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Jonas by Jonas Lombard. Featured in Sea Change magazine

 

By Cassie LeBel

Being made Editor of Cape Cod Community College’s (4Cs) arts and literary magazine Sea Change last semester anchored me to a school that I had otherwise been drifting through and opened opportunities for me that I had never considered possible. Through my work on this publication I acquired a better sense of leadership and a new set of skills that can be applied to multiple areas of my life, not just magazine production.

Whether it’s through submitting your own work for publication or through taking ENL170-Producing a Magazine of the Arts, offered in the spring semester at 4C’s, Sea Change is a creative platform where students can showcase their voice.
My decision to sign up for ENL170 last semester was made simply through the knowledge that it would be taught by Rebecca Griffin, a professor that I previously had twice before.

Griffin is a kind and encouraging teacher whose passion for teaching lies not only in literature but in student success.
“My favorite part about teaching the class is that I get to work with such imaginative students,” said Griffin “They teach me and inspire me.”

It can be easy to feel lost at college, especially if you are a student with no major focus like I was. The classes that I was taking were chosen at random to fill credits until I could figure out a more definitive plan for my life. The lack of consistency in this was starting to hinder my experience so the idea of taking a class with a professor that I already knew I was comfortable with drew me in and ended up being the driving force behind my signing up for this course.

Going into the class, as someone with no previous design experience, I had little idea what to expect. While there were many factors that catered to my love for literature and writing, such as reading through the submissions, copy-editing them and even being able to submit my own work, I was worried that I wouldn’t thrive in a class that seemed to be mostly about design decisions.

While design was a large aspect of the class I have since learned through experience that there is so much more to the publication process than I was previously aware.
Griffin is extremely accommodating to anyone who wishes to be a part of the Sea Change staff. She is more than willing to create a position for students that incorporates and caters to their personal interests.

Sea Change Audio Editor Drew Gallant can attest to this, as his position was created for him when Griffin found out that held an interested in radio broadcasting. Because of this Gallant was able to use a skill set that he already acquired through work with WKKL to his advantage as a way to make the most of his time on the Sea Change staff.
You do not have to want a career in publishing to take this class. As a matter of fact, you do not even have to be an English major.

“All you really need to participate is a love of the arts and a dedication to creating something that our college can be proud of,” said Griffin.

There were only five students in the class my semester and after brief introductions it was clear that no two members were the same. We all represented our own unique set of skills and held different interests.

I felt a bit concerned knowing that I would be collaborating closely with these people over the next few months. Our differences left me wondering in that moment how any of us would be able to come together to put out a magazine that represented not only the college, but each of us individually.

It ended up being this individuality between us that created a strong bond among the staff and soon after editor positions were assigned, we all easily fell into our roles
“I felt closer to this class than any of my previous ones as we were a team communicating ideas,” said Art and Correspondence Editor Harley Turso.

After looking through past editions of Sea Change dating back to the first publication in 1968, we noticed that despite this being the more creative source of on campus publication–in comparison to The Write Stuff or The MainSheet, which follow a more structured approach– the design of the magazines being produced were lacking any sort of personality to represent  the class that put it together.

It was Turso who suggested to our class that we should aim “to make the magazine be something that is not just to showcase art, but also is art itself.” This was something that the entire class agreed strongly on and it became our main concept moving forward.
As the Editor of this previous edition I have the confidence to say that after seeing the final product we more than achieved our goal.

This edition of Sea Change was modernized, vibrant and has hopefully paved the way for editions yet to come.

Being there through every step of the process was a rewarding experience. As a class you are able to see and decide what submissions will be featured, make style suggestions and overall see the evolution of a magazine as it transforms from a handful of unrelated submissions into a cohesive publication.

After months spent perfecting the pages of this magazine, seeing the final copy was a relief and an honor. I was able to go through the freshly printed pages with my friends and family, pointing out design decisions that were my own suggestion. This filled me with a humble sense of triumph that nothing else I have done can compare to.
The magazine would be nothing though without all of the incredible art and writing submissions that go into it. Sea Change is a great chance to have your work featured in a professional publication.

“Seeing something you’ve been working on for a long time as published and visible for all to see gives a feeling of accomplishment,” said Amanda Lods, whose story Murphy’s Law, an excerpt from her novel Lir’s Ball, was featured in Sea Change.

Details on how to submit your art and writing for consideration in the upcoming edition of Sea Change can be found on at seachangecapecod.wordpress.com/submissions/
My time in ENL170 ended up altering my entire college experience for the better. A class that I took as a way to stay within my comfort zones ended up pushing me further out than any other class that I had previously been a part of by giving me a greater sense of purpose within my community.

While working on this publication which is designed to showcase student voice, I was able to find my own.