An Ode to My Team

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An Ode to My Team

(Courtesy of Julia Comerford)

(Courtesy of Julia Comerford)

(Courtesy of Julia Comerford)

(Courtesy of Julia Comerford)

Julia Comerford, Photo Editor

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I would like to dedicate my final From the Desk to my team. My Fordham Ram team. As a Division I Athlete, I have been a part of many sports teams throughout my life: two lacrosse, a few soccer, three swimming, one basketball and two rowing, including my rowing team at Fordham. Out of the nine different sports teams I have been a part of, none of them were anything like my team here at The Fordham Ram.

On Sept. 4, 2016, I desperately emailed the photography editor at the time and, ironically, one of my Fordham Rowing teammates, Andrea Garcia, to ask if I could still sign up to be a staff photographer on the Ram because I “did not have time to walk around the club fair the day before” as I stated in the email with many exclamation points.

As a budding college freshman with clearly horrific time management skills on the first week of classes I was still eager to get heavily involved at Fordham in any way I could and try new things. Of course, Andrea welcomed me onto The Fordham Ram photography team with open arms. I had no idea where this photography thing would go, but I wanted to give it a try.

I submitted some photographs and they made it in the newspaper that week. I was walking back to my freshman dorm when I saw Andrea zooming by on a golf cart full of newspapers delivering them to the dorms.

She saw me and yelled, “Julia did you see your photos in the paper? You made it in the paper, look!” With a beaming smile, she handed me a copy; and there it was – my photo published in the newspaper with my name written under it. Andrea was so excited for me and so was I, and that’s when I knew I was in for good. I wanted to be a part of The Fordham Ram team.

I started out as a staff photographer and then eventually became assistant photo editor and then photo editor for my first full volume, Volume 99. Flash forward three years later, and here I am. I have been the Ram’s photography editor for the last three years, three volumes, and let me tell you, it has been a ride.

But the reason I began this ride in the first place was because of the excitement I felt when Andrea handed me that first copy of the Ram and the curiosity and wonder I felt when I stepped into the print shop in the basement of McGinley for the first time during production.

As I returned to the print shop every Tuesday night to organize and edit photos, it felt different than the sports teams I had been on before. And because it felt different to me, it was a little uncomfortable at first. But I learned from being an athlete that you have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

So, I did just that, returning every Sunday and Tuesday night to my team in the basement I felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself.

A team is a group of people that work together to achieve a common goal. With both the Ram and my other sports teams, determination, hard work and dedication are required to achieve said goal. But these factors, I learned, are applied differently on my newspaper team.

Determination means staying in the windowless basement for as many hours needed without complaint until your contribution to the newspaper that week is completed to the best of your ability. Hard work means not stopping until every single article is written, copy edited and has a photo paired with it. Dedication means coming back to the basement the following Sunday and Tuesday to do it all over again, because you simply love doing it.

What kept me coming back every single Tuesday over the last three years to make this paper were the people with which I made it. From coming down to the print shop to listen to the copy team passionately explain how the word “the” before The Fordham Ram is capitalized with the full title and lowercase with the shortened title “the Ram,” to everyone going over a breaking news Tweet together before it is posted, to listening to sports comically discuss why it is that New York sports teams suck and to listening to every extremely interesting opinion and culture article pitch; this run-on sentence could really just run forever talking about what it’s like to be stuck in a basement making a paper with some of the most incredible teammates I have ever had.

During my time on the Ram, this team has accomplished so much, including revamping the Ram’s website, starting a podcast, Ramcast and creating an entire visual team around the photo team with graphic design, videography, layout and photography opportunities for all incoming staff members and to expand our multimedia. To staff of Volumes 99, 100 and 101, you are the most creative, intelligent, upbeat, savvy, witty, tirelessly hard working, sarcastically funny and dedicated people I have ever known.

Thank you to every single one of you for being so patient, kind, and encouraging of me for the last three years. Every time I had a bad day or was going through something I knew that when I would go down to the basement on Tuesday with all of you, everything wouldn’t seem so bad anymore. My Ram team makes me laugh harder than I ever have and smile so much that my cheeks are sore. Thank you all for letting me be your photo editor these last three years.

This is the end of my sappy but genuine ode to my amazing team and I have only one thing left to say: Read the Ram. It’s made by people who are truly better than most.