The Mastermind behind the Oracle

Emily Geldmeier the advisor of The Oracle. She is amidst her second year of advising The Oracle.

Emily Geldmeier is amidst her second year as the advisor for the Oracle, but she feels as though this is her first year. During the 2020-2021 school year, most students were only at school for half of the week and spent the other half virtually, complicating teaching in general. When students were finally able to begin coming back to school, she went on maternity leave for the rest of the year. Despite many trials and tribulations, and even lacking practical experience, Geldmeier has soared into her new position with flying colors.

Prior to acquiring her teacher’s certificate and Master’s at Doane, Geldmeier spent her undergraduate years at UNL receiving her bachelor’s degree. She double majored in Communication Studies and English.

Regardless of having a strong background in English, she didn’t have any practical experience when it came to journalism.

“When I took this job, they said you’ll be teaching Intro to Journalism,” Geldmeier said. “Everything that I have learned I have taught myself.”

Given her lack of experience in the journalism department, teaching during a pandemic, and having to leave for maternity leave, made going into the first year of being the advisor more stressful.

“My fears were because I lacked practical experience, that I would have no idea what I was doing,” Geldmeier said. “I knew that I would be doing a lot of learning on the fly, and I didn’t know if I had the margin in my life to commit to that.”

Having to learn the stylistic requirements of journalism alongside students who are learning from you, provides for a taxing situation in itself.

“Walking into something knowing there is no way to be good at something you’ve never done before, was a really good experience for me,” Geldmeier said. “But [also] hard, because I had to learn it in front of people.”

For Geldmeier, building relationships is one of her favorite parts of teaching and makes it all worthwhile.

“I really love the idea of staff because you are with people [every day],” Geldmeier said. “If people come back year after year, long term relationships [are formed]. I love the idea of being able to really get to know students.”

The Oracle staff in itself is a family. Everyone has a role, and many skills are learned that can be used in the real world. Geldmeier enjoys the authority to be able to encourage this.

“Being able to interview people, good tight writing skills, meeting a deadline, [and more],” Geldmeier said. “There are so many skills that you learn, and I like the ability to do that.”

Going into the 2021-2022 school year, there were only four staff members of the 18 that returned from the previous year.

“It was a lot of teaching people what to expect, what journalistic writing looks like, and a lot of that groundwork happened last semester,” Geldmeier said.

Despite inevitable fears, Geldmeier had many goals coming into being the advisor, and is hopeful for the future.

“I want to have developed systems that allow students to grow in leadership and grow in skills year after year, so they can work their way up to editor or editor-in-chief, or other positions of leadership,” Geldmeier said. “Those positions and skills can be transferred to scholarships. I want to have a system that helps students do that.”

The Oracle provides a great sense of community, exemplified even more by Geldmeier herself, and is full of hard workers who all care about each other. If you love writing, joining the Oracle might be for you! Applications will be accepted up until Wednesday, February 9th.

“Applications are open to sophomores through seniors (of the next school year) during your spring semester signing up for classes,” Geldmeier said. “You submit an application, based off your application, you are called in for an interview process, and then let know whether you made the staff or not.”

As a staff, we are lucky to have such an incredible advisor like Geldmeier. She is the kind of teacher that leaves a lasting impact on everyone who has the pleasure of meeting her. Besides teaching Intro to Journalism and advising the Oracle, she will begin teaching a new podcast class next year.

“I hope that more people are aware, [and] as a staff we collectively want to make sure people know about [The Oracle] and see us as a place where they can go to get information,” Geldmeier said. “We are working towards that, right now we are building the foundation and directing the traffic.”