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By the Book

by Archives April 8, 2008

Two years ago, when I attended my first “Buzzies”, I took the time to sit next to Les Lawton. I didn’t know very many people, and had just finished my first full season covering Lawton’s women’s hockey team.
Lawton threw out that he would nominate me for a Director’s Shield award for contribution to the department of Recreation and Athletics. I laughed at the notion. I was only in my second year, and had only covered Lawton’s team for a year and a half. What had I done to deserve a nomination?
I didn’t remember this anecdote until Saturday afternoon when unbeknownst to me beforehand, my name was called to accept my Director’s Shield award.
I am not the first reporter to ever receive the award. But, it is an honour that means an unbelievable amount to me.
I didn’t do this for awards. I didn’t do this for money. I did this because I enjoyed doing it. I did it because I wanted to. I focused on women’s sports because it didn’t make sense to me that teams that had similar success had crowds and publicity that were so different.
This is a message to those who think that no one is reading. I have only received one comment on my work from a reader. However, it turns out people have read. After getting the award, people whom I didn’t know came up to me to tell me it was well deserved. Coaches who I respect were also telling me the same things. It was a very, very rewarding experience to know that people read and enjoy what I put into the paper.
My first column, around this time three years ago, wasn’t called “By the Book.” It was called “Just Jared.” It didn’t have this pensive picture of me; it had a picture of a goofy looking kid smiling with a Washington Nationals hat and Montreal Expos jacket. Please don’t look it up. I thought it – and I – was the coolest thing in the world.
It is just one of the examples of how much I – and this very newspaper – have grown up and improved over my four years.
I wasn’t born to be a reporter. I was born to write, I believe, and born to write about sports. But reporting wasn’t in my blood. I had a problem. I didn’t like to talk to people. It’s hard to get quotes that way.
That wasn’t even the roughest beginning. I almost got kicked out of the first game I attended as a reporter. Apparently standing behind the bench is not the best place for a reporter to be during a soccer game. And that was the first, but not last, time I was helped enormously by Catherine Grace, Concordia’s Sports Information director.
I didn’t have a real “beat” until January. I started covering the women’s hockey team. In addition to being my first beat, it was also my last and most of my best memories as a reporter occurred while watching games at the Ed Meagher arena.
It wasn’t until February of that year that I actually spoke to a player. I was assigned to do a story on then-second-year forward Angela Di Stasi of the women’s hockey team.
I often say that the Sports beat was the easiest. You know exactly when and where there is something to cover. But, it wasn’t until this year where I looked for stories beyond games.
Lawton and the entire team allowed me to follow them around for an entire week, and even allowed me on the ice. I wish I had done it sooner, because it gave me an insight I wish I had from the start.
The treatment that I received from Les and the entire team is enough to touch anyone. Thank you.
This year, I also had the opportunity to work at the Athletics Complex in various roles. From announcing games, which was a challenge at first – you don’t realize you don’t know how to translate something in French until you’re in the middle of announcing a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
I also had the opportunity to do some colour commentary of Stinger hockey games that were webcast.
And yes, I was also Buzz for one day. It was something that I couldn’t refuse when it was asked of me, and I’m glad I didn’t even after the embarrassing lay-up debacle, which if you were there, wasn’t on purpose. I was actually trying to get the basket in.
There’s a reason I’m a reporter and not a Stinger.
There are so many other people I want to thank over my time at Concordia and The Concordian. First off, my first editor-in-chief Justin Way. Justin was both EiC and sports editor when I started writing at the paper, and his last piece of advice for me was to make sure my column grew from the 400-word maximum he had in his column “Time Out.” Consider it done. This column is close to triple that amount.
To all the other EiC’s and especially to all the copy editors, thanks as well.
At the Athletics department, thanks to Catherine, Katie Sheahan, Les Lawton and all of the coaches I’ve spoken to, as well as the entire women’s hockey team, and so many others.
Finally, while I’m graduating both as a student and from this paper as a reporter and columnist, I will continue to be present both as a fan and as a worker. Just don’t expect to see me in the Bee costume.
However, I will definitely show up to some games in the Stingers jersey given to me by Lawton now that I no longer have to worry about objectivity or bias. I can just say what has been on my heart for four years.
Go Stingers.

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