Joshua Wideman: The Columnist Who Interviewed Himself

[Author’s Note: The above image is my original discovery and definitely not something I borrowed from someone else’s article 10 minutes before I was supposed to upload this. You’re welcome.]

Joshua: Greetings ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to summer! As another year of clay ends and I look towards college, I’m sad to announce that this will be my final clay article. Unless the new Senior Editors, are open to bribery, I’ve become too old to continue as a columnist here. So for my last spotlight, I wanted to interview a truly unique individual, one of the most interesting people I know. Everyone please welcome… me!

Joshua: Why did we think this was a good idea?

Joshua: I have no idea, but we already broke most of the laws of interdimensional travel to make this happen, so let’s not question it.

Joshua: Fair. Shall we get started?

Joshua: Wait, do you think we should change our names before we start?

Joshua: Hm?

Joshua: We are literally the same person; it could be confusing for the readers to figure out who’s who.

Joshua: I see your point; do you have any suggestions?

Joshua: I propose Señor Jeffery Horatio McFleuganHaugen

Joshua: Absolutely not.

Joshua: We’re doing it.

Señor Jeffery Horatio McFleuganHaugen: No, we’re—wait how did you do that?

Joshua: I’m the author, remember? I can change whatever I want.

Señor Jeffery Horatio McFleuganHaugen: But I’m the author!

Joshua: Same person, Jeffy Boi, same person.

Señor Jeffery Horatio McFleuganHaugen: Ok let’s try this instead.

Joshua: Hm?

Joshua 1: We’ll just use numbers to avoid confusion, like this.

Joshua 2: Wait, why am I 2?

Joshua 1: Just go with it, we’re already almost 250 words in and we haven’t even asked a question yet.

Joshua 2: Fair enough.

Joshua 1: So, Joshua 2, what brought you to clay as the Guys’ Spotlighter?

Joshua 2: Funny story actually, I didn’t apply for this position originally. Back in the summer of 2020, I applied to become the Spotlight Editor. I was turned down, though, honestly, I should’ve expected it, what with the conspiracy and all.

Joshua 1: Conspiracy?

Joshua 2: Ever notice how most of the editors, sometimes all of them, are girls? And how the only time there was a guy senior editor was clay’s first year, when there were 3 of them?

Joshua 1: So you’re saying it’s all a plot to keep the girls in power?

Joshua 2: Exactly.

Joshua 1: Interesting… does this tie into the Koo Dynasty Theory?

Joshua 2: The idea that clay is secretly run by the Koo family since multiple Koos have been SEs? Perhaps it does…

Joshua 1: Just watch, Joie will be a Senior Editor before we know it.

Joshua 2: Yep. Anyway, as I was saying before I interrupted myself, I was turned down for the editor position, but I was offered a position as Class Spotlighter. I accepted, and then transferred again when the previous columnist decided to do a new column instead. I’ve been here ever since.

Joshua 1: Those were some crazy days… so what has writing for this column been like?

Joshua 2:  Chaotic. I’ve found that you can get a lot more information about a person through a call than by having them answer questions over email. Of course, that means I have to navigate other people’s schedules as well as my own. Factoring in time zones and my own forgetfulness, finding a time to call my interviewees is not always easy. It’s worth it though, I’m able to capture their personalities much better.

Joshua 1: So you interview people and then write the articles?

Joshua 2: Yep. I try to do the interviews early, but the best time to write the articles is the evening of the 18th each month, the day article drafts are due. A large percentage of my inspiration, and consequently my writing, takes place then.

Joshua 1: You realize Gabrielle is going to read this right?

Joshua 2: Eh, she’s probably figured it out by this point. She knows I’m clueless, I asked if I could call her Gabe the first time I emailed her. Totally thought she was a dude.

Joshua 1: Speaking of which, here’s a hard question: who’s your favorite editor, Dianna P. last year or Gabrielle this year?

Joshua 2: That’s a tough one. Gabrielle takes a slight edge because of recency bias and definitely not because she’ll edit my answer if I say otherwise, but honestly both of them were great. I do enjoy poking fun at Dianna though.

Joshua 1: Watch her become Senior Editor and wreck us just because she can.

Joshua 2: Dianna? Senior Editor? That’s never gonna happen! Wait…

Joshua 1: Anyway, I think we’re running out of words… and time, we have less than 3 hours to submit this draft.

Joshua 2: Yeah. Kinda wish we could go on longer.

Joshua 1: I do have one question left. Do you have any advice for future clay writers, specifically Spotlighters?

