Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, January 18, 2021 — Houston, TX 46°

From the art director's desk: Hobbling through a goodbye

tinaliu-christinatan-1
Courtesy Christina Tan

By Tina Liu     11/18/20 12:10am

I stumbled into the Thresher office as a freshman who was determined to go to medical school. Three years later, I’m stumbling out of the office, just as clumsily, as a senior who is pursuing design because of Thresher. 

The Thresher changed my life — and that’s not an exaggeration. I joined Thresher because I couldn’t let go of high school (specifically, I wanted Christina Tan to be my editor-in-chief again). Lost in my transition into Rice, I returned to the familiar: overworking on designs. Through my five major changes, a global pandemic, breakups and drama and housing changes and hangovers and everything in between, the one thing that has held constant for me, always, is Thresher. Here’s the thing: Being part of the Thresher is one of those experiences that I can’t quite put into words. It’s the designing without your index finger or thumb because they’re covered in Cheetos Puffs dust; it’s the 1 a.m.s, eyes sore and walking out of the Rice Memorial Center ready to sleep off the screen fatigue; it’s the hidden smiles when you watch someone pick up a fresh paper issue; it’s the rants about administration and campus climate; it’s the collaborative experience of an editor looking over your shoulder to check in on the design of their page; it’s the serious and goofy Slack messages that span across channels. I don’t think I can translate those ephemeral moments to those who have not experienced it, but here’s what you should know: Designing at Thresher, at Rice, is hard. 

Designing seems so easy on the surface until you’re faced with multiple new programs you have to learn, with hundreds of tools on each program, trying to understand and visually communicate complex ideas. With so few digital (much less, journalistic) designers on campus, it’s isolating. It’s hard to feel like what you’re doing is legitimate in the judgment of a STEM-heavy school. Without a single digital design class offered to Rice students, I’m constantly amazed at how well my designers pick up skills and run with their creativity from week to week, pushing the limits of journalistic design relentlessly. Thank you to all my designers for making my job so easy, and I hope you know just how important your role is in making the world feel more intuitive; thank you to the editors, photographers and writers who make it easy for my designers to do their job with such great content. You all are doing so much so well, with so little institutional support. 



The Thresher has given me opportunities to write about personal things, like the dangers of yellow fever, and experiences far bigger than myself, like racial injustice timelines. It’s challenged me to explore more creative designs, like the 2020 Beer Bike infographic; it’s also forced me to confront, mourn and storytell my and other’s experiences, like in “In Their Own Words.” It’s helped me connect with people across campus, some of the most passionate people I’ve met. The experience is fun, collaborative, healing, exciting, exhausting. If you ever have the chance, I encourage you to join our staff. If not, keep reading our issues. Readers are the reason why we continue to turn an unimaginable number of gears to publish each issue. Thank you for letting me do what I love. 



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 12/9/20 11:05pm
Re-return to campus — but to what end?

The first wave of COVID-19 erupted in the U.S. in early 2020. Rice responded quickly: During March 9-15, classes for the week preceding Spring Break were canceled, students were instructed not to return to campus after Spring Break, and instruction after Spring Break was made fully remote. This quick reaction to the pandemic was typical of many organizations and localities all around the country, as it became clear that social distancing was then the only effective way to slow down the spread of the disease. This seems to have worked and, by early May, the first wave was somewhat subsiding. The Rice administration then tasked the Academic Restart Committee with the mission of “Return to Rice.” 

OPINION 12/4/20 12:13pm
Let’s reevaluate music as a social resource

To be sure, a poetic analogy between music and our differences will not resolve any issues directly. It can, however, remind us of our shared humanity. It can get us back in touch with our nature as social animals. It is a nature that is often oppressed by the individualism in our capitalistic society that encourages competition, putting too much focus on the dissonances for our own good. 

OPINION 11/17/20 11:48pm
You should still be keeping up with the 2020 election.

Polls are closed, but the presidential election results and the transition period remain in contention. The projected winner of the 2020 presidential election is Joe Biden, but there’s a long road to reach his inauguration, and President Donald Trump seems to be laying down more and more asphalt each day. In an era where misinformation is as abundant as ever, it’s that much more important for citizens — especially students, in whose hands the future of America lies — to be capable of parsing between the truth and the lies. 


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.