Where I Hid The Exclamation Mark…
Cai reflects on his time at Rife Magazine and reveals where he hid the exclamation mark.
I think back to when I first wrote for Rife magazine in the summer of 2014…
I think back to when I first wrote for Rife magazine in the summer of 2014. ‘I like it’ Nikesh, the editor told me, ‘but I’ve taken out all of the exclamation marks’. Later I realised that the exclamation mark was one of his ‘banned words’ along with ‘amazeballs’ and ‘less than’, and so started my quest to slip an exclamation mark on to the website. After six months working here, 24 articles and the time of my life, I’ve finally done it.
But I’m getting slightly ahead of myself. Let’s back up a minute.
I’ve been writing for Rife on and off for almost two years. And it’s been a whirlwind. I think back to the Cai that first approached Rife back then – an excited teenager straight out of sixth form, eager to sink his teeth into something and only a little bit naïve. A lot has changed since then, I use exclamation marks a lot less and I’ve even got a new pair of glasses to boot.
It’s been six months since I started working at Rife Magazine and what can I say – it’s been great. I’ve had so much fun and learned so much more than I ever could have imagined.
Watershed has been a brilliant place to work, and whilst I think all three of us can agree that we love our goldfish bowl, it’s been a brilliant place to work. The people, the space and all the unbelievable stuff that’s been going on has been so exciting to be a part of.
And the Rife team. Where to begin. Nikesh, Roseanna, Vanessa, Holly and Hannah have been more supportive than I could have ever asked for. They’ve helped me both inside Rife and with everything I’ve been getting up to outside Rife, and I’ve loved every second of working with them.
The Answer Machine and The Coat Hanger.
Then there’s Grace and Antonia. The Answer Machine and The Coat Hanger. We came into this together and something just clicked. Perhaps it was the surreal situation of trying to create a dramatic and funny video together after only knowing each other for a few days? Or perhaps it’s just something that happens when you spend most days together for six months straight. It’s been a pleasure working with you and I’ll miss laughing with you in the office over some look that we give each other in an editorial meeting.
But back to the exclamation mark. I’ve hidden it amongst the content I’ve created here at Rife. It’s been so exciting to create ambitious pieces including definitions for LGBT+ terms and visiting over 17 art galleries in one day. I remember walking in late to an editorial meeting, with my only redemption being the fact I was making a hand painted, gold Rife sign
I’ve been sure to make a fool of myself in front of a camera far too many times. Starting by pulling poses in my aerobics kit and eventually vlogging about the EU Referendum and even chatting to George Ferguson. And I’ve always been quick to flex my Photoshop muscles with one of the best hero images for Rife and I’ve always been quick to edit our faces onto things – especially around Christmas.
The exclamation mark is hidden a lot more obviously than you might think though, and you’ll probably groan and say ‘that doesn’t count’ when I tell you. However, it’s quite fitting and brings my time at Rife in almost full circle.
I come out of Rife with the skills to take on the world.
Leaving Rife, I feel so much more prepared. I think back to Cai from two years ago and he was constantly flip flopping about whether to go to university or not. I come out of Rife (whilst I’m still tempted by university occasionally) with the skills to take on the world. I feel confident in my artwork and I’m starting to explore new things and take on new commissions. After producing The Link with Antonia and Grace, I know that I’ve got the skills to put on events that loads of people want to come to. And after writing an article every week for six months, there is no denying that I’m a more skilled and confident writer.
Which makes me think about one of the first articles I wrote for Rife – ‘I want to make my own mind up about University, School’, and the piece I wrote a month ago – ‘Making my mind up about University’. These pieces show how much I feel as though I’ve changed, and Rife has helped me do that.
It’s also where I hid the exclamation mark. In the hero image.
It’s been great Rife. Thank you so much for everything.
But for now – I’m off the project.
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Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.
We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.
In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important.
Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.