Marissa Levy: The end of the world as we know it

It’s been no secret around The Hatchet office that I didn’t want to write my 30 piece. I’ve been complaining for a week, and I put off writing this thing until the very last minute.

Tell me I’m lazy, tell me I’m the queen of procrastination. But don’t tell me it’s time to say goodbye. My real problem with writing this column is finding the right way to say goodbye.

As I struggle to find something to say that will do right by my four years at this newspaper, “It’s the end of the world as we know it” comes on the radio. It’s R.E.M. Karma and DC101 can read my mind. Maybe it’s clich? to put that in here, but the timing’s too good. Staring down the barrel at graduation, it’s the end of the world as I know it at 2140 G St.

I came to The Hatchet as a writer, but my colleagues turned me into a reporter. A wise man once said to me over a pitcher of beer at Lindy’s, “You can teach a reporter how to be a good writer, but you can’t teach anyone how to be a good reporter.” You don’t have to be a cutthroat journalist when you come to The Hatchet, but you better become one quick if you want to succeed here.

I didn’t have an ounce of journalism experience when I became a Hatchet reporter. The greatest thing about this award-winning newspaper is that anyone can walk into the editorial office and ask for a story. Lucky for me, I had really talented editors who cared enough about me, and the quality of this paper, to take the time to show me the ropes. Maybe they didn’t teach me how to be a reporter, but they sure as hell brought it out of me. Just ask all the people I pissed off reporting for news. When sources start hanging up on you, you know you’re doing something right.

But in all honesty, one of the best things I earned working at The Hatchet is a thick skin. Not just because sources hang up on you, administrators yell at you and just about everybody thinks we get the story wrong. For me, at least, I earned my hard shell just by working alongside this gloriously sarcastic staff. I can’t walk into the office without hearing a joke about my smoking habits, dating habits or questionable work ethic. Between cigarettes, Mosheh and quitting, I’ve given these guys a lot of ammunition, and my fellow Hatcheteers aren’t ones to pass up on a shot. Once you get over the sting though, you realize these jokes just mean you’re part of the crowd. And at GW, there is no other crowd I’d rather be part of.

When I tell people I work at The Hatchet, I get a pretty universal reaction of shock. After all, I look like the typical Jewish princess from New York. But working here, as a staff writer, campus news editor, editorial board member and contributing features editor, has helped me become so much more than what I appear to be on the surface. Thank God for that. The Hatchet has given me the professional tools to succeed in the real world (someone hire me, please!), and the social tools to appreciate being a newspaper geek (Jappy fa?ade be damned). The Hatchet has taught me to question my surroundings and sniff out the bullshit, but most importantly, The Hatchet has taught me that you can make a difference. Yes, more clich?s, but nothing compares to the satisfaction of knowing that your story made a difference, big or small, to someone somewhere. When the University changes policy because of something you exposed in print, bingo. You’ve hit the journalism jackpot.

So, with the few inches I have left, I’d like to say some thank you’s to everyone who has helped The Hatchet hit the big-time along the way.

Thanks to my editors: Barnett and Gabe, who saw potential in me and helped me go after every story I set my sights on. You both put a lot of time and effort into my training, and you taught me how to do this job right. Ryan, I know I pissed you off many a times, but you pushed me to excellence, and never let me miss a deadline. You’re one talented reporter, and I know you’re gonna do a great job over there in Mexico. I mean Texas.

To Butler, Ceasar and Caitlin, you guys have the type of dedication to this paper that I always aspired to have. I admire you for that and all the juicy news stories you broke this year.

To Kyle and all the other edboard-ites, thanks for putting up with my opinions all year long. Kyle, a special thank you for letting me butt my way into those meetings. We may have our disagreements, but I respect your intelligence.

To Jake, thanks for always giving me shit, and knowing that I loved every minute of it. You’re so inappropriate, and that’s why you’re gonna do great next year. I can’t wait to read more of your front-page articles at The Journal News.

Katie, you were my partner in crime this year, and I think Life was a success. Caitlin gave us a great template, but we really made the section our own. Thanks for always understanding me, and getting drunk with me at Ocean City. When we partner up, we can take on the world.

Mosheh, this thank you is personal and professional, and we are so good at blending the two. Thanks for bringing me to the ’04 SA elections and making me feel like you believed I had talent, when you really just believed I was cute. Thank you for always supporting me, no matter what, and teaching me that communication is truly an art form. Thank you for being my shoulder to cry on, and offering me every bit of advice you can muster. You inspire greatness.

Sasha, we have gone to school together for 17 years. Hot damn. I’ve missed you this year, but I know we’re gonna live it up in New York (you’re going). Together we embody mayhem, and I love you for that.

Salar and Matt, my favorite men in this city. You guys always put a smile on my face.

To my beloved wifey Sarah, you have been my best friend these last four years, through and through. I can’t even fathom a college experience without you. You are an amazingly strong and intelligent woman, and I can’t thank you enough for always being my pillar of strength and premier rationalizer. In you, I have found a lifelong friend.

Mom, Dad and Josh, you three are the best at putting up with my big mouth. There is not enough room here to profess how much I love you, and appreciate your endless support.

With that, I’ve somehow managed to eke out a goodbye to The Hatchet. I hope I didn’t bore you too much along the way, and I hope I let everyone know just how much I loved working at this paper. I am damn proud to say I had a small part in this important operation. Working here is the only reason I am ready to go out there and become the next Lois Lane.

At the end of these 30 inches, it seems appropriate to quote R.E.M. just one more time. It may be trite, but they really put it best.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.”

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