So this is awkward, saying goodbye in front of thousands of readers (or people who happen to pick up this issue for Sudoku and the crossword). I mean, we’ve been together for four years. Four! Who knew it would last this long? That’s longer than marriages, wars, presidencies even. Life has changed a lot since those first days I set foot in Foggy Bottom with a few suitcases and an entire college career in front of me, but you’ve been a constant. However it’s time, my friend, for me to go.
Remember freshman year, when you would call and wonder if I would cover an event here, a speaker there? I think I gave you my number at Colonial Inauguration, and then you called! Out of all those notecards full of contact information subject to fate (and an insanely dirty office), you somehow found me.
You taught me a lot about GW and the District, things I would have never been exposed to without a few column inches to fill and a deadline. I have tales of interviewing amazing characters and covering incredible events that people will be forced to listen to for years into the future. Of course those first stories were handed back with little of my own writing (which meant they were on par to actually be published). Little did I know how demanding you were. It takes a lot to ensure the continuation of one of the best college papers in the nation.
And then, for some reason, a little more than a year later I was hired as an editor (and nothing says you’re special like minimum wage). Suddenly you entrusted me with actual, real-life reporters – the people who truly make this paper thrive. You made me jump right in and learn to swim on my own, a lesson I’ll always appreciate (probably increasingly so with hindsight). But we went from just acquaintances to, well, a full-on commitment. Let’s just say you’re a bit demanding. It was a little much at first, but we survived. Sure I’ve thought about saying goodbye many times before this, but I just never knew how to quit you. And I’m glad I didn’t.
The rest, so it seems, is history. Hundreds of issues, an equally absurd number of man-hours and cell-phone minutes and thousands of trees sacrificed later, I’m still here. We’ve spent a lot of quality time at 2140 G St., debating the issues, breaking the big story or just making sure a paper got made. And I guess we had some fun, too.
It often seemed like we were spending just too much time together, especially when my other friends were off doing something surely amazing. Anything, really, can be considered pretty spectacular in the face of a Sunday noon staff meeting only to be followed by hours of planning, editing and proofing pages. I’m not quite sure what Wednesdays and Sundays are like anymore without The Hatchet, come to think of it. Other times it’s hard to go down those winding stairs and out into a world where most people don’t (or simply can’t) understand the relationship those of us whose names appear in the staff box have with you.
But before I head off into that great big world beyond the walls of the townhouse, I have to thank you, Hatchet, for essentially defining my four amazing years at GW. It seems life has been what happened while working at The Hatchet.
Thanks for introducing me to some of the most gifted, devoted and socially awkward people at this University. As much as working for you can seem like an individual free-for-all, there are so many people at any given moment ensuring the success of this entire operation. A minor miracle happens twice a week when everyone comes together, essentially out of sheer devotion, to piece together a final product that helps define the entire GW universe. I’ve learned more things from the people here than I can possibly realize now. Some lessons were harder than others, but they were all worth it. I think it’s safe to say you’ve taught them all well, Hatchet, so don’t be startled when you see their bylines gracing the pages of another paper.
Thanks for publishing my work so my parents can see my name in print (even though my mom only really likes the Crime Log) and be proud that I’ve left my own small stamp at this University. They may lose that feeling during the up coming, and as of now infinite period of the “what am I doing with my life” stage. But they’ll always have The Hatchet, too.
Perhaps most importantly, thanks for being so close to GW Deli.
Thanks for all of the writers I have had the pleasure to work with over the past years both in news and opinions. I hope I’ve been able to pass on to them a fraction of what I’ve learned in comparison to what they have helped teach me about more than just columns or news stories.
But when times got rough between you and me, it has been my friends outside of this building that have had to hear me kvetch for well, years now. I haven’t thanked them enough for being my family thousands of miles away from home. And I don’t think they’ll miss hearing about The Hatchet – well, at least too much.
Next year – I think you’ll be in good hands, Hatchet. Claire, Niketa and Diana – you gals are ready to step up and take the controls of our section’s little operation.
So, Hatchet, this is it. We’ve had a good run wouldn’t you say? Don’t worry about me. I’m sure there’s another project waiting for me somewhere out there in the world. And I won’t worry too much about you, either. Who knows what the next generations of Hatchet writers, photographers and editors will hold – but I have a feeling it will all work out just fine, especially if the last 104 years are any indication.
Lizzie Wozobski has been a Hatchet news and opinions editor. She began writing for The Hatchet in October 2004.