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Bruins in Paris

Embracing my passion for details ultimately showed me new perspectives at The Bruin -30-

Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso stands for a portrait. (Joseph Jimenez/Photo editor)

By Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso

June 11, 2023 10:00 p.m.

When I joined the Daily Bruin, I told myself and everyone I knew that I wasn’t going to get too invested in it.

Clearly, I was wrong.

Looking at it from the outside, my journey to editorship would best be described as reluctant. Shortly after I started as a copy editor, the slot editors asked me if I wanted to take a test to be promoted. I said no, but they signed me up for the test anyway, and I started as a proofer two weeks later.

Thus began the annual cycle in which I would decide at the last minute to apply for uncontested editor positions I secretly wanted. For all my complaining and feigned disinterest, I was always drawn to the idea of leading Copy. I daydreamed about my Slack job title reading “copy chief” even when I was an intern. In all lowercase, obviously, so it didn’t look like I was trying too hard.

I did successfully make that my job title, along with several others: slot editor, alumni director, Photo senior staff, staff mom (twice), unofficial fourth member of upper. After three years of editorship that included a lot of hard work and fun memories, I think it’s safe to say that I’m as invested as anyone can reasonably (or unreasonably) be in this organization.

I’m not the type of person to do things halfway, and neither are most of the other Daily Bruin editors. Editorship attracts a lot of passionate people, and passion can create conflict. Everyone tends to believe their issue of choice is the most important, and no one wants to compromise.

I’m guilty of having that mindset for a lot of my time as an editor. I’ve fought tooth and nail over a lot of grammatical issues and word choices that probably wouldn’t matter to most people. I’ve sent itemized lists of complaints over Slack. I’ve spoken up in way too many Zoom meetings. I’ve spent hours addressing issues in stories and opened the door to my apartment afterward to shout at my roommates, “You would not BELIEVE what happened today!”

I always struggled with balancing two competing ideas as a copy editor: The small details did make a big difference, but no single small mistake would cause the paper to crash and burn. I always wanted to believe I was putting this much effort into something that actually mattered, but reassuring myself of the latter statement kept me sane when things went wrong. But how could those two things be true at the same time?

I’ve decided that it’s OK to feel that the small things are important even as I acknowledge the larger scale. After all, anything can be irrelevant if you zoom out far enough. But that also means anything can be incredibly important if you choose to zoom in.

You can find plenty of meaning and humor in focusing on the details. Various articles throughout the years have reminded me that within and without are not opposites, congenial heart failure is certainly not the same as congenital heart failure, and moth-embezzled is very different from moth-bedazzled. One of my favorite parts of copy editing has been finding phrasings that are as fun to read as they are to fix.

The best part of the Daily Bruin, of course, is sharing those things with other people. All our late night print shifts, fun Slack channels, editors retreats and AP style-related rants have been some of my favorite UCLA memories. Copy will always feel like my home in DB, but Photo and Outreach have become my family too. To everyone in Copy, Photo, Outreach and every other section I’ve been so lucky to meet and interact with, thank you! Your friendship means everything to me, and you all have a special place in my heart.

This community and experience have taught me that sometimes the small things can actually be the big things. The Daily Bruin is just a small part of UCLA’s ecosystem, but it also encompasses so much of my college experience. In a similar way, copy edits can make big differences to readers, even if they don’t know it. I hope everyone involved with the Daily Bruin can rest assured that their contributions matter, even in ways they might not immediately see or be recognized for.

Getting too invested in the Daily Bruin has paid off for me in more ways than I can count.

Pomeroy-Tso was a Copy contributor in 2019, Copy staff in 2020, slot editor 2020-2021, Copy chief 2021-2022 and alumni director 2022-2023.

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Kaiya Pomeroy-Tso | Alumni director
Pomeroy-Tso is the 2022-2023 alumni director. She was a 2021-2022 Copy chief and a 2020-2021 slot editor. She is now Copy senior staff and has also contributed to Sports, Photo and The Quad. She is a fourth-year communication and human biology and society student.
Pomeroy-Tso is the 2022-2023 alumni director. She was a 2021-2022 Copy chief and a 2020-2021 slot editor. She is now Copy senior staff and has also contributed to Sports, Photo and The Quad. She is a fourth-year communication and human biology and society student.
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