The Eighth Page

The Amazing Journey: Features from Start to Finish

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t going to write an article this week. We were going to have some random freshmen do it in the hopes that he or she would one day become more like Clem Wood ’04 (for the fellas) or Olivia Oran ’04 (for the ladies and some of the more…diverse fellas). But since there was more flakeage at The Phillipian this week than on your grand-daddy’s head in a year, I had to step in. This week, I thought I would tell you all about the complicated few days that go into making the Phillipian’s Features section. It’s often said that sex and violence sell newspapers, and between Sports Editors Emily O’Brien ’03 and Evan Panich ’03, we get our fair share of that. Strap on your protective eyewear and please do not feed the bears. The wild ride through the crazy, crazy world of the Features page is moving on out of the station. On Wednesday or Thursday, Derrick Kuan, Features “Replacement Prank Monkey” Uzoma Iheagwara (he replaced Anthony Green, who is now Features “One-Man Band”) and I get together to work out who will be writing for the particular week. Our meeting is reasonably brief and always hilarious. We watch Uz draw some pictures with his crayons and then we yell Jessica Schuster’s name a bunch of times. Then we run around like monkeys for a minute or two. Finally, we send out an email with the word “Holla” in it. [Editor’s Note: Jasper writes this as if he has actually been doing this for more than a week… Hmm.] Then starts the ornery task of making the week’s articles titillate and amuse. Derrick and I get together and have tea and little cakes while we write our pieces. Uz likes to write his article in crayon. He has been known to write while watching TV and this must explain the grammatically sketchy nature of his work. If we assign the Maxwell/Chang ’05 Duo of Death an article, they write it either while lounging in their dorm in various states of undress or out on the cruise in the Sanctuary at 2 or 3 early on a Friday morning. Christian Vareika ’05 writes about the hunnies. Anthony Green ’05 writes while staring at small children. Weird. Despite the varied circumstances in which the Features crew gets their write on, the common denominators are that we all love being funny and know that one day we’ll be able to bring handsome Editor-in-Chief Michael Ruderman ’03 a can of soda and maybe, if we’re lucky, open it for him. Once we get all the big articles in, we do the small stuff. Such things include the “Top 10” and deciding who gets to hang out with the enchanting Marian Wardrop, “Queen of Photographs” for The Phillipian. Either Derrick or I will send this exotic beauty an email that describes the many amusing pictures that the charming Justine and her motley band must snap of our heavenly visages. Having your photo taken for the Features page is weird. Mysterious Justine often makes us hold bananas or dance around or stand on tables in the library while talking to the lovely ladies who proctor the Garver or Freeman rooms. Kinky. Hot. Then on Sunday or Monday we have to edit the articles people send in. [Editor’s Note: Now this is a blatant lie, obviously no one edits this poo.] This part of the job is not pretty. We have to deal with wack phraseology such as quotes like, “Leon is a quick kid. He goes out there, starts dancing around like his feet are on fire or he thinks he’s Muhammad Ali or something, and then, he’s just like, BAM! and then the guy is on his back and Leon is getting near falls. If I met him in a pub, I would buy a round of Guinness in his honor,” or, “Although the origin of Chinese New Year is too old to be accurately traced, the holiday is based on a legend. This legend tells of a hideous, man-eating beast called Nian. Nian was wreaking havoc on the people of China. He could swallow several humans at one time with his gigantic mouth. Then, one day, a man came to the people’s rescue. This man talked to Nian and pleaded with him to turn his hunting elsewhere. Nian agreed and turned his attention to predatory beasts that had been harassing the Chinese people.” These are real quotes that real people really send in to us. Now you see why Features in the back of the paper. Once we put all the articles into the layout and do some other boring stuff, the Features section is ready for action. It gets printed at the Eagle-Tribune’s offices in Lawrence and then is hand-delivered to your mailbox by the loving hands of Sachi Cole ’03 and Jenn Vanecek ’04, the paper’s “Circulation Czarina” (she asked us to call her that). From the murky origins on Wednesday night to your greasy hands on Friday afternoon, the Features section is a beautiful and mysterious beast/kingdom of rudeness, crudeness and lewdness- and I shall soon be the king. Begin your worshipping now.)