Bar Belle pays her tab

As a sophomore editor, I remember seniors pouring over their 30 pieces, trying to fit four years of their lives on less than a page of newsprint. I couldn’t fathom the day when I would sit down to write my final farewell. After all, I was just a sophomore. I had two more years. Then I was just a junior. I had another year. And, now I am a senior. Time has run out.

I am rarely at a loss for words. My mouth often runs faster than my mind, and I often find myself following behind the trail of words trying to pick up a few of them to shove back into my mouth. But now that I have a blank page to say the things I have always wanted to say – to fellow Hatcheteers, to friends, to professors, to parents – I’m not sure what to say. It’s hard to cram four years of life into one article. But here goes.

When I arrived at GW, I stopped by The Hatchet and said I wanted to write. That was the beginning of three long years here. Over the years, I have acquired journalism experience, great friends, not to mention a stellar CD collection (one of the perks of being arts editor). I’ve also lost patience and, more often, my mind.

First to Hatcheteers who have come before me – Becky, Jody, Heather, Jared, Dave, Helder (because I know you’re reading this) – thank you for your guidance along the way. You helped me go from being a scared freshman afraid of the big bad editors to being one of the scary, big bad editors. But more importantly, you all were my friends.

Now to my fellow Hatcheteers. First, an overall thank you. Most of you have the ability to piss me off and put my potty-mouth-mode into high speed. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t like you, and by now, after enduring a few of my tirades, you know that.

Pieter and Mike, I leave you the relentless duty of Arts Editor, and I am confident you’ll be able to handle the job. Remember the cardinal rules: Don’t take shit from anybody and always take the good CDs home with you.

Rich, Russ, Grant, Zach and the new comers – I have the utmost faith in your ability to handle The Hatchet. After all, you won’t have to protect Rich from a coup led by Berger or Chuck.

Just kidding Berger, but I have to get my zingers in before you head off to Texas. Let’s start by saying that you can be the biggest pain in the ass I know. But, you also attack everything you do with a passion and fervor I admire. Don’t lose sight of who you are and what your goals are while you are in Texas (you know they think a little differently than you down there). I expect big things from you; just try not to piss too many people off along the way. And, because you are often the butt of many of my jokes, thank you for all of the laughs.

Francesca, you amaze me. You have a strength of character that I cannot fathom. And if you ever doubt your strength, just remember you put up with Berger for a year (again Berger, just getting them in while I can). For the many times you have stuck up for me, laughed at my jokes or listened to my problems, I cannot thank you enough. I have learned a lot from you (including which boy bands sing which song) and will miss you when we leave The Hatchet behind.

Zachary, Zachary, Zachary. What to say? Next year, you’ll have to carry on the tradition of coming to ed meeting hung over without me. You have a certain charisma that always makes me smile, and I will miss that sneaky smile when I’m gone. I value our talks and secret conversations in ed meeting. You went from being just another Hatchet guy to a friend. And even though I’m leaving, you know you can always e-mail me to talk about Philly sports and whatever else.

Dustin, well, I guess the best thing to congratulate you on is the fact that you’re done. You’ve managed to finish college with the entire Hatchet staff depending on you. I cannot think of a time when you failed any of us. From our days on the football field to drinking at Mr. Days to editorial meetings when we needed to whip out the conch, you have made everything fun. You have a drive that will allow you to succeed in whatever you do. And if you really put your mind to it, I know you can learn the dance to Bye Bye Bye.

Margaret, my roomie. Four years ago we were introduced. Three years ago we became fellow Hatcheteers. Two years ago we became roommates. And somewhere along the way, we became close friends. Thank you for being there to talk on the balcony, letting me borrow your clothes and managing to make things seem OK when I swore the world was falling apart around me. And even when you are across the country, just know I’ll be calling you for advice on boys, jobs and everything else. However, you will be free of my teeny-bopper music.

Over the years, I have stressed, procrastinated, stressed some more and even cried over work. Yes, I’m a dork. And although I have cursed all of my teachers at one time or another, for holding class on a warm spring day or assigning a paper or giving a test, there have been a few along the way that have made an enormous impact on me. Bonnie (I guess I should call you Dr. Morris, but I don’t think I’ve ever called you anything but Bonnie), Professor Crowe, Professor McAllister (by the way, I still love the food pages), and Professor Roberts – each of you has proven that professors do not just show up for class and then go home, leaving their students behind. You all share a zest that I admire. I cannot thank you enough for your guidance and help along the way. And now that I’m looking for a job (just a reminder), I again will turn to you.

Now onto friends – some new, some old – and family, all of whom I am permanently indebted to. Second floor Thurston girls, Joe, Megs, Dan (and that bet was never legit), Saila, Tina, Beggs, and the gajillion other people who I have drank a beer with and shared a crazy outing, thank you for the laughs and the drunken escapades.

Mandaloo, I’ve known you since third grade, when you were the girls who wore pretty combs in her hair. It feels like it was yesterday when we were driving to Rice’s in my green Saab, sunroof open, Indigo girls blaring, doing things we shouldn’t have been doing. That was four years ago, and now we have to graduate, into the big world we go. But, like graduating from high school and going to college, we’re going together – and that makes things a bit easier.

Ali, my twin (Hillary), my confidante, my fabulous girlfriend. How did I make it through the first three years without you? It’s even scarier to think of the future without having you around the corner. A little paragraph cannot do you justice. You have been there to listen to me bitch more times than I can count. And our crazy experiences together are even more numerous than our bitch sessions. From sleepovers on hardwood floors to scoring free drinks to simple nights eating Coney, we definitely have had some great times. I know you’re scared of falling (so usually you just clench onto my arm), but wherever you fall in the future, you will land on your feet. I love you girlfriend.

John, well, you’re the hardest to write to. I only wish I would have known about the bet freshman year, but better late than never. In two months, you’ve managed to change everything – in a good way. Thank you for the dinners, the beers, the dances, the talks, the smiles and everything else. I’ll take a papaya or an apple anytime. And, Gabe, so you don’t get jealous of John for being in The Hatchet, you’re a great roommate. Thank you for putting up with me.

Now onto my sister. Heather, I remember when you graduated from Penn State and this seemed so far away. I know sometimes I’m a pain, and I know I can be critical of you (especially of your fashion sense, which I must say has improved over the years). But, you are pretty much everything I want to be. You are smart, beautiful, strong, witty, independen

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