Caroline Coppel: Short, but sweet: My time as Hatchet Arts editor

Each year, graduating editors are given 30 final column inches – “30” was historically used to signify the end of a story – to reflect on their time at The Hatchet, published in the final issues of the year.

I’ll keep this short.

I’ve enjoyed working at The Hatchet, even though I haven’t worked here very long. I only became the arts editor in January; as a writer and then even as a contributing editor, I didn’t make it into the office very often. I just filed my stories, did what I was told and maybe met with my editor once in a while.

Still, this semester has been fun. I’ve gotten to know the people behind the paper, and they have given me a greater appreciation for the content we publish. Before this semester, I would not have even said “we,” just “they.”

Everyone on staff works hard, and tolerates stress levels that I cannot begin to fathom. I have never, for instance, run around early on a Sunday morning trying to locate a stabbing victim. I have never had to go on long, tiresome road trips to the middle of nowhere, just to watch a sports team lose. I don’t have to sift through pages of copy at midnight, correcting “Elliott School” for the sixth or seventh time.

I can, however, give my writers a chance to cover their favorite artists. I get advanced copies of albums – sometimes they’re even good ones. I like feeling slightly overwhelmed, knowing that I’ll never be able to cover all the cool bands and performances and exhibits that come to the city every day, but trying to anyway.

Although I didn’t have a contributing editor this semester, I still had a lot of help from fellow Hatchet people. Thanks to every editor who wrote a Quicktakes column, although you should have just quit your jobs and come to work for arts. Thanks especially to Rachel for sending me Facebook events and other random ideas that turned out to be great, colorful stories. Justin, I’m sorry I couldn’t do the District Mixtape for Gallery; I want you to know – in writing – that I tried. Amy, I really loved working with you last semester; you taught me how to do my job. You’ll be great as campus news editor next year.

Thank you as well to my writers, who were constantly pitching ideas and putting up with my frequent phone calls and questions. I’m glad you stuck with arts, when there are other sections that offer many more opportunities to write. I hope you guys got to write at least one story which you genuinely enjoyed covering.

Kendra and Caroline, I think the arts section will be in good hands next year. You both have impressed me with your dedication and skill; the two of you will help it to become a really strong page.

This may well be my only paid job in journalism, which is fine. I was able to write and assign stories about things that I find interesting. I’m glad I got the chance to do that.


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