It's not unusual for some students who work on The Oberlin Review, Oberlin's weekly student newspaper, to put in 40-hour work weeks. What's more astounding is that half of those hours often come consecutively, during the period that stretches from midday Thursday until midday Friday. For a lack of a better term, we at the Review call this "Thursday."
The time between Thursdays is when issues are planned and stories are assigned. Thursday is the day things fall together so that an issue is ready to be distributed campuswide by dinnertime on Friday.
Here's a peek at the staff's collective schedule for a typical Thursday during my year-long term as editor-in-chief.
10:15 a.m. I make my way into the office, located in the basement of Burton Hall. Often news editor Sara Foss '98 is already there, calling reporters and sources.
1:29 p.m. Advertising manager Farzi Hemmasi '97 arrives to lay out ads and make sure we have the ads we need.
4:35: p.m. In the spring, this is when there's sometimes a scramble to intramural softball games.
7:03 p.m. The office fills up after dinner. Though the deadline for most stories is Wednesday night, reporters often need an extra day. After dinner, a stream of them come to hand in their stories and work through them with editors.
7:10 p.m. Photographers stop by the office to pick up assignments for the following week.
11:18 p.m. The office is at its fullest, and there's a backlog of people waiting for computers.
12:14 a.m. Photo editors Mike Oleson '98 and Allison Hales '97 are nearly finished scanning the week's negatives into the computer system. The delivery person from the FŽve (a local coffeeshop) arrives with a crate full of tater tots, coffees, hummus plates, and hot wings.
1:13 a.m. Layout is under way for a few sections. This means some section editors can nap while the words they've been crafting are put onto pages.
3:36 a.m. Those who are still in the office are unlikely to get much sleep, except for naps on the office's huge, brown, two-section couch.
4:09 a.m. Mild hysteria sets in. Birds start chirping and conversation becomes surreal. The staff says a lot of things deemed funny enough to be typed and hung on the "Quote Wall."
7:19 a.m. The rush to the noon deadline really heats up as staffers work to line up the pages, write headlines and captions, and continue proofreading the stories.
8:58 a.m. Staffers who choose to attend their 9 a.m. classes begin running for the door.
11:02 a.m. There's just one hour until deadline. Proofreading and adjusting layouts continues, even as some pages are waxed and stuck to the galleys.
12:04 p.m. The printer arrives to pick up the job.
1:27 p.m. After lunch, online coordinator Zach Williamson '99 arrives to start production of the Review's online edition (http://www.oberlin.edu/~ocreview/). Williamson's staff will remain in the office until 6 p.m. or so.
3:30 p.m. The paper is delivered. Production workers and editors gather in the parking lot behind Finney Chapel to deliver the freshly printed newspaper throughout the campus and in town.
--Geoff Mulvihill '96