College produces the most interesting stories.
I’m not talking about academic essays in a textbook. I mean personal stories, the kind you share with friends and family about your exciting and occasionally embarrassing recollections of college life.
Your first night away from home. Your first all-nighter in the library. The first time you woke up in your bed with no recollection of how you got there.
Those stories are special because they are yours. They may make you laugh or cringe, but if told in the right way to the right people, they form a special bond between a speaker and an audience.
Take me, for instance. Unless we had the pleasure of meeting previously, you know nothing about me.
Who is this chick?
What’s her deal writing this column?
Did last semester’s Marquee editor get a perm?
Of course, I could just come right out and tell you the facts – my name is Claire Nowak, I’m the new Marquee editor, and as far as I know, Erin Heffernan has no intention of changing her hairstyle.
But what’s the fun in that?
I believe information is most effectively shared through storytelling, which is primarily why I’m studying journalism and writing-intensive English. People tend to pay more attention and remember more details when they’re engaged in something they can relate to. And frankly, storytelling is a lot more fun than dishing out data.
So to ease your curiosity about my identity, I could tell you a story about how working as a Marquee reporter for three semesters allowed me to explore Milwaukee and do things most 19 year olds never dream of, like purposely sleeping in the library for three days. You may hear me talk about how I was asked to become Marquee editor while wearing a festive Santa hat at a Christmas party. I might even tell you the ironic tale of a certain editor who broke her elbow on her first day of work, making her a journalist who cannot write and has since developed a prejudice against ice.
As I let my left, non-dominant hand fly solo across the keyboard, the stories come out and allow us to connect, editor and reader, on a level that only we can share.
But this column isn’t about my story. It’s about the stories that I will share with you throughout the semester, whether they’re trending on Twitter or tucked away in someone’s subconscious just waiting to be told. True to Marquee tradition, they will generally concern topics about pop culture and lifestyle, but they could range from a massive scandal in Hollywood to a fun, new shop opening in the Third Ward.
I will strive to keep you informed and entertained – forgive the campaign speech tone – but I also want to hear your thoughts. Let me know what interests you. What burning stories you want told? Which people or events in the world of entertainment affect the Marquette community? As Kim Possible said, call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me (although email or Twitter would be better).
Whether you’re a faithful Trib follower or just reading this because I asked you to (Hi, Mom), I look forward to sharing these stories with you. Who knows? By the end of the semester, we may gain more from storytelling than we did when we were kids.
I might even start typing with both hands.