The average Mustang Daily employee spends at least 15 to 20 hours a week in the newsroom. For myself and the editors, it is more like 30 to 40 hours a week. And, unfortunately, most of these hours fall during meal times, study hours and nap times.
It seems like we have no choice but to move in and make ourselves comfortable, because otherwise, it is going to be a long, tiring, hunger-filled year at the paper.
It’s only four weeks into the quarter, but thanks to the new Target in San Luis Obispo, I’ve already made several investments toward making my year at the Mustang Daily more comfortable.
First of all, I enjoy cooking my own meals. Grabbing lunch and dinner at The Ave can only suffice as a satisfying meal for so long — how many different salads can you make in one week? And I am not a fan of microwaving plastic containers. It only takes one time of almost eating chicken coated in plastic for me to take preventative measures.
This is why I invested in glass containers. For $20, I now have six varying sized glass containers to bring my breakfast, lunch or dinner to campus in. Needless to say, I no longer am eating cold food, searching for a paper plate or hoping my storage devices don’t melt.
Along the same line, I enjoy my coffee or tea hot. And when you have a 7 a.m. class twice a week this time of year, drinks seem to lose heat much faster than anticipated. So instead of risking my Cal Poly-themed reusable cup, I bought a mug.
The only downfall to this $2 mug, is that the newsroom recently inherited a Keurig coffee maker that makes a surprisingly small cup of coffee — I guess my view is skewed, though, considering my family of four at home can kill a 16-cup coffee carafe in one morning. My cute, red mug does not fit in this miniature-cup-brewing coffee maker. But hey, you can’t win every time.
The next purchase was a pair of the newly-fashionable headphones that cover your ears, as opposed to going in like earbuds do. This was mainly because, as managing editor, for the first time in my life I get my own desk and fancy Mac desktop computer, and when I’m working on editing audio or video I don’t want my EIC to hear every time I replay the same quote from a source over and over again.
Besides other odds-and-ends like some trail mix to snack on (which is only a matter of time until the staff finds and decides I want to share with them), the only other measures I’ve taken to make my stay at the Mustang Daily more comfortable this year have been moving a few key items around.
Basically, I put a pillow and a blanket in my car because for the first time I have a parking permit — sorry, I don’t want to be biking home at 10 p.m. or later nightly, especially after an unfortunate accident with a car my sophomore year. Now, when the days aren’t getting any shorter, and I have an hour to spare, I can take a quiet nap in my car. I’ve only done it once so far, and it was amazing.
Now, after writing this, I have realized my life in the Mustang Daily revolves a lot around microwaves and finding comfort in odd places. I guess that’s what happens when four classes spill over into five hours of work late into the evening. Don’t worry, I’m loving every minute of it.