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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Good Things at UMB

Last week Dereck Mangus ended up using five Mass Media employees in his graphically appealing “Question of the Week” section. Patrick Ayers said something about the editor-in-chief, me, whining about working on Colombo Day, I mean, Columbus Day-but Patrick answered before I did, so to follow through on the theme I went ahead and answered with one of my little rants.

Jason Campos just shook his head and said, “You’re being typecast.”

And I am typecast. I’m seen as an overly obsessive workaholic who will climb mountains and slay dragons, if necessary, to get the newspaper out. Also, I have little respect for, or patience with, those who slow me down, and I complain about the extremely mediocre-or even outright incompetent-individuals and departments I deal with on a regular basis.

So everybody on the staff knows I could write column after column on the things about UMB that annoy me. But, to counteract the image that I hate UMB, I have decided to think of ten things I like about UMB, or at least try.

1) The Mass Media-I love The Mass Media, it is more than a job, it is a way of life. I’ve learned a lot here, I’ve made a few friends, I’ve lost a few friends, this is where I live. As I said in an earlier column, “I haven’t attended UMass Boston for the last four years, I’ve worked at a newspaper.”

2) Chancellor Jo Ann Gora-Though she is a fairly recent addition to UMB, I both like Chancellor Gora and am impressed by her. She has brought a feeling of change and progress to UMB that previously did not exist, and I believe she truly wants to weed out the incompetent, or downright malicious, staff. You go, girl.

3) Wit’s End-Though the Wit’s End staff often doesn’t seem to care for The Mass Media staff-they have ripped us off and insulted us, charging us forty bucks for soggy sandwiches and generic orange sodas-the actual café is one of the few sanctuaries available to the “average Joe” on-campus.

4) Political Science Department-The professors in the Political Science Department are active and intelligent and actually know how to use the Internet.

5) Boat Dock-Though I have only gone sailing a couple of times, I often stand outside and gaze down at the boat dock and the water beyond. I am relaxed by the changing colors of the trees that frame the view, and if I look of to my right in the evenings there is almost always a spectacular sunset.

6) Students-Of course there are a few bad apples, but, overall, I respect the students at UMB. Most of the students come from blue-collar backgrounds such as I do; many of them are intelligent and want to do good things, even if they haven’t figured out how to do that yet. And, of course, it’s nice to be around young people, though I think they view me as an old curmudgeon.

7) Harbor Art Gallery-Like the Wit’s End, the Harbor Art Gallery provides a type of sanctuary on campus. Though there is no coffee available, Ian keeps the place busy with a variety of shows, most of which have an opening or closing reception where a little bit of good food is served.

8) The Price is Right-UMB is actually a fairly good bargain. As long as I leave the state, most people perceive that I have received a quality education. And, as I often say, “The easiest way to enhance the value of your UMass Boston degree is to just leave the word Boston off.” Also, down south, or out west, if you say you attended UMass Boston people think, “UMass equals good, and, educationally, Boston equals good, so UMass Boston must be great!” What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

9) Dorchester-Dorchester actually sucks, it is basically one of the ghettos of Boston. If I had just lived here I would probably hate Dorchester, but I moved here because I attend school at UMB, and work at The Mass Media, and because of those reasons I have learned a lot about Dorchester and met a lot of people in Dorchester, and now I feel at home. I’m a broke drunk who attends UMB-I belong in Dorchester.

10) The Mass Media-I cannot fully express how much I care for staff of The Mass Media and the actual organization itself. I would have long since skipped town if I didn’t work here-which is what I’ll do soon after leaving UMB; leave Boston. There’s really nothing here for me if I don’t work at The Mass Media.

Michael Rhys can be reached at: [email protected]