All praise to publications

Time in Room 50A/50B creates lifetime bonds of friendship

Story by Caden Rainwater, Sports editor

A teenager gets four years. Forty-eight months jammed full of decisions hurled at us that make or break our future. What we do and think is constantly monitored, what we say is limited, and what we wish for is often denied; however, for these four short years we get our own free trial for “Life.” 

At the door of high school we are greeted with a “no pressure”, because one’s entire future lies in the height of the numbers that pop up when you login to your grading app. So how do we combat against the pressure? Well, we pick and choose. We pick our classes as well as our extracurriculars. Once the fifth period bell rings, it’s finally our decision, free of the school district’s guidelines, to decide where our time lies, and that I believe is the utmost important decision.

Well, for me it was never actually a decision, more of a “look Caden this is what you’re going to do, no questions asked.” Two years ago, the notorious photographer and 2019 “best dressed” superlative winner Holland Rainwater handed me an envelope that said I was invited to interview for a spot on either the yearbook or newspaper staff. 

Reacting as everyone should, I imagined the newspaper as a thing old people read and building a yearbook took creativity, so I hesitated to offer my talents. See, in every senior column, the senior tells the reader that publications was great, and they’re happy they did it, and they will miss everyone after they graduate, but I’m here to tell you that’s stupid.

I’m not going to miss these people because I’m not done being around these people. Whether I made the decision to join publications or I was forced into it, with three years of newspaper and two years of photography down, I now have a group of people that I would include in my will. And every hour I spend roaming between 50A and 50B on B-days, means another year that I’m going to be Facebook messaging these talented publications nerds.

Sadly, the advice I have the honor of offering isn’t plastered on a poster once you walk in the room, it’s not mentioned during the introductory stages of publications, and Mrs. Potter, as well as Mr. Smith, still has yet to find the words to describe it. According to my mom, when Life360 tells her I’m in Room 50A, it means it’s her chance to call me because I’m “never doing anything anyways.” Well Mom, I am doing something in there: I’m finally living. 

I started living when I figured out that high school life wasn’t about being on the ludicrous little honor roll. It’s about the football tournament in the school parking lot after editing pictures at 1 in the morning. It’s about the diligence it takes to earn a compliment from Mrs. Potter, because let me tell you, those compliments hit the hardest. It’s about everyone being on the same page with their thoughts on Smith’s stocks, which we’re all lowkey jealous of him making money without working because we get to feel like a team of anti-stockers.

Because of publications, I took my first steps into a Hooters (sorry Mom and Dad), broke curfew way too many times to count (also sorry Mom and Dad), drove countless hours to fulfill my reputation as the school’s sports photographer, had a breakfast party at my house when the previously mentioned Mom and Dad were not home (still sorry guys), and even spent the night in a tent with eight other people on Assad’s farm. 

It’s hard to understand how publishing newspaper articles and taking pictures of random events can band a group of people together so well, a group of people that without these classes would ignore each other if they saw one another across the deli aisle at Walmart, but it did. It’s a family, a small one at that, but I owe them oh so many smiles, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.