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Considering the student of student newspaper

Experience is simply a resume worthy synonym for mistake. Learning is a lifetime of tripping over our own feet, forgetting to look where were going and simply making dumb decisions. It is this series of mistakes that will eventually qualify us to do something in this world, to know better than another person what not to do. Abby Spudich has gotten a bit of a head start crossing some of those ‘what not to do’s’ off her list, but that should not end or impede her journey, nor should she be stoned and ridiculed along the way.

For those of you who are unaware, Abby Spudich is, or was, the managing editor of the University of Missouri’s student run newspaper, The Maneater. The Maneater recently published an April Fool’s addition under the masthead “Carpeteater.” The edition included many articles with the derogatory terms cunt, bitch, slut and whore.  While Spudich did not write all of the papers content, she did come up with the masthead “Carpeteater,” and has since taken a very commendable step in assuming responsibility for the derogatory content produced by other members of The Maneater’s staff as well.  To clarify, Spudich was not aware at the time that carpeteater is a derogatory term for lesbians. In an attempt at good humor, she choose what she thought was a less-harmful innuendo that was a clever opposite to the typical “Maneater” masthead.

The decisions made in producing the content of the April Fools addition were thoughtless, crass, ignorant and could have been avoided, but that is not what I am here to hype on. Spudich and The Maneater have received local and even national critique and humiliation. Spudich had written a very respectable apology letter outlining the steps The Maneater was going to take to prevent this sort of offense from ever occurring again. However, that was not sufficient for the public and she was recently forced to resign. And now, the MU is conducting a hearing to debate possible expulsion for Spudich.

What I would like to take the time to remind everyone of is what The Maneater actually is. The Maneater is a STUDENT newspaper and Spudich is a STUDENT managing editor. Yes, she does have to face the consequences of her actions, and I do feel resignation is an appropriate action. However, I find even the consideration of expulsion to be an absolutely wrong on MU’s part.

Spudich did exactly what we were encourage to do from day we stepped foot in this university, get experience. Left and right we were told to take on leadership roles, to try new things and to not be afraid to make mistakes. By expelling or even considering expulsion of Spudich MU is setting a very disappointing precedent. MU should not be discouraging the strive for experience by instilling such a great fear of mistake.

Spudich  did not act with any malicious intent. Her actions were not a hate crime against women or the LGBT community; they were simply a lack of good judgment. She is 19-years-old and running a paper also staffed by 18 and 19-year-olds. Spudich took this position not because it was required of her, but because she wanted to gain more experience as an editor.  Does MU have the right to revoke that position and require an apology letter? Of cores, their reputation is at stake here too. However, expelling someone for a mistake is counter productive to the ideals they are attempting to instill in us. We are taught to learn from our mistakes, but how can we do that if our resources for learning are stripped because of our mistakes?

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Lindsey Learns DSLR II

Part II: Uncapped and Untamed 

All I set out  to do was remember to take my cap off the lens and figure out how to take a picture with a Nikon D7000, but here is what I learned instead:

Frequently asked questions when carrying around  Nikon D7000: 


2. “You know…you can take my picture if you want…”

3. “Why are you doing that?”

4. “Stop.”

5. “Your not going to photoshop my face onto Hulk Hogan’s body are you?”

6. “Do you want fries with that” (Eh, okay, maybe that one didn’t totally have to do with the camera, but if I wasn’t taking pictures I wouldn’t have been by that McDonald’s!)

As well as…..

How to break into your own car

1. Find someone who knows how to break into cars

2. Become a girl (if you are already a girl you may proceed to step 3)

Note: if becoming a girl is not possible in your current situation please refer to the alternative step.

3. Smile

(Alternative) Throw rock through window.

Had I known the reaction a professional grade camera would solicit from strangers I would have started wearing one as an accessory, just to make friends. Some people threw their limbs out in exaggerated poses, others offered their unsolicited input on my content choice and one eyed me with McCarthy-esq suspicion while peering through a window. However, none were more helpful than the two ink artists from Tattoo You.

