Alex Byers: You made this happen

When you reach the end, it’s only natural to think about how you got to where you are. Looking back, I don’t really know the how or why. It just kind of happened.

For many Hatchet staffers past and present, the journey at 2140 G St. is a measured one – a consistent, steady path, all starting with a first story freshman year. Then comes the first front-pager; then the big breaking news story; then the month-long enterprise piece. You’re a senior staff writer, and boom; you’ve got the coveted editor title.

I missed out on all that.

I stumbled into The Hatchet offices my sophomore year. With a year of sports writing behind me, I capitalized on Alberg going abroad and became a contributing editor six weeks after I’d written my first story. Joanna decided to leave sports the next year, and I moved up to assistant editor by default. Then Ramonas graduated early, and I got thrown over to metro news editor. Run for editor in chief? Why not? Everything else had been working out just fine.

I have fallen into almost every position I’ve held at this paper. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t ready or deserving of the titles – but it means there are many here who have come up through the ranks and put in hours upon hours to make this a great institution, and deserve recognition for their role at the paper – recognition for whatever it is they ‘do’ for The Hatchet.

I haven’t figured out yet exactly what it is that I ‘do.’ I just hope I do it as well as the rest of the people that I work with. The best part of leading The Hatchet has got to be seeing each person excel in his or her own way. Sure, nobody is perfect. But everyone is great at something. When you put those pieces together, great things happen. It’s been an amazing year, and it was completely worth the effort so many people put in.

It’s time to move Farther On. But not without a few thank yous first.

The writers – There are far too many of you to name, but without you, The Hatchet is nothing. Thank you for making this paper a part of your lives, and for you young ones, please, please keep it up. A great many of you have true talent and strong potential.

Roper and Jake – It would take 100 inches to print the things I’ve learned from you two. Thank you for holding me to a high standard the last few years and being there when I needed help this year.

Alberg and Joanna and Alexa – You three, more than any other Hatchet elders, helped me become a part of this family.

Caroline and Amy – You guys stepped into huge shoes left behind by Amanda Pacitti, and completely exceeded my expectations. Thank you for your creative and hard work.

ADi and ADo (as you are called in my Gmail address book) and Max and Miranda – Consistently, you guys do what’s necessary to get the job done. Your dedication is clear.

Viktors and Chris (and Anne) – All three of you are tremendous shooters. You each have an uncanny ability to tell stories through images.

Lindner – You took a position that you weren’t sure you were ready for, and you received little guidance and oversight from me. Nonetheless, you have turned into a fantastic multimedia journalist. You grew a lot this year, and you have yourself to thank for that.

Howie – You will be missed next year. Thank you for your continued years of service here. Your consistency and institutional knowledge has made my job much easier this year.

Rachel, Erica, Connor, and the rest of Team Prodo – Twice a week, you take these words and pictures we throw at you and turn it into a well-designed product. You make this newspaper happen, plain and simple. You do it well, and with not enough appreciation.

Team Copy – The best surprise of the year. You guys help The Hatchet in so many ways, and you have become such an integral part of the 2140 G family. Your flair and attention to detail is unmatched.

Lyndsey and Michelle – Without question, the best subordinates a boss could ask for. Thank you, so much, for being team players this year. Your diligence and ability to get the job done have been the biggest reasons for the success of Ops and Photo. Keep at this Hatchet thing. You will go down as some of the best that ever worked here.

Cahn and Justin – You two have the potential to do great things next year. You are both such dedicated people – put everything into The Hatchet, I promise it will reap rewards for you.

French – Last spring, I didn’t hire you. Today, you take my job. Payback is a bitch. You will do a fabulous job next year. I have no doubt about it.

Hadas – Yes, I’m not paying attention most of the time you’re talking to me. Still, I’m just happy that someone way cooler than me has decided I’m worth working hard for and spending time with. Thank you.

Dan – It is a shame that people overuse the phrase “It’s been an honor to…” because it undermines what I’m about to say. In the truest sense of the word, I am honored to have worked with you this year. You are the greatest writer I have ever met, and someday I will tell my kids that I used to be your boss. Louis, don’t try to be Dan, as tempting as that may be. You will succeed in your own excellent way.

Nacin – You are smarter than me. I am so happy that you are already succeeding so much in the things you most care about.

Scire – I love how comfortable you are in your own skin. As you move on, stay true to yourself and continue to do the things that make you who you are. You have made both the paper and my life better this year.

Tim – As much as you’ve done amazing things these four years, I think college may have been holding you back. You’ve been on the road to greatness for a long time. Now you’ve got a diploma, and there’s nothing that is going to stop you from doing whatever you decide to devote yourself to.

Rob, Phil, Kyle, Mike, Mark – It’s been a hell of a ride. Thank you for being a respite from work when I needed one and being all around great guys. I hope I’ve been as good a friend to you as you’ve been to me.

Jenny – I am so proud of you and your passion. Thank you for being so understanding and such a wonderful person to be with. I love you.

Mom, Dad and Amy – Thank you for always supporting me in every way. I never would have made it without you. I love you all. -30-

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