It's been a year, and I still love/despise this newspaper

I hate to admit it, but I'm genuinely tempted to start off this column with the obligatory, "Wow, this year sure has gone by fast," largely because openings have never been my strong point. But I have to be honest; this year hasn't gone by fast. Not by a long shot.

I have an incredible love/hate relationship with the newspaper that you hold in your hands (or are reading online - shameless plug for the Web site, www.thelamron.com). There have been times when I've cursed the day I first stepped foot into The Lamron office my first week as a freshman and told then-Editor in Chief Michael Chin that I was interested in getting involved. Needless to say, I didn't have much of an idea of what I was getting myself into. Many times this year and last, I've sat in the Union at 4 a.m. on Thursday morning, despising the fact that I was giving so much of myself into a project that I have often felt goes underappreciated and underutilized by much of the student population.

But there have also been days when I've looked at the transformation that the other staff members and I have labored so hard to make possible, and I'm (cheesiness alert) literally filled with joy.

For those of you that are freshmen, sophomores, or someone who's been around a while and are a new reader (and I'm happy to say that I believe there are a fair number of you), you might not realize everything that's happened to The Lamron over the course of this year and last. I'll try to spell it out fairly simply - this is a different paper. There's been a dramatic improvement in aesthetics, photos and attention to design. We've added new features like a great Web site (www.thelamron.com - shameless plug #2) and this opinion section where student columnists voice their views. We've switched to a new printer that has made the paper look undeniably better, and are writing about the activities of more student clubs and groups. We're working harder to make sure that the paper is covering real issues, not just events, and we're trying to give students the things they've said they want - check out the (Marginally) Fun Page on 20 to see what I'm talking about.

That's not to say we haven't had our fair share of screw-ups. Just the second issue of the year, a front page story turned out to have been based on completely faulty information. Upon finding out with a shocking phone call from none other than President Dahl, I thought my tenure as Editor in Chief was going to last a whopping two issues - thankfully this wasn't the case. We've had typos aplenty, headline misspellings, poorly-written articles, news items that were missed, names spelled wrong, and more than one art student threaten to burn down our office - almost.

For those of you coming back next year (and I'm grudgingly happy to report - I'm one of you), look for more features that will continue improve the paper. The one I'm most excited about is the addition of regular Associated Press news content and a whole page devoted to purely to national and international news - an addition that should have been made a long time ago. Rest assured that we'll continue to do everything we can to keep The Lamron on the right track of continual improvement, and if we have to stay in the office until 5 a.m. on Thursday morning to do it, we will. It certainly won't be the first time.

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