Monday, March 9, 2015

Rebel Girl's Friday

Roll the presses!
A FEW WEEKS AGO, Rebel Girl received an invitation in her mailbox:
Dear [Rebel Girl],

I’d like to invite you to join Register Editor Rob Curley and me for lunch at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6 at the Register's office in Santa Ana.

We’ll show you what the newsroom is planning for the future, talk about collaboration and take you on a tour of the paper. We’d also like you to attend our afternoon news meeting.

I hope you’ll be able to join us.


Donna Wares
Orange County Register Managing Editor
You can imagine Rebel Girl's surprise! And delight. On Friday, she arrived early and waited while the lunch group slowly assembled: representatives from the journalism programs of both regional Cal State Long Beach and Fullerton, Chapman University and UC Irvine. Rebel Girl was the sole representative from a community college. Some even remembered the old IVC newspaper (journalists tend to have long memories) and the stellar transfer students, both from that program and others. They were curious about our paper's demise. They gave her advice about revival strategies and offered support. Didn't you have one of the longest-running lit journals too, one asked? Didn't you publish writers who went on to make it big? Yes, yes, yes. 

At the appointed time they were led into an elevator and up to the second floor and the Da Vinci room: Z Pizzas awaited and editor Rob Curley who was, he confessed, on his fourth Monster of the day. That seemed easy to believe. For the next four hours, Curley spoke with unwavering passion and focus — all through his presentation, the editorial meeting they witnessed and a tour of every department of the building, concluding in Curley's office and, finally (see photo above), downstairs with the presses. 

A breathless afternoon, for him and all involved.
Editorial meeting
Highlights? The editorial meeting. The view from the building with its wraparound windows.  Meeting an IVC Voice alum at his desk (he is now an editor at the Register). The archive! The presses!

Upshot? The bottom line seemed to be that, after a couple years of tumult, the Register was back, better than ever, and ready to do what it does best, cover the county at the local level, telling the stories that need to be told and serving the 34 cities that make up our fair county. They are not out of the woods yet, but the trees are thinning. To that end, they'd like to renew ties with the higher education institutions that once served them so well. The internship program (paid!) is up and running. Opportunities abound. Blue skies.

Rebel Girl spent the weekend mulling over much and penning her thank you note to Rob Curley. She's busy these days with the OC County literature anthology, a project that has finally gotten some funding through Heyday Press, UC Irvine and Chapman University. It's an impressive collection of writings about the county, from its earliest voices to acclaimed writers and more contemporary ones.  She has found some contributors in the pages of the old Elephant Ear as well as in the pages of the still thriving UCI, CSUF and OCC lit journals.
The anthology, when it is published next year, will be used as a textbook at UCI, Chapman and other teaching institutions in the county. More importantly, the book will be a document of the county. She think Curley might be interested in its promotion. She hopes so.

OCC's lit journal

UC Irvine's lit journal
CSU Fullerton's lit journal

Rebel Girl has some students who, despite the dearth of writing and publishing opportunities at IVC, have found their way to her classroom and the classes of her colleagues. She thinks some of them would be fine candidates for internships. She hopes so.

All in all, a good day. It was good to be in the company of other teachers and hear about their programs. It was good to be reminded of our membership in the academic community and the county. It was good to get some ideas. It was good, after all these years, to see the offices of the Register and to hug that former student, now deep into his midlife and expecting his third child. And now, onward.

IVC's now defunct community literary journal
The IVC Voice: no more


Anonymous said...

I have to say that it kills me to see what were once vibrant publications at IVC no longer in print. There is a serious lack of intellectual activity outside of the classroom and it is cheating our students and inhibiting their ability to understand what it means to be a part of a learning community. What can we do as faculty to facilitate this outside our classroom? We need to identify ways to do this.

Roy Bauer said...

Raghu Mathur interfered with our journalism program, turning the Voice eventually into a house organ. At that point, Puff could not be brave, and sadly slipped into his cave.

Anonymous said...

In recent years, we have had terrific students who have not been enable to get what they need from us - and we lose students because we do not offer them the same opportunities as other schools. The college loses too as the presence of a vibrant student paper can support programs and activities - and create a greater sense of community.

Anonymous said...

I understand that the county library system has a full set of The Ear as does UC Irvine. Fine work! Preserved. The college should be proud.

Anonymous said...

Two of my favorite Ear covers. Thanks.

Roy Bauer said...

I wanted to post some Ear covers and those are the two editions I found in my house, on an obscure shelf. They are especially nice, I suppose.

Old—and insane (—and when <I>eugenics</I> was in the air)

Young Frieda Flueckinger, c. 1893      Here's another post on the historical blog I'm doing for a friend. You might find it i...