a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.


< by Jill >

I went to college with one goal in mind: to become the editor in chief of The Daily Cardinal, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s first independent newspaper.

The Cardinal’s office felt like home the first time I crossed the threshold. As I approached the copy desk, a lumberjack-sized guy named Ben offered me a maple syrup brownie. The pan was still warm — he had baked them just minutes earlier. After I finished the brownie, I picked up a red pen to begin making edits when an auburn English major took a seat next to me. She sparked a conversation about narwhals. Behind the desk, the copy chief chowed on handfuls of shredded mozzarella, drawn straight from the bag.

So basically, I made three instant friends and committed my life to the place.

Freshman year, I ran by the title “copy editor.”

Sophomore year, I went by “columnist.”

Junior year, the masthead identified me as “opinion editor.”

Senior year, I achieved my mission: the only thing that separated Jill and editor in chief was a comma.

I had dreamed of becoming EIC, of hearing the snappy tune of those letters strung together in reference to me. But something unexpected happened. When I came into the office, I heard, “Hey boss.”

Boss. Boss! Boss?!


It was the most thrilling single-syllable label I’d received since my parents named me.

Today, when Nate calls me “boss,” I still feel a jolt of disbelief and excitement.

1 Comment»

  Larry Who wrote @

Bruce Springsteen and Jill: the Bosses.

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