It was getting dark when my partner, Lauren, and I were trudging back to the car. My butt was a little wet from unnecessarily rolling around on the ground to get that “awesome” angle of that…..piece of trash. It had been a hard day of playing photographer, and we were ready to leave when I reached in my pocket for the keys, but all I felt was that piece of chewed gum I left in there last week. My heart sank as I peered into the window, and there they were, just lying on the seat of my locked car. Accompanied, of course, by  my cell phone, wallet, jacket, Lauren’s cell phone, and Lauren’s wallet. Apparently, we wouldn’t be eating anytime soon, good thing I had that chewed gum.

Between smart phones, Triple A cards and the invention of, oh whats it called, the spare key, this kind of situation was really not supposed to be feasible in this day in age. So, before Lauren went Neanderthal and threw a rock through my window, I decided to venture into the nearest establishment, Tattoo You. Their assistance can effectively  be summaraized in the following quotes:

“I can get it open for you.” (Tattoo artist 1)

“We have extra needle wire!” (Tattoo artist 1)

“I hope no one thinks were stealing this and calls the police.” (Lauren) “Ha, not in this neighborhood!” (Tattoo artist 1)

“Let me go get someone more experienced at breaking into cars.” (Tattoo artist 1)

“I haven’t done this in forever.” (Tattoo artist 2)

“This is such a handy talent!” (Lauren) “My parole officer didn’t think so…” (Tattoo artist 2)

Two types of needle wire and a determined “GOD DAMN, YOU WILL OPEN” later, the “more experienced” tattoo artist came back into the shop and tossed the keys my way! While I joke about the ease with which they aided us, I would like to whole-heartledy  thank those two men with words I thought I would never say.

Thank you, for breaking into my car. =)

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Lindsey Learns DSRL

Part I: A Flash from the Past

The Barbie Instant Camera was my very first camera, well, not mine per se, but Lisa would make me use it during recess to photograph her modeling on the monkey bars. Looking back, I may have been taken advantage of by a snotty, elementary egomaniac, while arguably responsible for the creation and circulation of  some slightly “indecent” (as Lisa’s mother said) photos of an underage girl, but I loved that camera! And those bonus flower stickers, they were all the photoshop a 6-year-old girl could ever need.

Unfortunately, seeing as my technical skills  never developed much past the Barbie Instant Cam, my hobby as a photographer remained in the 90s, wedged somewhere between my pogo stick and Atari. But, the time has come for me to embrace the digital age of film, and take on the Nikon D7000!

Wait! I am not ready, just one more flash back!

Okay, now I think I am ready. Deep breaths and…..CLICK! Woops, the lens cap was still on.

Stay tuned next week for Part II of Lindsey learns DSLR, Uncapped and Untamed.

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Pretend journalist, Lindsey Wehking, reporting for duty.

Attention all journalism students at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, this is an intervention. Day in and day out I watch as you run around town shoving your recorder into the face of locals, barely able to keep it steady because the shakes are so bad. I hear you when you sit next to me in the library with your foot frantically tapping the floor in what sounds like the beat of CNN’s World News theme. I see you late at night, hidden behind a mound of cups with eyes blood shot, and drool seeping from the edge of your mouth while refusing to leave until you have perfected youre lead. And, worst of all, you just spent the last of your money on refillable mugs from RJI.

I know, as inspiring journalists, the neurosis is natural, but the amplified and abounding energy to act on such neurosis is detrimental to the heath of your peers, sources and yourself. Little journalists put down that cup of coffee and step out of the Starbucks! Many of you are already just a newspaper ball to the head away from cracking and this is not a vice you can afford.

If something is not done soon students will explode, sources will be forever scared away and Starbucks will have the media in their cup. Therefore, I will be encouraging Chandler Deaton to employ techniques of institutions past. Drink coffee, off with your head!

Together I truly believe we can beat this addiction and make the MU campus a more harmonious place for all. Below is an article stipulating the specifics of the “Drink Coffee, off with your head” movement and history.

NPR: Drink Coffee? Off With Your Head