General studies major finds future career through colligate publication

by Kendall Rainer

This is my final story for the Plainsman Press.

I have written so much for this newspaper, done so many amazing things, experienced things that I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced.

I’ll start from the beginning. As the end of my senior year of high school came quickly approaching, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I had no plans for college, no career path in mind.

There was one thing, one person, however, who was going to set me on a path that I hadn’t even pondered.

The woman I am dating had been constantly hounding me about college. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, and I didn’t have good grades in high school, but I decided to follow her to college.

This is where my journey began. During my first semester at South Plains College, I just focused on doing my basics as a General Studies Major. My girlfriend was simultaneously beginning her career on the Plainsman Press.

As my second semester of college was approaching, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. So my girlfriend convinced me to join the newspaper to try to find something.

I have enjoyed photography since high school and had a small portfolio put together. So the position of photo editor on the paper spoke to me. I joined the staff the following semester on the promise that all I had to do was take and edit photos. Part of that ended up being true.

In my first semester on the paper, I was named photo editor, with a bonus of being the sports editor. My title changed the next semester, but my job remained the same, take and edit photos, write sports. In my third semester, I had the privilege of being named Associate Editor, and still hold that title in this, my final semester on the paper and at SPC.

I have had some amazing opportunities, including but not limited to: taking photos at numerous SPC sporting events, having the amazing opportunity to take photos at Texas Tech football games, including a game against the University of Texas, which I will forever be grateful for, and experiencing many fascinating things Lubbock has to offer.

There have been many influencers, many friendships I have formed along the way. However, for the sake of space I will only mention a few.

The first and most significant influence has been Autumn Bippert (the girlfriend previously mentioned). If it wasn’t for her, I would have never found something I enjoy so much. She has helped me through some of the toughest moments in my college career thus far, both on and off-campus. I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished. She became the Editor-In-Chief at the start of her second semester on the newspaper and has run every staff amazingly. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next.

The next, and just equally as influential, is Charlie Ehrenfeld. Charlie has not only been my instructor and advisor, but he has been a mentor to me. He has taught me so much about both photography and writing and reporting sports. Not only has he been a mentor, but he has helped to make this place that is very far away from where I grew up my home away from home.

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Adán Rubio is one of the great editors I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know during my first semester. It took him a little bit to warm up to everyone, but he eventually came out of his shell. Being his desk-mate I was able to hear all of the under-the-breath jokes he made, which were seemingly out of character. Adán has gone on to be the News Editor at the Daily Toreador at Texas Tech, an accomplishment that I am very proud of him for.

Tina Gonzales and Randi Jines made Paper Nights an amazing experience during my first semester on the staff. They are part of the family bond we forge in the Newsroom, and I will never forget my time with them.

Victoria De Souza has become a great friend of mine. She joined the paper in my third semester after Autumn had convinced her to come aboard. The sassy Brazilian that I call my friend is and will be a highlight of my time here, and I am very proud of how far she has come.

There were many more editors and staff members along the way that I was not able to mention, but I thank each and every one for the experiences they contributed to and the hard work they put forth to forge this award-winning newspaper.    

The countless hours I have spent in this Newsroom I will remember forever. This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I don’t think there will be many more like it. I have greatly enjoyed my time here, and I will not soon forget it. Farewell.