curious that I continued to work for virtually no pay for the next four years of my time here, even transitioning from staff writer to News Editor.
I have slept on this office floor. I have stayed in the office on deadline weeks until 3 a.m. I have spent countless hours working for The GlimmerGlass; hours that have gone undocumented, hours for which I will never see pay because my job does not provide an hourly wage. Hours for which I have seen no school credit or grades.
You see, I cannot quantify or measure the amount of work I have put forth into this paper. I cannot tell anyone a dollar value worth mentioning.
And yet, neither can I quantify the value of others’ stories I have had the privilege of telling, the companionship and like-mindedness I have found within the staff of the paper, nor the impact my writing has had on those who have read it.
And maybe the extent to which my writing has impacted the community has only been the provision of more newspaper to line their cats’ litter-boxes or wash windows with — my articles do not make it to the fridge in my own home.
It is still a wonder to me, even as I near graduation four years later, how I have continued to enjoy something so contradictory to my personality. While reporting remains logical and objective, choosing journalism goes against every practical, logical and rational fiber in my body. There is great work and little tangible reward.
My time at The GlimmerGlass has not landed me a job, it has not brought me significant recognition or attention nor has it made me financially stable. Everything in me wants to regret this experience because I cannot measure its value, and yet, I cannot regret a single moment I have spent on staff.
Journalism has changed my inner being–I am analytical, I am skeptical, I am aware, I am a truth-seeker. The truths I have learned on my journalistic journey have been priceless.
Loving myself is immeasurable. Being the best version of myself is immeasurable. Having a voice is immeasurable.
My work at The GlimmerGlass, and as a journalist in general, has been immeasurable, and some days that sends my anxiety on a trip. But maybe the fact I have nothing to show for my time at this university other than a stack of articles that never made it to my fridge is OK. Maybe not being able to quantify my work is what has helped me grow as a person. Maybe the fact I am on the verge of graduating without a solid plan is OK.
No matter where my journey takes me, I’ll always be able to tell my story, whether anyone else wants to listen or not, and that is something far beyond any measure.
Thank you for letting me write for you; thank you for the immeasurable.
—Taylor Provost, News Editor