The Newspaper Editor
Michelle Koidin Jaffee, currently a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, flips through the pages of a 1989 issue of Deerprints, the student paper at D.H.S. She finds the old monthly column she used to write, “Koidin’s Comments,” and smiles as she reads her long-forgotten words. “This brings back really fond memories for me,” says Jaffee. “Working at the paper was really a central role for me in high school. It gave me an opportunity to try out what I felt like I wanted to do.”
Even before high school, Jaffee knew she wanted to be a journalist. She joined Deerprints as a freshman and ascended to the top of the masthead by her senior year. Working at the paper also proved to be a useful distraction after her parents’ divorce and remarriages. “Even when things were shaky at home, I had my continuity at Deerprints, and that was what I really held on to,” she says.
After graduating from the University of Texas, Jaffee stayed in Austin to work for the Associated Press, and in the years that followed, she hopscotched between newsrooms across the country—from Indianapolis, Houston, and San Diego to El Paso and finally to San Antonio, which has been her home for six years. Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Jaffee was assigned a story for the Express-News about military couples who were rushing to get married during wartime. At Lackland Air Force Base, she was interviewing a chaplain who offered to set her up on a blind date with a military doctor, Lt. Col. Michael Jaffee. She accepted, and a year later they were married. “I never thought in high school that I would live in San Antonio,” says Jaffee. “But Texas really grew on me—I always felt comfortable there.” And what about marrying a military man? “No, never in a million years,” she says. “I would never, never have anticipated that.”
This past Labor Day, just three months after the birth of their twin girls, Jaffee’s husband left for Iraq for four and a half months. Again, Jaffee has found writing to be cathartic; she writes a weekly column entitled “Double Duty,” which chronicles her experiences being a parent of twins while her husband is away. And while things haven’t been completely ideal of late for Jaffee, she is thankful to be doing what she dreamed about since she was a teenager: “I’ve been very fortunate because I’ve had opportunities to live out a lot of what I was hoping to do.”