In early spring 2005, Marina announced that she was leaving for a job with the Newspaper Association of America Foundation in Arlington, Va. Her job at the Gazette was available, and since I had been working with her on FlipSide and in the paper's features section for several years, it was offered to me.
My first major FlipSide undertaking was the May 2005 issue of the magazine. I was terrified. Sure, I'd worked on FlipSide in some way almost continuously since my "Scream" review in 1996, but now I was in charge. It was all on me.
I made it through that issue and 46 more, as well as approximately 312 FlipSide pages in the Saturday Gazette-Mail. This month, I'll see my sixth class of seniors graduate.
Some have gone or are planning to go into journalism; many haven't. Of the ones that have, two work across the hall from me at the Charleston Daily Mail, and one will work just down the road at The State Journal after she graduates from Marshall this month.
Another is currently the city editor at WVU's student paper, The Daily Athenaeum. And yet another will start an internship at the news blog The Huffington Post soon.
I keep in touch with these former FlipSiders and others through Facebook. I follow their achievements and delight in the successes they have. I've seen them grow -- as writers and as people -- over the years, and I know that in some way, large or small, FlipSide has been a part of that. I have been a part of that.
In a roundabout way, I guess I owe my job to that "Scream" review. It wasn't exactly as I planned, but it turns out that writing about movies did play a big part in my life after all.
Amy Robinson graduated from St. Albans High School in 1999.