The Oracle

"A picture is worth a thousand words" the adage goes. (You're limited to the space provided, however.) Attach a photograph no larger than 3.5 x 5 inches that represents something important you, and explain its significance." [The essay was accompanied by a photo of Pythia:]

The December breeze seeps through the cracked-open door, but I only feel my heart, throbbing in eerie unison with the clock behind me. At a heartbeat a second, my heart will beat ten thousand eight hundred times before editing of The Oracle finishes for the night. "Kiss me," I scribble. Keep it short and simple for me. As my pen continues to glide steadily across the printout of Forum page five, my muscles slacken and my mind tenses. Only mental endurance, not fleshly strength, is needed to outrace time.

Time. Six days every month, I am drawn to the L-14 computer lab, home of The Oracle. I am like a moth drawn to bright light, though the attraction of newspaper production is less deadly, its only consequences being lost sleep and bleary eyes. I remember the first time I saw editors manipulating their page elements in Adobe Indesign. The sight enthralled me. The production process -- of presenting three-dimensional ideas in a two-dimensional manner -- had never seemed so alive. L-14 hummed with the fans of twenty blueberry iMacs and smelled faintly of extra-buttery popcorn. I could feel the devotion and energy.

The most memorable interview I conducted that sophomore year was with Kazuo Yamazaki, a senior who loved...

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