Whether you’re a graduate student in a publishing program, an editorial assistant at a Big Five press, or an intern at a boutique literary agency, we are all expected to accommodate hours of unpaid labor, even to the detriment of our mental health. The proverbial hamster wheel that is publishing truly never stops spinning, and it’s often the most marginalized publishing professionals who reach their breaking point first.
It’s easy to let work and education overwhelm you, especially in this time of isolation we find ourselves in. There are so many things to do in the press, in classes, and in our own lives that we can lose the time we need to, well, take time. It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, or minutes in the hours we get, to just take time for ourselves—but there are when you add boundaries.
If I have to get up at four o’clock in the morning to catch a flight, coffee better be in the near vicinity, I thought to myself as I climbed into the car. It was a huge day. That was the day that I was moving to Portland to go to graduate school for book publishing. I had only been there once to look at the school, Portland State University, and while I knew what everything looked liked, I was shaking. And not because I hadn’t had my coffee yet. I never lived without family around before. Even during my undergraduate years, I had family close to me. Going to a basically unknown city, where I did not know anybody, alone can almost give an extreme introvert, such as myself, a heart attack. But I had to do this. I wanted to work with books. While the plane was taking off, and I saw my hometown of Los Angeles fade and get smaller, I reminded myself that if I did not take this chance, then I never would.
We’ve reached the end of this series, my friends. After hearing about the anticipation of a green Oolie and the expectations of a graduating Oolie, it’s time to hear from the one you’ve been waiting for: an alum extraordinaire—an Oolie all grown up. Name: Travis Kremer Graduation year: 2013 Origin: Portland, Oregon Alma mater: Portland […]
Between jobs, classes, homework, and Ooligan Press, graduate students in Portland State University’s Book Publishing program are busy as hell. But there’s one Oolie who puts even the best of us to shame. Name: Melanie Figueroa Term: Last Origin: Placentia, California Alma mater: California State University, Long Beach Bachelor’s degree: English Rhetoric and Composition (and […]
Being a part of Ooligan Press is what you’d expect: we publish books, operate the business, and drink lots of coffee. We also, however, are students. Ooligan Press is completely student-run (under the fabulous direction of Abbey Gaterud), and while we’re in the trenches slamming out books, we’re also busy in the classroom learning best […]