Saturday, October 19

It all started with a simple pattern


A tradition begun by chance lives on by choice after four unforgettable years

I like to wear stripes on Tuesdays.

It’s not complicated, and initially the tradition began by chance. A close friend and I discussed our love of the pattern and made every Tuesday a special tribute.

Simple as that.

The Tuesday ritual began long before I got my start reporting for the Daily Bruin. In my early years at the paper, I kept the ritual to myself ““ always wearing stripes on Tuesdays. No one really noticed.

My role at the paper felt similar: subtle. I’d write fairly regularly but played no special role aside from writing stories. Production was a mystery to me, as it often is to newcomers and outsiders; I had no idea how much work the editors invested.

You see, I never really planned to join the Daily Bruin. It just happened.

When I got my start writing in the windowless office in Kerckhoff Hall in the winter of my first year, I hadn’t a clue where I’d be in four years.

Little did I know.

The Daily Bruin taught me how much I love the drama of meeting deadlines. (I have a theory about stress in college: Secretly, we all love the pressure.)

Talked into an editorial position at the end of my sophomore year, I was swept up into the drama of meeting deadlines and the addiction induced by the staff and culture of the Daily Bruin office. Slowly, I couldn’t imagine college without the sticky, germy black News couch, the familiar faces of reporters without whom the office feels empty, and the familiar acidity of Kerckhoff coffee.

Believe me, it was never my plan to spend 30 to 40 hours per week working in the office. I never would have guessed that I’d take a road trip to Berkeley with my News team (an unforgettable trip), or that I’d learn how quickly one of the assistant news editors can run when he’s scared in the middle of the night.

I never dreamed I’d be so content occasionally skipping classes to edit stories by deadline (sorry Mom, Dad, professors). And I certainly never thought I’d find a place in college where purring “meow” would be so readily accepted.

I didn’t think a stuffed, breathing cat would create so many memories. Or that chanting “NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!” would somehow define my college experience.

Never could I have imagined some of the antics I’d get up to with my Ginger, wearing stripes to Pint Night and making -30- videos. Or that I’d connect on a first date over a discussion of how we pull News wire from The Associated Press, shocked that someone “from the outside” had noticed such a small detail of the paper.

I couldn’t describe what it meant to me that very first Tuesday my third year when fellow staffers arrived to work wearing stripes. A tradition that began with my best friend from high school transitioned me beautifully to my closest friends in college.

For that reason, I will continue to wear stripes on Tuesdays. It’s simple as that.

McGough was the 2009-2010 News editor and an assistant News editor for 2008-2009.

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