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Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Found my first op-ed article for my college's newspaper

The other night I was trying to locate something regarding my alma mater Elon University (though it was still "Elon College" when I was there).  During the search I came upon something truly wonderful: an archive of just about every issue of Elon's weekly student newspaper The Pendulum.

I got involved in the The Pendulum early in my first semester at the school.  At first I was a reporter, writing articles about the new food court and elections in the town of Elon.  But increasingly I realized that I could be a journalist... but what I really wanted was to write opinion pieces.  I had already been writing letters to the region's largest newspaper and more often than not they got published.  Carrying that passion to my college's newspaper would be seriously putting myself out there, with immediate feedback when the issue hit the stands.  This was my true calling as a writer: to encourage people to think just a little extra.

My first essay for the paper was published in March of 1996.  And it was about the true cost of abortion.  It was a quote from Mother Teresa that had me pondering some things.  It was as good as anything to write about.  I definitely was going in guns blazing.  It certainly did precipitate a response.  By the time the next issue hit I had received five death threats.  And then there was the female student who got in my face and said "You stupid pro-life f-cking piece of sh-t."

Anyhoo, the other night I went looking for some of my pieces.  And I found the one about abortion.  I took a screenshot of it.  Which included the worst photo of me that's ever been taken.  Seriously, what happened?!?  I look terrible.  Thankfully a better photo was taken for future articles.  But this one... wow.

So here is my first op-ed essay for The Pendulum.  Click on the image to enlarge it big enough to read comfortably:

The other pieces, I'll try to post those too in the near future.  But this gives you an idea of what I was up to in college.  Which, was one of the few aspects about my life as a student that made sense.  But that's something for another time.

Yes, feel free to make snarky remarks about my photo here.  I certainly do :-)


Eric said...

Very good article! I hope you show us more. It must feel good that you wrote this and then years later Roe was struck down. It must have sucked to be the lady who got in your face when that happened.

Arcana said...

That's pretty good writing for someone in college. Very thoughtful and thought provoking. Thanks for sharing

Chris Knight said...

Thank you for the kind words :-)

In the following week's edition, one of my friends had a letter supporting my article. HE got death threats too. But those were outliers, not typical at all. At the time (mid-late Nineties) Elon was a place of real discussion about ideas. I'd say it was split more or less down the middle, between conservatism and liberalism. But I don't think we ever let that get in the way of our relations with one another. There was too much respect for others than to let that happen. Sadly though it seems those days at Elon are long gone. Liberalism/progressivism has taken deep root there. A few years ago they even brought Anita Hill in to give a speech (what, was it too difficult to invite Clarence Thomas?). The place has changed so much that I couldn't in good conscience recommend it to a young person considering colleges.

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Woody Allen:

Those who can, write.

Those who can't write, write death threats.

ETB said...

Excellent article Chris. You no doubt got people thinking with this piece.