Joshua 2: You bet I do:

Future writers of clay, always work to add some spice to your articles to make them stand out. Choose unique topics, things that interest you and that you can be nerdy about. Experiment with different writing styles, different perspectives, and tones. Take your readers in directions they never thought they’d be going. Even the title of an article is an opportunity to attract an audience. Make your editors wish that all their columnists wrote articles as unique and interesting as yours.

Future Spotlighters, it’s too easy for us to just copy and paste our interviewees’ answers and call it a day. It works, but we can do so much more. Pick diverse subjects, people of many ages, countries, and experiences. Always keep unique questions on hand (weirdest food you’ve ever eaten is a personal favorite), things you wouldn’t normally think of in an interview. Let your interviewees’ personalities shine through in your articles. Give your spotlights humor, write them into story, hire evil sentient cloaks to interview people for you—whatever you can think of to bring people back every month. Never be afraid to push the boundaries of what a spotlight can be. You’ll stand out from the crowd and, more likely than not, you’ll write more entertaining articles.

Future Guys’ Spotlighters, welcome to what is, in my very unbiased opinion, the best column in clay. This school is full of all sorts of interesting dudes, so take advantage of that. Make your articles so memorable that people forget I ever wrote for this column. Do me proud, my successors. And whatever you do, be sure your articles are better than the Girls’ Spotlights. They may have control of the editor positions, but they will never take this away from us.

Joshua 1: Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Joshua 2: You would’ve said it exactly the same way, you’re me.

Joshua 1: Fair enough. I guess that’s a wrap then.

Joshua 2: Hard to believe it’s finally over.

Joshua 1: For sure. Let’s close it out.

Micah: (jumps into the room) Say no more!

Luke: (pokes his head in) Remember kids, God made you special…

Micah: And the moon is actually a giraffe.

Luke, Micah, and Joshua 2: Bye!

Joshua: It’s been a blast, y’all, I’m gonna miss this job. So long, clay!


  1. Hope y’all enjoyed my last article 😢. I’ll see you around, clay.

  2. hehe, you interviewed yourself…. that’s interesting xDD but we’ll miss you 🙁

  3. Lucy Pevensie 👑

    Haha!! Loved your final article 😥
    And I actually just mentioned to my siblings the other day about how the Senior Editors are always girls…. 🤔

  4. I’m working on a unique and revolutionary machine which will change clay.

    Joshua is right.

    I’ve got written evidence proving that there is actually a conspiracy to keep boys out of senior positions.

    You probably have noticed i’ve got my fingers in all clay pies.

    Worst of luck to you girls.

    Your reign is at an end.💥

  5. aw gonna miss reading your articles, joshua!!
    thanks for entertaining us for these few years 😉

  6. Oh no!! We’re gonna miss you Joshua! I’ve THOROUGHLY enjoyed your interviews, they’ve been (don’t tell anyone I said this) the best ones on clay!

  7. Your loyal Clay readers will sincerely miss your articles Joshua. I never have read such funny interviews before, and most likely never will.

  8. Samantha Carollo

    Without a doubt the most entertaining spotlight column I’ve encountered. Bravo, Joshua, and best of luck as you move forward.

  9. Extremely Sad Anonymous Human

    Oh my goodness, Joshua, thank you so much for writing these! I’m going to miss the interviews so much. Good luck in college!

  10. these are just as funny as the humor articles lol

  11. Great final article Joshua! This was really funny. Best of luck with whatever is next for you!

  12. Gabrielle Barnett

    What a fun way to end! Thanks for being such a fun columnist this year Joshua, I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles!

  13. Omgosh bro, I cant believe your articles have come to an end. I’ve enjoyed everyone single one of these interviews. As someone who is about to apply for a clay spotlight your advice about click bait will forever be kept close to my heart!
    So long Joshua.

  14. Joshua your articles are srsly awesome and we will miss you!!! Never forget your loyal readers who stuck with you through evil sentient cloaks, weird foods, and interruptions of the brotherly kind. God bless!

  15. you’ve added so much to clay throughout the years – you’ve achieved legendary status and I have no idea how the next guy’s spotlighter will ever measure up to you 😂

  16. nooo I’m so sad 🙁 but I know that I’ll see you around. Great work on these spotlights Joshua, I remember scrolling through your spotlights for hours and laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe (totally not because I was procrastinating xD why do you ask?). I’m gonna miss you a lot, and my sis and I will for sure pay our respects to you in our first article for the humor column! OH did I say that out loud?? oops 😉
    Good luck my friend!!!

  17. fishslapkneekap

    interviewing yourself… that’s kinda depressing

  18. I love it when your brothers stick their heads in at the end. You’ve had great articles and good luck in college!

  19. Elizabeth Nelson

    I am going to miss the Guy’s spotlight Joshua and though I hate to admit it, I looked forward more to the Guy’s spotlight than the girl’s, mainly because the guys was funnier.