Devin Geary (Senior Reflection)

By Devin Geary
Copydesk Editor

My name only appeared on the masthead for one semester. Before this reflection, I have never had any work published in The Bucknellian. I’m not a photographer or cartoonist. So why am I writing now, three weeks from graduation? Because I love grammar.

That’s what lured me in four years ago as a meek little first-year. I saw on the Message Center that The Bucknellian was looking for copy editors, and even though I didn’t know the difference between a copy editor or any other kind of editor, I knew I liked proofreading, and I decided to send in an application, just to see what would happen. The result? Four years of late nights in Roberts, seven different staffs and a whole lot of sour gummies. You know, the green ones from the Bison.

I never knew the intricacies of AP Style or the significance of an Oxford comma, but over the past four years, I have come both to love and hate every last rule. I can no longer read any kind of writing, journalistic or not, without noticing the direction of an apostrophe or whether numbers are written alphabetically or numerically. I can’t walk past the caf without remembering that it’s stylistically Bostwick Marketplace or go into Seventh Street without mentally noting it’s “café,” with the accent. I count down the semester by number of remaining newspaper issues, and I have to confess, I feel like I know a lot of people who I have never actually met just because I have fact-checked their names: spelling, class year and major.

I’m known to get angry at some of the articles that come through, and I officially hate sports statistics, but the weekly routine of chatting with the other editors, laughing at that specific week’s typo, and yelling at the old school Roberts computers has become a huge part of my Bucknell life. I’m not off to a fancy job at The New York Times, or even headed to journalism school, but my various copy editing positions have defined much of my experience as a student, a writer and a leader. While I can’t say I will forever miss the late night fact-checking, I can say I’m glad I did it, and thankful I had the chance. It all started with a nerdy love for grammar, and four years later, that hasn’t changed. So here’s to you, AP Style, and every article that had incorrect punctuation, misspelled names and evil words like “however” and “amongst.” ’Ray Bucknell(ian)!

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