If you have to mess up, do it on your first day

I covered my very first faculty council meeting on Thursday night, and I totally thought I was prepared. I found out about the meeting that morning, I refreshed myself on what the council had been up to during the spring semester and I felt ready. I went to the meeting and understood the issues that were being discussed.

The main story of the meeting was that faculty council was not consulted before MU decided to move two museums off campus during some building renovations. I got that. Easy. I wrote it up. I added background information. The MU museum of Art and Archaeology was moved to the former Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, and the museum of Anthropology will join it in the spring. Right? Yeah. Background info is easy. Just skim through some old articles.

Nope nope nope nope nope. The museum of Art and Archaeology has NOT moved yet. Did I realize that? No. Did I think about that? No, I didn’t. It wasn’t from a quote or a hard-to-interpret document, it was background. I didn’t give it a second thought.

Other people did though. I woke up on Friday with an email from someone at the Missourian about a Facebook message pointing out my error and asking, essentially, if I did actually screw up already. I read my email in bed and facepalmed a couple hundred times. The error was online for a few more hours, and during that time we got a lot more emails/messages/comments from readers.

But then I went in the office. And it wasn’t the end of the world. And Liz told me there will be things to beat myself up over, and this wasn’t one of them. And she still thinks I “can be a queen,” which sounds like a wonderful thing to become during my time at the Missourian. So I stopped freaking out.

When I first got my license, my parents dropped this gem of knowledge on me: It’s not if you get in an accident, it’s when. It will happen at some point in your life. By all means, do your best to avoid one. But know that someday you will mess up. The world won’t end when you do. I lasted 17 months before I rear-ended someone in stop-and-go traffic. I felt bad. We worked it out. We moved on.

My little brother lasted four months before he did this, so I think I won that battle.
My little brother lasted four months before he did this, so I think I won that battle.

I guess I just got my fender bender out of the way a little early at the Missourian. I messed up already, so now I don’t have to quiver at the idea of my impending doom — it already happened. I survived. We got over it.

So my first byline has a correction directly underneath it, oh well. I learned that lesson early. Here it is in all its glory.


MU Faculty Council addresses communication breakdown in MU museum relocation


Prepping for my imminent breakdown

This week I started my semester at the Missourian! Nerd alert: I’m super excited about it. I’ll mostly be reporting about higher education in Columbia, Mo., which is huge part of the town. We have three higher education institutions: Columbia College, Stephens College and, of course, the University of Missouri. It’s going to be wonderful and terrible and exhausting and rewarding, and I can’t wait to get into it. My editor, Liz Brixey (hi, Liz!), has already reassured me that this semester will be as tough as I assumed, but that’s okay. A little stress is good for the soul, right?

Yesterday, a few other education reporters and I put together a story about the first day of school at MU. I headed over to the office for the budget meeting at 11 a.m. after my morning class (which is about the media and the EU and is great, btw), and I did my best to jump right in and “say yes to everything” like everyone I know has told me to do (hi, Celia!). So I started out my junior year in the newsroom, and it was awesome. I haven’t been a reporter since my freshman year, and it was so nice to get back into it. So. Nice.

I got to interview a rural sociology professor about a study she did on types of college students. Not only was it super interesting, but she was really sweet. It was a great interview, especially considering about five minutes before I completely forgot how to come up with relevant questions. But I got back into the swing of it, and I’m just really excited. My piece of the story ended up being the closing of this story.

Really really excited, if you couldn’t tell.

MU students seek to balance life on first day