It’s surprisingly comforting to be back in the newsroom at Pima Community College’s West Campus.
Unlike the University of Arizona, the campus here feels like a safe haven with native desert plants, no sports bars, and not an Urban Out tters in sight.
This August, I immediately reclaimed my favorite spot in the newsroom, the same chair I’ve perched on – or sunk into with exhaustion on late production nights – since my rst editing class at Pima, three semesters ago.
The IT department nally upgraded the operating systems on our iMacs, and I’m right next to the scanner for my drawings. Hey, it’s about the little things.
This semester, Nicholas Trujillo and I are the Aztec Press’ editors in chief. Not only is working with Trujillo reassuring because he offers a new perspective on the paper, but we started writing for the newspaper the same semester. He also lets me braid his hair.
Having Trujillo as a partner in crime takes a lot of pressure off of being the one and only captain running the ship.
Personally, I don’t think I could do it alone. I’m a production kind of gal, whereas Trujillo shines in it all.
Our previous journalism adviser of 10 years, Cynthia Lancaster, left us for freedom and retirement this spring.
But surprise, surprise. She’s back to teach photojournalism this semester and taunt us with her presence, knowing whole- heartedly that we’re drowning in our rst semester without her.
Replacing Lancaster is the beautifully sarcastic Valerie Vinyard, who immediately makesfunofyou-inagood way – while simultaneously making you feel part of the team.
Whether, I’m taking two classes or ve during a semester, in the newsroom, or shooting a soccer game, I couldn’t feel more part of the community at Pima.
It’s hard to romanticize back-to-school season too much living in Arizona.
The first day of school tends to be different for Tucsonans. No crisp fall air, pleasant walks to class or cool study breaks outside.
Dapper back-to-school outfits become drenched in sweat halfway through the day.
But, as desert dwellers, we persevere. Come August, most locals have finnally gotten over the predictable heat and stop expressing their disdain for the 100 degree days.
Some Arizonans even try to project better weather by wearing sweaters, causing diesel pit stains underneath.
What I mean is, we’re strong. Whether it’s ten too many Mattress Firm storefronts on every corner, ooded side streets from a gnarly monsoon, or even President Trump’s plans to end DACA, Tucson is a strong community, full of heart.
Even when it’s creating simple acts of inclusion like painting pride rainbows on the streets of fourth avenue, I’m constantly nding myself proud of this city.