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A spirit that is not afraid

COLUMN | Goodbye, Plainsman

Goodbye, Plainsman
Goodbye, Plainsman

After spending nearly four years of their college experience with The Plainsman, this past year’s management staff of graduating seniors have written their goodbyes. 

My Ly was a 

My Ly, Content Editor  

When I first joined The Plainsman I had no idea what I was actually applying for. I knew that it was a student-run newspaper, I knew that I was a journalism major, I knew that I was going into Auburn as a stranger and I wanted to get involved. 

I spent my first few semesters here focused on what I knew and what I could learn. I came to meetings and took stories and wrote (poorly at times) and absorbed and digested as much journalism as I could stand. 

That is something I did not expect to get from the Plainsman, most of my clips, which were only good because the people helping me were good and not just in their roles as editors but as teachers, supporters and examples as these specific pillars of journalism. 

While I was focusing on what I concretely knew about this paper, The Plainsman was giving me this special journalistic lens to look at Auburn through and friendships that frankly snuck up on me because they were just suddenly there. 

I remember being a freshman and a writer and then I remember being an editor. These are the two concrete, distinct periods of my Plainsman experience and I have a hard time pin-pointing exactly when the shift happened. But this newspaper returned everything I gave to it times 100. 

I invested heavily into this organization and I didn't even realize I was doing it because it felt easy and natural to care about the paper’s weekly print issues or special quarterly edition or its people. The basement-level office without windows or a phone signal excitedly ushered me in as a scared 18-year-old and guided me throughout my four years. 

That’s a part of The Plainsman effect. It’s a scene that I have seen continually played out over and over again just with new faces that were once mine and Destini’s. Every time a writer comes in and sees this big and rowdy staff and passionate editors sitting in a room that's filled with history and warmth, I see the scene play out. 

For the first time since August 2019, my Monday evenings will no longer be blocked out for The Plainsman’s weekly staff meeting and I will miss it more than I anticipated. But this organization existed before me and hundreds of people have walked this same path and will continue to and we will all be linked with this common thread. 

I have an arrogant amount of confidence in a My-free editorial board, because I know them and I know who will come after them in a strange way. It will always be true that anyone who is being left in the hands of The Plainsman will have my vote of confidence because those who invest in the Plainsman just seem to care. 

Destini Ambus, Editor-in-chief

The first thing I ever wrote for The Plainsman was about food trucks. I wrote it on the day it was due — Sunday, of course, in a notebook I'd had since high school, that I still have buried somewhere. I thought that was the most stressful I'd ever been in my life. The final product turned out to be something I was really proud of. My editors ripped it to shreds. 

Sitting here now, six days after my official Plainsman duties are over, and six days after I said I would write and publish this, and I'm just now writing it at 8 p.m. on Sunday because of course I am. I feel like a freshman again, bleeding out of my pen into an old notebook. Stressed about what's coming next. 

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Freshman me didn't know a pandemic was what was coming next, didn't know that she would come to love The Plainsman in a way she didn't know she could love something. I knew I loved journalism during the process of writing the second story I wrote (it was exponentially better).

I knew I loved The Plainsman one random Spring Monday when my editor Trice Brown showed us his room on Zoom just to make his writers happy.

As My might tell you, even after that it took me a long time to fully buy into The Plainsman. I was invited to editors' hang out and flaked every time for about six or seven months. Once I bought in, though, I bought in, and I will forever be grateful that this organization has brought me lifelong friends — people I will love for the rest of my life. 

I've always said privately that The Plainsman was the one thing that kept me from dropping out during the pandemic, and it's true. The people here have become my lifeboat, keeping me afloat even when things got rough. Even more than the people here the Plainsman itself is truly something special. 

I've been reading a book called Atlas of the Heart by Brent Brown, and there's a particular quote in there about love — "We need more love. Gritty, dangerous, wild-eyed, justice-seeking love." 

And that quote made me think about how I feel about journalism, but also how I feel about The Plainsman. I love journalism because I love The Plainsman because when it comes down to it, it is all about love — all of it it. No matter what that looks like for you. 

We all do this out of love for something — sports, news, culture, even writing. Love of Auburn, and a desire to make it better, because we believe in it and love it. We do this out of love for The Plainsman, too, because we believe in the power of journalism and its fundamental functions — to inform, to increase public awareness, to interpret the facts, set the tone, and seek justice – wild--eyes, justice-seeking love. 

As I'm writing this I can hear the voices of my beloved editorial board just outside the door, and it clicks as to why my departure doesn't seem real yet. I know that without me, The Plainsman will go on. My time has ended here, but The Plainsman will always exist, and I am so confident in its future. I'm confident in the new editors and proud, so proud of the people coming after me. I know I've left The Plainsman in good hands, so this doesn't feel quite like a goodbye. It feels like a send-off. I'll see you later. Tell me about the progress you've made. 

Destini Ambus | Editor-in-Chief

Destini Ambus, senior in journalism, pursuing a minor in sociology is the editor-in-chief of The Auburn Plainsman.


My Ly | Content Editor

My Ly, senior in journalism, is the content editor for the Auburn Plainsman. 

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