So, my last newspaper came out this week. I must say, it's nice to be done. My section editors went AWOL, and my graphic designer had to go to Panama to save the world. She'll be back next week, having put in her two weeks' worth of imperialism. Then my job is her job; she's next year's editor. It was hard putting the paper together mostly myself. I told my advisor I wasn't going to touch the arts section. I can do boxy news, opinions, and sports, but the arts section is beyond my ability.
So, last week there was an awards ceremony at school. One of the student organizations puts it on every year. I was told I was nominated for an award, so I said I'd go. My advisor made it seem like this wasn't a big deal, that the students who put it on always give the awards to themselves, that he never bothers doing nominations because we win enough awards. So, I wasn't expecting much.
Then I showed up. It was fancy. I was wearing brown Levi's cords, dirty, with holes where the belt loops ripped out. They couldn't find my table--we had assigned seats, mother of god.
"Shawna, do you know where The Clarion table is?" asked Lori E.
"Amy's not with The Clarion today. She's at the Arts and Sciences table. Table 8."
So, I was ushered to table 8, which was right in front, right next to the president's table. One of the vice presidents sat at my table. I had a name plate, even. Then I looked around. I was one of two students. The other student was my friend Lauri, and I already knew she won the Performing Arts Student of the Year award. She told me they asked her to write a speech. So I thought, whew, I wasn't asked to write a speech. I didn't win. Yea! Save myself the embarrassment.
But all the tables were by organization. I was the only Arts & Sciences person. Gawd. Then I looked at the program, and The Clarion was nominated for outstanding student organization, and I hadn't even been told we were nominated. So, I figured we definitely didn't win that one if I, the editor, hadn't even been told. Still, it would have been nice to know we were nominated.
"(Blah, blah, blah...)"
"You better get ready," my advisor said. Huh?
"(Blah, blah, blah...) This year's winning student organization is the student voice of the college. [Oh, shit.] As the student newspaper, The Clarion informs the college community and advocates for student rights. [Megashit--why don't I dress better?] The Clarion won 24 awards this school year [Really? I don't think so. It was 21--well, 22 now.]...blah, blah, blah...[starting to get very nervous...I should have put makeup on...I should have worn clothes without holes, clothes that don't make me look as fat as I really am...shit.]...Would the representatives from The Clarion please come to the stage to accept their award?"
Right. So. So, I'm the only one there BECAUSE NOBODY FUCKING TOLD US WE WERE NOMINATED! How embarrassing. So, up I go. Past the president who doesn't like me anymore since I wrote how stupid Convocation is. Thank you very much for recognizing all our hard work and excellent publication. Does everyone like my blue Chuck Taylors? Down the ramp for a photo.
I'm barely seated when they start in on Arts and Sciences Learner of the Year. Well, guess what table I'm sitting at? Darling Nick, who just handed me The Clarion's award, starts reading all about this student. Gee, why is Lauri staring at me? She keeps looking over at me with a look on her face.
"It's you! It's you! You know it's you! It has to be you! Listen to him! He's describing you! You said you didn't win! You knew, didn't you!"
"...Arts and Sciences Learner of the Year, Amy Knapp."
Holy shit. Back past the president, up on the stage in my ripped cords, bulging tummy, lumpy sweater, and blue Chucks.
So, what an honor. I had been having a really horrible day. The kind where, if I had a real job, I would have stayed home sick. The kind where, when Anna, the nurse/counselor, looked at me, she knew instantly how I was feeling and got that puppy dog/I care about you/let's talk look on her face, and I had to stop looking at her because I'd cry. I definitely didn't look at Anna after I won.
Eric was delighted and scanned the trophy for the whole world to see. The kids were pretty stoked, too. My mom, too. Me, too.
Here it is.