Four years ago I was a drama queen. Loud. Demanding. Everything was about me. I quickly learned that wasn’t the best way to make friends your first semester at college, because in Thurston Hall you were living with hundreds of others just like yourself. However, also around that time I started keeping a journal. It allowed me to be loud and demanding in public, but I was able to write all about me every night on my laptop.
Looking back on more than 40 months’ worth of memories really puts life at GW in perspective. I captured moments of freshman stupidity, sophomoric intoxication and junior-year uncertainty. And somewhere within all the party recaps, fashion chronicles and college drama, I actually wrote some pretty insightful things.
Much of my drive to keep a journal came from working at The Hatchet. While working in production at the paper, I would often get done in the early-morning hours. After creeping into my room so as not to wake my rooommate, I found myself full of energy. I just spent about 12 hours working on deadline laying out the paper, but there was still some leftover adrenaline. I couldn’t watch TV and I couldn’t go to the gym, so my 2 or 3 a.m. writing time allowed me to relax, finally – despite having spent most of my day in front of a computer.
As I write this, it’s almost 2 a.m., but I don’t often stay late at The Hatchet anymore. Features is a section that’s always first on the production list. Choose your pictures. Design your layout. Proof your pages. Go home. There have been many times this year, though, when I didn’t want to go back to my apartment. There is an energy that is harnessed in the office that exists nowhere else. Even if it’s a Monday morning and empty pizza boxes, uncapped hilighters and old dummy sheets litter the desks, you know that just a few hours ago this place was full of people writing, editing and designing, all to get The Hatchet on newsstands in the morning.
For more than 60 issues a year, two times a week, the staff sees what was once just ideas on a budget sheet. The immediate sense of accomplishment, only to start over and do it all again, is what made me want to be at The Hatchet. Plus, The Hatchet is family. Working at the paper defined my time at GW. I have built up a pretty thick skin over the past few years, but watch me soften as I prepare for the final bow.
This year’s staff shared moments of joy and times of sadness, and I am constantly amazed how so many different personalities can survive in one small, often odorous and always assertive office.
Despite moving upstairs, production is always there, sharing my love of fonts. Kyle, I am so proud of you, just tone it down on the clown casas. Phillips, Sarah and Stager, thanks for taking care of my detailed corrections and having the patience to deal with a stubborn printer. And Shannon, three words for my former production partner in crime: rum and coke.
Having a computer next to photo, I never knew what to expect. Snow, I never know if I should laugh or hang my head in shame at your raunchy humor, but it always made my day. Thanks for being such a good friend. Baum, I’ll be giving you a call when I finally get OSX.
Newsies, you drive this newspaper. Here’s hoping for more hot news in the future. Barnett, you never let me forget “Someone’s been shot!” but I hope you get a new T-shirt to go along with your new position.
Julie, Janice and the rest of the girls, we survived months of bodily functions, office fights, Nextel beeps and weekend tales courtesy of the guys, but a quiet visit to SizzEx was always just a few blocks away.
Dempster, you cut your hair when you became opinions editor but you are the savior of ed board meetings. Ingui, thanks for being flexible with my ever-changing deadlines for Thursday issues. I used to hate laying out Sports pages, but without them I never would know Pops’ full name or who really is The Full Nelson. Costa, I hope you fulfill all the promises on your election platform. Good luck as EIC.
There never would have been a Hatchet history series without Andrew Novak, whose vast knowledge of all things GW helped me throughout the year. I wish I had more tips to pass along to Nurko, but I am confident she’ll lead Features with aplomb. Just remember not to party too much on Saturday nights, and never be afraid of using too many puns or alliterations in a headline.
Many times throughout the year there would be moments of song coming from the editor in chief’s office, I don’t know if Mosheh was preparing for a second career, but it always made the newsroom lively. Your loud, determined and always-questioning manner made The Hatchet a better paper and me a better editor. Thank you for your guidance, feedback and friendship. Maybe after you’re done with grad school you’ll start your own media corporation.
But I wouldn’t be able to spend four years at The Hatchet without some much-needed “distractions.” My appreciation goes to the GW dance department, which allowed me to continue one of life’s greatest passions and have a lot of fun, too.
From TV boyfriends to reality-show storylines, it’s hard for me to deny the escapism of one small, black box. Props to the writers of “Sex and the City,” Chris Carter, David Kemper and Rockne S. O’Bannon, Aaron Sorkin, J.J. Abrams, the programmers at MTV, Adam Brody, Jon Stewart, the first season of “24” and the recappers at TWoP for providing hours of procrastination-worthy entertainment.
As exciting as TV may be at times, though, nothing compares to great friendships. Lindsay and Denise, you are my best friends. While our time as roommates is about end, I am sure there are plenty of fantasy Miss USA games, happy hours at Tequila Grill, fawning over US Weekly and morning recaps left in the future.
Despite living in D.C. for the past four years, I’m still just a girl from Pittsburgh. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Bubby, Pam and Mark, and the rest of the fam: thank you for your love, your support and your encouragement. Mom, I would call three times a day if I had the time. Dad, I’m not at The Times yet, but maybe one day I’ll be up there along with Mo Dowd.
Lizbart is peacing out.
This article appeared in the April 26, 2004 issue of the Hatchet.