BALDUS: Exactly on time

I like to be on time.

On the first days of class every semester, I’m waiting in the hallway 15 minutes early. I leave my off-campus apartment 20 minutes before class to make my way to Johnston Hall even though I’ve timed the walk (it only takes 11 minutes).

I like to be prompt and prepared and I almost always am. Yet, as my first and second year of college passed by I couldn’t help but feel like I was running late.

I had my sights set on joining student media when I came to Marquette. It was the television branch, Marquette University Television, that I was most drawn to.

I volunteered for a few shows and … hated it. I was overwhelmed by the chaos of the control room and intimidated when things would go wrong and people would get angry with each other. I felt more in the way than helpful. So I stopped going and decided I was too busy for MUTV.

In the fall of my junior year, a couple of my friends had taken leadership positions on the Wire. Knowing they were there gave me the courage to give it a real shot. That semester, I became an MUTV assistant production director.

Although I was now on staff, I still felt like I didn’t belong. The three nights a week that I spent in Johnston Hall for our shows I was consumed with worry. I didn’t want to mess something up. I begged to do the only two production jobs I felt capable of doing: prompter and floor director.

As shows continued, my team pushed me to try other positions. I started talking to the producers and began to recognize that we all were scared of messing up, but we were there to try. I started regularly doing audio, got comfortable with the robotic camera, then learned how to technical direct.

In the spring, I was asked to direct a show. I immediately said no. There was no way I was going to call the shots for a show. I was going to mess it up.

But again, the production team and producers cheered me on and assured me that I absolutely could do it.

And I did.

The show wasn’t perfect, things went wrong, but I did it.

My confidence grew from there and I began directing a show at least once a week. It wasn’t long until Student Media Advisor Mark Zoromski and incoming Executive Director Aimee Galaszewski started telling me that I should apply for a leadership position within the Wire for the next school year.

Once again, I immediately refused. I had only been a part of the Wire for a year. There was no way I was prepared to take on more responsibility and I definitely couldn’t lead the team.

I was too late.

Or at least I thought I was.

Mark and Aimee’s certainty in me forced me to recognize my own potential. It sparked a flame that no amount of self-doubt could blow out. I then became the MUTV production director for my senior year. That’s when I started to feel like I might not be so far behind after all.

I have never felt more like myself than I have in that control room.

I went from feeling lost to feeling more in control than I ever had before. I gained the confidence to keep learning and eventually to teach others.

The greatest joys of the job came in the form of Richie, Caroline and Ivy. My three production assistants could predict my next step better than my own mind could. They amaze me with their knowledge of the technicalities, their dedication to the entire Marquette Wire and their unwavering love for what they do.

As I raced through my two years at the Wire and my final years of college trying to “catch up” to what I had been feeling so late for, I realized that timing could not measure my experience.

The Wire gave me more than I could have asked for. It gave me direction, a spirit of creativity, a love for bringing ideas to life and my dearest, most unexpected friends.

Most of all it taught me that nothing ever happens when you want it to, but everything happens on time.

This story was written by Mazie Baldus. She can be reached at mackenzie.baldus@marquette.edu