[CAMPUS COMMENTARY]An editor’s stressful, manic day of learningA day as the editor-in-chief of the monthly English news magazine at my school, Yonsei, started like this recently: I woke up at 7:30 a.m. It was the second day of the editing process, the busiest day of the month. Yesterday was difficult enough , handling a dispute over recruiting new cub reporters. I wanted more people, whereas the senior reporters wanted as many people out. The dynamics of the power game was exhausting enough to disturb my slumber the previous night. But I got up and got ready to start the day. After all, I cheered myself, I’m the editor-in-chief.
Being chief editor, however, doesn’t help a great deal when I am late for class. I grabbed a taxi and entered the classroom running and gasping. The course was on “Strategic Performance Management,” which focuses on theories and case studies. I can always gain bits and pieces of useful information applicable to the organization I run. To me, the course is not merely a three-credit undergraduate business lecture, but a live lesson for the leader of a group.
The class ended five minutes early, barely enough time to get to the editorial bureau, if I ran. I constantly have to check whether the tasks I assigned the reporters were successfully done, such as gathering and uploading image files. Most times they are well done, but on a day like this, it was essential to check and double-check. Then the editorial director called. “Some image files can’t be opened. Please check.” Dealing with the image files took longer than expected. It was time for chapel.
By a single minute, my attendance was counted as late. I should’ve left the editorial bureau a little earlier. I tried to forget about the stress of the editing process, which had to be finished by tomorrow. I told myself I need to keep things at my pace. Chapel ended, I headed back to the editing office, 10 minutes away from the campus.
Over lunch, the staff suggested a new way of editing, a process radically different from the current one. I liked it personally but deferred my judgment to let the other staff members give their opinion.
Back to editing again, I found I wouldn’t finish if I left for my next class. But the course was my favorite, “Business Negotiation,” where class participation also counts.
I knew I couldn’t catch two rabbits at once, but missing either one seemed a great loss. I chose to skip the class and do editing instead, which took a few hours.
After that, I had to talk with the other editors about recruitment issues, over which they have had a serious dispute for the last few days. My opinion is largely rooted in how I see our magazine as an ideal organization, but they have exactly the same reasons.
Resolving conflicts should not be delayed in any case. I called each one by one, asking for cooperation and understanding. At 11 p.m., I dozed off on the bus home and almost missed my stop. Another editor at another school’s newspaper called. Her day was as hectic as mine, maybe even more. Tomorrow will be the last day of the editing process, we told each other. True, each day is filled with hectic schedules and overwhelming work, but there is always something to learn. We are young, we are still learning. This is worth the effort.
* The writer is the editor of The Yonsei Annals, the English news magazine of Yonsei University.
by Yoo Sung-jee