When I interviewed Jonathan Reed, University of La Verne provost, I found that if he were stranded on a deserted island and limited to bring just three items, he would bring anything by Led Zeppelin, Kurt Vonnegut and the film “Lawrence of Arabia.” The three items quiz does boil it down to what matters most. If I were to be stranded, I would bring anything by The Cure, Henry Miller and the film “The Place Beyond the Pines.” Jonathan’s fondness for good music and literature resonated with me deeply, along with his personal story, which truly touched and inspired me to accomplish my many goals and aspirations. Writing about Reed Gratz (La Verne Magazine, Winter 2017) also awoke in me a career goal toward pursuing music journalism.
I did not realize it at first, but both Jonathan Reed and Reed Gratz have grown on me as mentors. They are inspiring figures who have achieved greatness and yet have conquered their own individual setbacks, just as I have. Although I have always known I wanted to be a journalist since the third grade, high school was not easy for me, as I struggled with subjects such as math and science and, consequently, did not perform academically as well as I could have. As a first generation student, I had a strong wish to pursue my baccalaureate degree by attending college. Nevertheless, I was a late bloomer and did not catch on to study habits until late in my junior year. During the start of my senior year, I applied to schools and gained admission to Cal Poly, Pomona and a few others; however, my top universities decided to pass up on me. I even applied to the University of La Verne but did not get in.
Flash forward to the present. Here I am as the editor in chief of La Verne Magazine, accomplishing a goal of mine, as I prepare for my La Verne senior year before continuing my graduate school education. Although the road ahead could have twists and turns, most students are on a path that is destined to be great. David Bowie, one of my favorite musicians, once said, “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” Our journey does not end at La Verne. Whether you are a chemistry, business or fellow journalism major, following your passion points you toward the right direction.
My passion lies in writing. Journalism is a beautiful thing. To tell a person’s story is an honor and allows for a journalist to dig deep within the essence of a person and to learn new things about them. Who were they before becoming the person they are now? What was their childhood like? What were their original goals and aspirations? People love to read about their favorite artist, actor and athlete. Journalism is not a dying art form. As long as there are stories to tell, people to discover, and images to be seen, journalism will thrive.
Ryan Guerrero, editor in chief