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A blast from the past: Sarah-Catherine Smith

WED. | 12-01-21 | FEATURES

     Since 1969, Rampant Lines has been Rose’s student newspaper, meaning that there have been hundreds of writers creating these newspapers over the past  52 years that Rampant Lines has been operating.  This leaves some to wonder “where are these writers now”?

     Sarah-Catherine Smith was a Features Editor in 2012. She joined journalism in her sophomore year and stayed until she graduated. 

     However, she did not always have an interest in writing, and joining journalism was not even something she wanted at first. 

     “I was in orchestra and I broke my arm in the middle of the year, so they said I could go to journalism or ROTC,” Smith said.

     Joining journalism eventually changed her interest

Sarah-Catherine Smith

Contributed by Rampant Lines Archive

in writing. She had began to find a love for writing and an even bigger love for journalism.

     “I didn’t know it was something I was going to love so much...and in school you write essays and stuff, [but] you don’t really do this kind of style of writing,” Smith said.

     She wrote for news at first, then she switched over to features. 

     “I didn’t like news as much because it’s not quite as creative,” Smith said. “Features has better layouts and is more creative.”

     One of Smith’s favorite parts about being a Features Editor was writing long-form stories.

     “I think at the time we interviewed several teachers about their entire life stories, and I learned a lot about a bunch of these teachers that I had known for years,” Smith said. “So that was just interesting to get to know people.”

     One of her favorite features stories was a long-form story about a Rose teacher, Mr. Perry and his life and ancestors. 

     If Smith had the chance to make a features spread right now, she says that it would be about food and different teacher recipes. 

     The classroom dynamic back when Smith was in journalism looked different than how it currently looks.

     “We had changing teachers a lot, so it was very much student-run,” Smith said. “And I had never seen that and I really liked it. So it was like a team more so than a class.” 

     The way the newspaper looked was also very different from how it looks today. Rather than the regular newspaper fold that Rampant Lines uses today, Smith says that it looked like a square with more of a magazine-type fold.  

     “The photos took us a minute apiece plus to go into the computer, and took a really long time to cut out and photoshop,” Smith said. 

     Although it has been years since Smith has been a Features Editor, the skills that she learned from it have still been used after she had graduated. She went on to be Editor-in-Chief for her college newspaper, and with the graphics and software skills she picked up from being a graphics editor, she went on to do product design for big media companies like Gannett and The Washington Post.

     Although Smith's journalism days were a while ago, it left an impact on her life that she has carried on beyond high school.

     “It has directly impacted my life in a very literal way, and there is a lot you can do and take away, even if it’s not just the writing,” Smith said. “Writing doesn’t have to be your thing to get a lot out of journalism.”

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