The Beakon: it’s about time

From running clocks to sweaty palms

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Setting alarms. Checking reminders. Having an intense staring contest with the clock. These concepts should be quite familiar to many, if not all of us. We all have time crunches and the stress headaches that follow.

The ideal situation would be no deadlines. But, sadly, the increased responsibility of ‘time’ is added to the weight on our shoulders and forces teachers, parents and reporters to hold those they work with responsible.

Those of us in the newsroom feel specialized kinds of time crunches and stress pain. From story forecasting (proposing and assigning articles to writers) and due date extensions — because let’s face it, not every teacher answers their emails immediately and not all writers conduct research the minute they are assigned — people are sitting anxiously watching the clock.

A world without time, according to independent physicist and writer Dr. Julian Barbour, means going “further, to a deeper reality in which nothing at all, neither heavens nor Earth, moves. Stillness reigns.” Barbour believes that the end of time is a possibility of humankind’s future. Time is quite a complex and scary subject, but let’s look at some possible positives of multifaceted time.

The goal: (at least for us journalism kids) is publication day. That one day at the end of every month, every sweaty palm and every teardrop is a day where due dates don’t exist in journalism class. It also functions as a day to take a deep, well-deserved breath.

Most of us have goals in mind, whether they be long-term or short-term, monumental or nominal. Time as a whole can help us organize ourselves, keep us accountable for our actions and help us become the adult our parents, and we, aspire to be.

Therefore, we must heed the wise words of one of our founding fathers (and journalists), Benjamin Franklin: “You may delay, but time will not.”

Though procrastination and frustration paired with whining about lack of time seem to be second nature for many Oak Park students, time constraints can be more than helpful not only in the journalism realm but in everyday student and adult life. In fact, the Talon stands by its dedication to timely reporting.

But there are ways to cope with procrastination. Picture it: handing your phone to your mother to hide while you do homework. What a concept!

Even simple actions like making smaller, more attainable goals, organizing and scheduling, incentivizing yourself, taking brief breaks and hiding your phone can make a huge difference in how much work gets done and by what time.

At the Talon, we hold all staff members accountable for using these techniques. Devices such as Trello, a web-based project management and communication application, Google Drive, checklists, voice recording apps and Adobe’s InDesign aid in the fluidity of each month’s paper-making process.

In addition, we often rely on other people, along with ourselves of course, to be able to meet our deadlines. After all, if your deskmate in chemistry doesn’t answer an email, Julia Brownley doesn’t answer a call or Dr. Anderson is busy grading DBQ’s in APUSH, it may be more difficult to get interviews with them, thus slowing down our process.

Everybody is autonomous to choosing what their time is worth.

This kind of a fluctuating environment is helpful to teach adaptability in regards to getting things done. Getting from Point A to Point F is not as black and white as it may seem: a philosophy that can be applied to many aspects of our teenage lives.

Though these concepts may cause some increased stress in practice, in the long run, the pros of facing procrastination head-on and being efficient with time is extremely helpful for your life both in the present and future.

It seems that we all wish that time could stop, especially in high school. Either we are enjoying these moments to the furthest extent or need a few extra minutes to catch up on Membean. But the hands on our clocks keep turning, and we keep working.

A world without clocks, watches, or sundials is a world that to students, especially journalism students, might be just as frightening as one without printers and paper.

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