Chances are you are about to breeze right by this article, and to tell you the truth I can’t blame you. For the past four years I have read the columns that seniors get to write for the last issue of the year and they are filled with private jokes I never got and thank yous that were not for me. I can not promise this one, like its predecessors, will not leave you uneasy with explanation, but hey a few more minutes of procrastination will not kill you.
I did not start writing for The Hatchet until the spring of my junior year. I left many messages asking to write a story but I never heard back from any of the editors. I thought they must have gotten word from professor Crowe, who swore I would never be a journalist, and blacklisted me. Last February, three years later, I finally received a call to write an article for the features section, no doubt a result of a run-in with last year’s editor in chief. Who says scare tactics never work? Anyway, after writing a few articles last spring, I applied for the features editor position and since then have spent the last 29 Sundays and 29 Wednesdays editing and laying out the two features pages, the Buzz and Spotlight.
It is hard remembering what life was like before The Hatchet. I vaguely remember days where the word deadline was never uttered and nights when I was not wishing death upon the inventor of Mac computers that always seem to breakdown right before my page design was saved. I still believe the design program QuarkXPress has a vendetta out against me. But none the less I survived with several people to thank. (OK this is the part that gets personal, but read on, there might be one in here for you.)
WARNING: I absolutely hate having to thank people publicly because it is inevitable that someone gets left out. If this occurs, I’m sorry but just read Russ’s section and replace your name for his.
Rich: I was very nervous when I first joined the staff. I had the impression that everyone knew everyone else and I would be the odd man out. But right from the get-go you made me feel comfortable. I thought it was you just being nice, until you later told me you were scared of me and were just trying to curry favor with me. Regardless of how the friendship started, working with you has been great.
Because of you I have a better right hook and learned no matter what my layout looks like you’ll always tell me to place my headlines just one click down. I thank you for letting me give advice to the masses as well as for our late-night talks. You let me get away with giving you a hard time about everything and questioning you every time you tell me to do something instead of just doing it. I can’t image anyone else I would rather of worked for. Even though I won’t be there to solve all your future girl problems, just remember the mantra and you will be fine.
Russ: I met Russ two years ago in a public speaking communication class and thought he was the biggest idiot walking the face of the earth. I had no respect for him. I was in shock when I walked into the features editor interview and Russ was the one interviewing me. Needless to say that lack of respect that once was is no more. I can not think of anyone who works harder for this paper. You have a vision and dedication that is immeasurable and unwavering. Your unique balance of humor and hard work goes unparalleled by anyone at The Hatchet. You constantly amaze me everyday with your knowledge, integrity and known-how. I wish you only the best of luck in the future, although I know you will never need it.
Newies: Ah the newies. First there was four, then two and a half, then three and finally four. You guys always get all the e-mails and phone calls, have your secret meetings that I was never invited to and usually steal all of the computers in the office. I’m not bitter, just jealous.
Kate: I remember meeting Kate while doing my first D.C. Diary. She was the photographer assigned to the event and I remember thinking she was a little quirky. While in training for the features editor position Kate and I got reintroduced and I remember the first thing she said to me was `you are a great writer, you’re going to be a great features editor.’ I liked her immediately. A year later not only do I still like Kate, but I think she is incredible. The man hours she logs in is inconceivable and her smile and laugh can brighten any room.
Tim: I’m surprised by the amount I tease Tim he hasn’t gone screaming out of the office right towards therapy. I absolutely love him, though. He is insanely dedicated to the paper although very suspiciously he hasn’t been hanging out in the office as much. I appreciate you letting me into your private life whether by invitation or prying. Thanks for putting up with my whining, and remember no matter what your degree might say you can still follow your dreams.
Katie and Jason: It’s been great getting to know you guys. Katie, just keep smiling, and Jason stay strong with your opinions and forget about getting me back for dinner already.
Drew and Zeb: You guys always make me laugh. Drew, keep dispelling your wrath, and Zeb, I’m finally glad I know what UWIRE is.
Mike and Grant: What would I do without my photo boys. You help my pages come to life, and I’m sure your lives will become a hell of a lot easier without me constantly annoying you about photos any more. But beware, I’ve trained the new editors well.
Andrew and Pete: Good luck with the rating scales next year. Sorry I can’t be there to help.
Zach and Sean: Zach, the office would not have been the same without you. You tease me to no end, and it definitely took me too long to see it as a compliment. Sean you are the sweetest guy I know. Don’t ever change.
Evan and the production crew: There are simply no words to describe you, Evan. You have the patience of a saint. Thanks to all of you for putting up with me this entire year, helping with headlines and making me laugh after insanity kicked in.
Beth and Salma: I have so much confidence in both of you and your capabilities as the new features editors. If I’ve taught you anything I hope it has been to stay strong. If anything goes wrong, just take a step back and breathe – everything always works out. If all else fails, you still have my e-mail address.
Writers: Thanks for all your hard work and commitment throughout the year. Without you there would be no features section.
Friends and sorority sisters: Thanks to all of you for understanding and putting up with my Hatchet commitments. Without your support I do not think I would be writing this right now.
So this is it. No more harassing writers for stories, no more offering money to anyone who could help me write headlines and no more waiting for sources to call back. I’m glad it is all over, but I’d be lying if I said I was not going to miss it. I have a million memories and way too many nicknames. In the words of Rich Murphy, “It’s been great.”