From now, I will hold the number eight in high esteem. It created a miracle.
How it began
Our university president (to whom I could never say “no”) requested me to be The Bridge's (student publication) adviser for the third year in a row. The qualifying exam reaped tons of entries, but I handpicked only the best 12. Two more volunteered to be photographers, bringing the number to 14.
Passion for campus journalism was palpable during our first meeting; there were sparks in the students’ eyes.
Then the work piled up, got complicated, and the deadline neared. One quit. Then another followed . . . and another . . . and another. (Once upon a time, commitment was a virtue. People never quit, unless they were dead or dying.) Before I could blink, only eight was left.
How it continued
More than a challenge it was, like actually acting out our theme, "Breaking Borders." The remaining eight decided on a magazine, instead of the usual newspaper. They conducted a poll. They worked out exchange deals with suppliers. They secured copyright permits. (Yes, millennials couldn’t be boxed in.) And the edition was to be the university’s special 20th anniversary issue, for launching at a certain date. Too close for comfort.
Grace needed here.
Under ordinary circumstances, among lesser mortals, this would be panic time. But the eight pressed on: writing, editing, interviewing, lay-outing, coordinating, etc. And how about the photo shoot and press work?
Timely help and morale boost came from the angels at the Office of Student Affairs. They and our president wrote us encouraging notes.
Still grace needed here.
At crunch time, ironically on Valentine’s Day, one editor volunteered to be at the press. She was trapped there from morn till eve.
One day later, the press gave an ultimatum, “A person of authority has to sign the proofs so we could beat the deadline.” That had to be me.
Grace came beyond measure: Our president, her heart made of gold, threw in her full support by keeping me company, bringing along our IT to see to details.
How it ended
It was celebration of our 20th year as an institution that has been breaking borders since day one! A flood of individual and collective appreciation swirled in from the student body. The Bridge is their voice; they are in it; they own it.
Behind it all are the enduring eight editorial board members (future leaders, no doubt) who broke borders to make it happen. Their first names: Rafayel, Fatima, Shiandra, Allie, Kat, Sonia, Paolo, and Pau. Their middle name: commitment.
If that isn’t a miracle, what is?