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.
My involvement with The Hatchet began on an interesting note.
At the end of last year, I started writing for the arts section and wanted to become more involved. After sending e-mails and getting no response, I thought it best to speak to someone in person. So I went on an interview for the arts section editor position.
If you’re thinking this is completely ridiculous, you’re correct. I was in no way qualified for this job. But I just wanted to be more involved and actually talk to someone. After explaining all this to French and Justin, who gave me some pretty skeptical looks at first, things worked out. They mentioned to me the position of Web producer and, except for the crazy hours, it seemed like a pretty laid-back position. I was excited. I decided to interview (for real this time) and was offered the job.
Thus began my year as Web producer and my involvement in The Hatchet. You’re probably wondering what exactly a Web producer does. To clarify: I take the content of the newspaper and put it onto our website. And I don’t do this alone. I work with two other amazing members of Team Web: Connor and Dev.
A Web producer’s job is marked by sleep deprivation every Wednesday and Sunday night, desperate late-night snack runs, engaging conversations and hilarious YouTube videos (check out “Reporter Goes Ghetto” to get the idea).
So as you could probably already tell, you have to be a little crazy to do this job. I mean, why else would we start late at night, when everyone else has left? Why would we stay up until 3 a.m., sometimes 4 a.m., uploading content, just to have to wake up early for an internship or a full day of classes the next day?
I’ve realized the answer over the course of this year. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not because of some masochistic motivation, but rather, for one simple reason: knowing that what I do is important. We’re the behind-the-scenes people, without whom you couldn’t read The Hatchet online in class, instead of taking notes. We preserve the hard work and dedication of those who work for The Hatchet and give people outside GW the opportunity to read what we produce.
After working with all the amazing content The Hatchet produces, I was inspired to create some work of my own through a medium I love: photography. Being on Team Web gave me the confidence to go to photo meetings and start taking assignments.
My photo assignments as a Hatchet photographer have proven to be some of my most special memories this year. I photographed Jonathan Safran Foer at the National Book Festival, took pictures of cool restaurants around D.C., and covered live events like concerts and rallies. But I wouldn’t have felt so connected to The Hatchet through these assignments without the amazing editors who gave them to me.
To Michelle and Anne: Thank you so much for your guidance and patience. I knew I could always ask either of you for advice before going on any assignment. Every review and critique we had of my photography has helped me grow immensely. Thank you both for your warm, positive attitudes. I know Francis and Jordan will do a great job continuing your enthusiasm and commitment to making photo the best it can be.
For surviving those countless late Wednesday and Sunday nights, there are a few people I must thank.
Gabe, you’re an honorary member of Team Web. Prodo always seemed incomplete when you weren’t there showing us your videos and waiting an hour for French to finally sign off on them. Your ability to both mimic any accent and do outrageous impressions has never failed to make me laugh. More than your energy (which I believe is young and jovial), your talent and dedication have always impressed me. I know that in the future, your contributions to The Hatchet will continue to be invaluable.
Connor, the image of you working in your “reporter’s hat” and listening to every kind of classic rock is forever ingrained in my memory. Thank you for constantly telling me the correct priority and format for articles, and for reminding me which HTML code goes where. Thank you for trying to explain programming to me, and just know that I was (and still am) so impressed by your knowledge of all things computers. Without you, there would not be a Hatchet website. Your kindness and dedication have made this year so enjoyable, and will continue to make Team Web a wonderful thing to be a part of. Just try and be nice to Dev when I’m gone.
Dev, where would I be without my fellow Web producer? Probably still stuck in the townhouse. Thank you for helping me out on those prodos when I was sick or just too exhausted to function normally. With you there to show me funny videos, demand that someone play “T-Swift,” quote Dave Chappelle and Chris Farley, and have ridiculous conversations about being hungry for chicken, I never felt like this job was any work. I was always too busy laughing to remember it was 3 a.m. Thank you for always giving me a reason to enjoy myself in prodo. I know next year you’ll continue to make Web producer a great “job” with your fun energy.
The Hatchet has made my senior year memorable, and has helped me grow so much as a person. For anyone thinking about getting involved: Do it. It’s worth the hard work, it’s worth the late hours, and it’s worth the fun. -30-