Letter from the editor: Editor reflects on past year as columnist

Mint editor shares journey to Evergreen amid COVID-19, brings new perspective to section



Sheila Johnson in her dorm room Spring 2021


To me, there is nothing more moving or more powerful than the human story, even in metaphor.

When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be a writer. After that, I thought I wanted to be an editor. After that, I thought my real calling was to be a reporter. My love for reporting was really sparked when I visited the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

We watched a film in the museum, which highlighted reporters during different times in history. One reporter was standing on a building during the Blitzkrieg, and one was watching the Hindenburg disaster. It all seemed so exciting to me. There were also sad exhibits, such as photographs of children with no clothes in Vietnam and a photo of a woman falling off a building.

It was all part of a greater story  one that the whole world could look at and respect as our shared human history. 

When I went through campus for the first time and took tours through the communications buildings, my favorite part was seeing the newsroom. It was filled with the sounds of editors, reporters and bustling students. From the moment I saw it, I knew it was where I was going to work.

There was no way for me to know the newsroom was not, in fact, where I was going to work, at least at first. Life never goes as close to plan as we imagine it will.

COVID-19 derailed my first year of college, as it did to so many others. I don’t think this is the most terrible thing.

Originally, I am from the Olympia area. My parents and I agreed it was time for me to leave home, even if I couldn’t go to college yet, so I moved to Vancouver to live with a family friend.

I lived in Vancouver during my first semester, and it was magical. Fall is my favorite season, and independence is my favorite feeling. It wasn’t all easy, of course. I sat in a room doing school and banging my head against the wall, waiting for something amazing to happen, I guess.

The time did give me a chance to examine the hobbies I love, the music I choose to listen to and the movies I adore to watch. I also started some new hobbies, such as watercolor painting, sketching and sewing.

In my second semester of college, I moved into the dorms. I know from experience that the number one priority to survive in a new place is to find something to get involved in. I remembered my excitement for the Evergreen and applied to be a writer.

I received a reply, and so my journaling adventure began in the mint section, my favorite section. My first assignments were columns about different board and card games. I tailored them for both in-person and zoom formats.

Once I had a few columns under my belt, I was pushed by my editor to branch out and try my hand at features. It was nerve-racking at first. Was I going to say the wrong thing? Would I get all the information I need? Could I do it?

Long story short, I did do it. Then, I did it again.

I realized every person I interviewed had an amazing story, which differed from everyone else’s. They all had a different reason for doing the things they did. At this point, I couldn’t wait to interview the different artists who wanted to share their voices and art with the world.

After writing for a semester, I decided my place was as editor of the mint section. As mint editor, I can find new individuals who want to share their stories with the student body. I can create a section of interest and learning.

I hope to bring a new perspective and life to the section. I aim to highlight artists, cultures and worldviews that may differ from those presented before while bringing fun activities and project ideas every student can enjoy.

I can’t wait to share amazing stories with you this semester.