The Hibou: Nipissing U Newspaper and My Arrogance

28 Feb

Nipissing University Campus Newspaper, The Hibou

I went to my parents’ place on Saturday night, and as soon as I walked into the front entrance, I was immediately greeted with a blast from the past: Editions of the Nipissing University campus newspaper, The Hibou, circa 2004.

My parents had organized their files and The Hibou didn’t make the cut. They were mine to take home.

Flashback: In my last year at Nipissing University, I was lucky enough to get the editor’s gig for the re-launch of the university campus newspaper. The Nipissing University Student Union brought it back to life, and they (mostly) gave me free rein to write and layout the newspaper.

I was excited for the challenge and couldn’t wait to showcase my university through the written word. All I needed was a hat with a piece of paper attached to it that read, Press.

I worked with some amazing volunteers who helped me with writing, proofreading and laying out the newspaper. I even got to interview Joey and Snake from Degrassi High (Zit Remedy, anyone?). I shared an office with my ‘second boyfriend’. I loved every facet of the job.

In fact, I enjoyed the work so much, I dropped my plans for teacher’s college and applied to journalism school. The world was my journalistic oyster, and all that crap jazz.

Flash Forward:  So when I opened the extra copies my parents had saved for 7 years, and scanned over my own work, I couldn’t believe what I read. I gasped. I cringed. I eeked. I then asked – to no one in particular – ‘I went into journalism school with that writing style and understanding of how to write a story?!’

Even worse, for years I thought my editorial column in The Hibou was hilarious. At least that’s what my dad told me. But reading these pieces on the weekend, they sounded arrogant. And quite frankly, kind of annoying.

I wrote about drinking beer. My long-lasting crush on Mike Fisher. I even insulted a friend because she’s from Spencerville. She can’t help that!

I don’t know whether to laugh or simply apologize to Nipissing University readers.

At least I can look at these papers and console myself that though my writing may have been questionable, it was the start of a challenging, but rewarding journey in journalism.

Better yet, seeing these Hibou pieces shows me how far I’ve come when it comes to crafting stories and writing columns. At least that’s what my dad tells me.

8 Responses to “The Hibou: Nipissing U Newspaper and My Arrogance”

  1. newfcollins February 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    I recently went back and read my old stories from the Algonquin Times. I then proceeded to file them away under the folder “Never open again.” They were pretty brutal, but at the time, I thought they were pretty good.

  2. Rob Thomas February 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    I have a couple of bound volumes of The Varsity from U of T that don’t see the light of day for the same reason. I know your pain.

    • Cat's Cove Writing Services February 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

      Thanks for the reassurances, Rob, but I’m sure your UofT articles at least had proper ledes! That, and you didn’t insult your peers. 🙂

  3. Brian Calcafuoco March 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    Cathy I was just on google as admittedly like a loser I was searching for some reason to see if the hibou was still active. I remember a lot of what you are talking about here and had a good laugh. Good times with the Hibou. We were good writers back then right?

    • Cat's Cove Writing Services March 25, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      Brian, you just made my day! Remember we co-wrote the bus pass story? Investigative journalism at its best! At least we had a lot of fun!

      • Brian Calcafuoco April 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

        Lol, I do remember the bus pass story, it really was a pretty good time back then though and I don’t write as much as I want to or should anymore. I admire and am proud of you for keeping it going and being so successful at it.

      • Cat's Cove Writing Services April 13, 2011 at 6:50 am #

        Thanks, Brian!! 🙂

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