I always dreaded the first day of class

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It didn’t matter if it was the first day of high school or the last semester of college, the teacher would ask every student to stand up and give their name, hometown and some interesting facts about themselves. Some would get creative, allowing us to state one fact and two fabrications, urging the class to guess which one was true, while others did it simply so that they could put name to a face.

I wasn’t nervous about standing or talking in front of the class. In fact, I was often the outgoing student that probably spoke too much; I just found the exercise tedious.

Depending on how many credit hours the class was worth, we’d meet anywhere from two to three times each week for one or two hours each day. The semesters would quickly pass, and I’d never see that teacher or a majority of those students ever again. That’s life at a school like The Ohio State University, where I was one of almost 60,000 students — and yes, I stress “The.”

I was there to get an education, and I already had a great group of friends that I met in common interest student organizations, so I never placed an importance on making friends inside the classroom. On occasion, I’d pass someone that I’d recognize from class and say, “Hi,” but that was the extent of the relationship I had with most of my classmates.

So here I am, again, introducing myself to a whole new group of people. While I’m here, though, I expect my publisher Tony Clark and staff writers Cain Madden and Stephen Cowles to teach me all that they know about the business and help me advance in my career. Seeing that this is my first real job out of college, I’m still learning. This time, however, I don’t want my education to get in the way of making lasting relationships.

I’d like to get to know the people who read The Tidewater News, and if I were to pass a reader on the street, I’d love to have a genuine conversation instead of simply saying, “Hello.” One day, I hope to look back at my time in Franklin and Southampton County and say that the relationships that I’ve built with the people in the area are the reason that I’ve been successful.

With that said, introducing myself doesn’t feel so uninspired anymore. In fact, had The Tidewater News asked me to stand up in front of the community on my first day, I would have said:

“Hello, everyone. My name is Andrew Lind, and I am from Gibsonburg, Ohio. It’s a small town that you’ve never heard of located in Northwest Ohio. I think I’m a really good writer and I’d love to write about sports for the rest of my life.

“I have an amazing girlfriend named Kayla and a Siberian Husky named Melo, and they’re the two best things that have ever happened to me. I truly wouldn’t be where I am without either of them. I am the oldest of six children and I was raised by a very loving and devout family.

“I have the biggest dreams for myself and my family, and in the end I hope that my writing influences or makes a difference in at least one person’s life.”

ANDREW LIND is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. Contact him at either 562-3187 or andrew.lind@tidewaternews.com