hello from… inside TCT


Inside the TCT classroom, there is a couch. There are two chairs near the couch and the coffee table. Across the room, there are two more armchairs. Along the back wall, there is a bar counter with four black chairs.

On the other counter, there is a Keurig and a regular coffee machine, but the pot is missing. There are snacks– most of which gluten-free. There is a conference table, made of the old wood floors of the weight room, bearing the Ranger head.

On the walls hang whiteboards; the whiteboards hold calendars and schedules and notes and ideas. The back wall holds corkboard; the corkboard holds some of the favorite quotes of staff members.

In TCT, there are staff members– 15 of them. One of them is me, another is Reena. We are the editors. We are the ones that hit publish. We are the ones that take the blame when something goes wrong. We are the least important people in the room.

Our staff members. These kids write. They hash things out all year, and when we drop a bomb saying they will be posting double what they produced last year? They write some more. In a typical day, there are very few bodies in the room. There are lone backpacks and open computers and people hunched over keyboards with headphones in. Inside TCT, things are happening.

Reena and I watch, edit, and help. When things go wrong or a push needs to be given, we are held accountable; it comes with the position. It’s hard.

It’s hard to look at the person sitting next to me – whom I have gone to school with my entire life- as if I have any authority over them and still be their friend. It is hard to balance the two and still walk away without any tension.

It’s hard to give the push, to be helpful without being unkind, to make sure things are getting done in the correct way without touching someone’s feeling is a negative way.

It’s hard to read hearts poured onto paper– things I would otherwise have no idea about, edit them, and decide if the “publish” button can be hit or not.

I love TCT. I love getting to read everything before it goes out; I love talking to people about their ideas for columns and the angles of their features. But navigating leadership can be difficult, and I’m still traveling the learning curve.