This week’s hidden figure is the awesomest person you will ever meet, but she is extra hidden. She writes a weekly column called Hidden Figures in The Lawrentian which is about faculty you rarely see on campus. She finds more information about them than you want to know, and brags about their accomplishments in about 700 words. She has written in the Features section of The Lawrentian for three years as she has been too lazy to apply for an editorial position. This hidden figure is none other than the person who wrote this very article… yours truly!
Karina Barajas is a junior at Lawrence University. She started writing Hidden Figures this year. Previously, she had written articles about what is happening on campus because obviously that is not obvious. She believes in searching thoroughly for the facts by digging into other people’s business.
When asked about her process for writing articles Barajas said,“It just comes naturally. No one believes me, but I kid you not! I can stay up all night writing essays and completing assignments for class and still have twenty-five minutes before the deadline to submit the article.”
Although Barajas loves her job as a Features writer, she secretly despises having to avoid Oxford commas. She often forgets to write in past tense, but she is working on that.
Barajas remarked that the best part of her job is the interview process. Every week she goes on the Lawrence website to search faculty members. The categories can range from janitors to cashiers to administrators. Her method for choosing a subject is randomly selecting three names and choosing the person who responds with a yes first.
“I love learning about people. Sometimes if the interviewee gives me one word answers I will stare at them blankly until they tell me their whole life story. If they start going on a five-minute tangent I will pretend I am listening, but I’m really thinking about what I will eat for dinner”, comments Barajas.
The most important lesson Barajas has learned from her job is to be less judgmental. Before writing Hidden Figures, she did not care about what inspired others or how to deal with whiny college students. Now she is more open to finding the nitty gritty details such as what actually keeps faculty working here for so long.
She advises students who are interested in journalism to be persistent and to not take no for an answer. If the hidden figure of the week says no to an interview, keep stalking them until they say yes. It works every time.
Outside of Lawrence, Barajas leads an average life. When she is not being a student, she is a stage hand for the Stephen Wolf Theatre and writes a bi-weekly fashion blog. She volunteers at the food pantry every weekend. She is currently trying to find a cure for cancer. She is an average person doing average things. In five years, she sees herself doing the same things and wishing for a more interesting life.
“I am actually a total introvert,” Barajas stated, “I will not leave my dorm room unless it is for a good reason. That is why other students might not recognize me around campus.”
There is not a particular person who inspires Barajas, but she is inspired by the golden rule, “treat others the way you want to be treated.”
“If I give someone a million bucks, you better believe I expect them to pay me back one day. That is only fair.” adds Barajas.
Barajas is a force not to be reckoned with. She brings creativity and spice to the Features section. You should appreciate that she provides something for you to read while you are sipping your morning coffee or waiting for your friend in the lobby who said they would meet you at a certain time only to show up fifteen minutes later. Next time you see her around campus feel free to smile and wave or tell her how awesome she is. She loves being told how great she is. This concludes the absolutely true brag fest, I mean feature, for Karina B.