What the other guy is doing | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

What the other guy is doing | Mark’s Remarks

By on November 4, 2015 at 8:00 am

Now, you would think those of us at the Republic-Times are all good friends who hang out in the employee lounge. On the contrary. I have never met most of the employees in person.

The editor and I converse over email and an occasional phone call.  I run into the publisher at local functions when he is wearing his photographer hat. I write my column every week and email it in. I’ve popped my head in the office a few times, but many of them probably wouldn’t know who I was either.
I read Ryan Ledendecker’s column every time his thoughts appear to the left of my column. I never cease to admire what he writes about. One week, he went to Ferguson, Mo., during the riots and reported on what he saw. He writes about the environment and the state of things in this world. Last week, he wrote about presidential candidates.

I also read Andrea Degenhart Saathoff’s Eavesdropper column every week. Although it is of a different nature than my column, I like everything she puts in her column and I always wonder what it would be like to report on the goings-on around our area. Once, she called me “the beloved Republic-Times columnist” when it was my birthday, and so the egomaniac that I am always reads to see if she mentions me. I don’t know why she would, but I look anyway.  I’ve never met Andrea in person either, but we are friends on Facebook and I follow the growth of her twin boys when she posts pictures of them.  They are cute kids, by the way, Andrea. And you don’t need to call me “beloved” anymore. It totally goes to my head, as you can see.

Yes, I am constantly looking at what others are doing, building, writing, saying, eating, producing and so on. I don’t know if I compare myself to others.   As a teacher, I realize we all learn at different speeds and all have different abilities and interests. So, no, maybe not comparisons. But I do pay attention and wonder. What if I wrote about politics like Ryan? What if I had a column where I wrote about local folks?

Ryan’s column makes me want to be more controversial.  Oh sure, I’ve been pretty “in your face” about my opinions on religion, parenting and education. But I rarely step into the political arena and voice my opinion on politics in general.   Being a history nut, I can tell you what I think of John Adams. But I’m not sure I’m sharp enough to argue or take a stand on the current bunch of presidential wannabes.

I did see a funny little news item the other day comparing Chris Christie and Martin O’Malley. Christie, as you may know, is a little overweight.  O’Malley, at 52, is in pretty good shape and his swimsuit picture is often in the paper as he participates in the polar bear challenge each year. Seems folks pay a lot of attention to your waist line and whether or not you look good in your trunks.

For the record, I like Christie’s no-nonsense approach.  Again, I am afraid I haven’t paid enough attention to commit. Maybe I like the guy because I feel like I could sit down and have a cinnamon roll (or two) with him at Bob Evans.  O’Malley might make me feel too guilty. Christie also got in trouble for talking too loudly on his phone on a train. So, I guess I’m saying I relate to a big-mouthed, chubby guy. OK, there you go.

I’ve gotten to connect to the community a little with the occasional historical article I’ve written, but I would almost guarantee you that I would mix up a date or get a name wrong if I were to write a column like Andrea’s. I’m certain she has the ability and is a real journalist. She has probably taken Proofreading 101 and the advanced courses.

So, for now, I guess you will have to put up with my slice-of-life topics. I can guarantee you more column topics centered around education, parenting, my family, religion and human behavior.

If you won’t complain too much, I’ll promise to pay more attention to current events and hot button topics. Maybe I will do a few columns on something hip and happening.

Already, that comment makes me nervous.

Andrea F.D. Saathoff

Andrea is a graduate of Gibault High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the University of Missouri Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Education. She lives in Columbia with her husband and their twin toddler sons. When she isn't cheering on St. Louis Cardinals baseball or riding the emotional roller coaster of Mizzou Tigers football, she enjoys attending and participating in the many family events the county has to offer. email: andrea@republictimes.net