The Booger as Nexus

I took my very first journalism class at Southside High School in Etowah County, Alabama, nearly 20 years ago. Mrs. Janice Hatley was the newspaper advisor and my first journalism teacher. At that time, my classmates and I were producing the Panther Press with typewriters, X-acto knives, scissors, grid paper, a paper cutter and rubber cement (Elmer’s).
Part of the fun of that class was that everybody got to use the Booger at one point or another. It was basically a small ball of gelled rubber cement that we used to clean up the excess cement that oozed from underneath our story clips as we glued them to the grid paper in preparation for printing.
The Booger had its own aura. It was, after all, the Booger. It was our favorite tool, I think. And the newspaper kids were the only ones in the school who used it. It was sort of like a mascot.
Several years ago, I dropped back by Southside High School to say a few hellos. While visiting Mrs. Hatley and my former “newsroom” (which really was the typing classroom), she went back into the newspaper morgue to get something. She came back with the Booger. Even though the newspaper class was no longer using it (see digital revolution), she had kept it. And she gave it to me.

Although somewhat petrified, the Booger now sits on my desk at West Texas A&M University, where I’m the faculty advisor to The Prairie, WT’s student newspaper. The Booger is the oldest link I have to my earliest days as a journalist. I was using it at the very beginning of what has become a most gratifying professional and academic career. It gives me some perspective now that it’s my turn to help my students start their professional journeys.
“Who’s got the Booger?” was a common question during Panther Press production days.
Two decades later, I’m able to answer it.
Comments
One Response to “The Booger as Nexus”
  1. Anonymous says:

    Why don't we get to see the Booger?Love Katelyn and Maria

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