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.
As a freshman I walked into 2140 G St. for an open house, and within the first 10 minutes, some guy – pretty sure it was Eric Roper – was asking if anyone was interested in writing the crime log.
I said yes.
If I hadn’t started that beat, I might not be writing this now. The crime log was a lot of fun and made me realize what I wrote at The Hatchet meant something – even if it just made people laugh about crazy shit on campus.
For the most part, Metro news isn’t funny. Over the years I’ve missed class to cover serious court cases, and every fire alarm kept me on my toes. I covered three-hour-long Advisory Neighborhood Commission meetings and witnessed battles between residents and University officials.
It’s hard to sum up four years of learning journalism in D.C. with The Hatchet. It can be exhilarating and confusing to cover Metro news, but in the end this paper made me feel like I wasn’t just a student journalist.
Sometimes that manifested itself in stress and I would dread the next assignment.
But I didn’t want to let down my editors – Roper, Alexa and Byers – so I did the best I could and kept writing.
I applied for an editor position at the end of sophomore year and didn’t get it. I said I would keep writing. I wanted to get better. As luck would have it, just three months later Sarah Scire asked me if I wanted to be an assistant news editor. Hell yeah I did – that’s not what I said to Scire, but I was excited to be part of this staff.
Soon The Hatchet was something I did every day, and my friends probably thought I was crazy for staying in on a Friday night to edit and disappearing all day Sunday for production. I had to get a BlackBerry to keep up with everything. (We’re on call all the time and it’s great for ridiculous chain e-mails.)
That first year of assigning stories and editing was far from perfect. Often my evenings ended in tears over one mistake or another.
“Why don’t you just quit The Hatchet?” my boyfriend would ask over the phone.
I’d explain I actually loved spending time with the people that create this newspaper. It wasn’t all work – we had silly theme parties and intramural volleyball. I’d spend more and more time at the townhouse not because I had work, but because I wanted to be closer to this staff and its shenanigans.
We put out a damn good paper twice a week. We’re not perfect, but we strive to tell you what’s going on at GW, straight up. I hope I’ve done my job well enough, and I’m thankful that I have this Hatchet family.
First to the writers: Thank you for all your hard work. Keep reporting, learning and giving it all you’ve got. Don’t pass up the opportunities you have here.
Team Web: Thank you for working late to keep the website looking fly. You guys are so cool and I wish I could’ve stayed up with you.
Gabe: I’ll miss our chats about random things. You are hilarious and have done a great job this year. Don’t forget to call me on Oscar night.
Team Prodo: Thank you for putting up with my calls from upstairs. I’ll miss seeing your smiling faces throughout production days.
Team Photo: I’m so impressed by your work and dedication. Thank you for always running toward fires with me.
Lyndsey and Annu: One reps Philly well and the other raps. A winning combination in my book, and I know I will see great things from you both.
Caroline: You’re such a talented writer, and I’m so glad I got to know you this year. I know you’ll be a source of support for next year’s staff.
Louis and Traynor: You guys kept me entertained on and off the sports page, and I will miss you both dearly.
Copy: Thank you for making every issue the best it could be – I’ll miss hearing laughter from your corner of the room.
Justin: Thank you for supporting my behavior at GW basketball games.
Erica: You and Justin made putting this paper together easier each week. Thank you for working so hard and guiding us.
French: I’m glad you were editor in chief this year and I know you will continue to push for answers when everyone wants to hold them back. Know we all love you, no matter what.
Cahn: Thank you for being patient when it came to editing my stories. I’m proud to know such a great journalist and look forward to seeing your bylines all the time.
Morgenstern: You are so dedicated to this paper, and if I may say, a “fighter.” Thank you for putting up with my ridiculous comments and being a source of comfort.
Andrea: I thought I juggled a lot of work, but you amaze me with everything you do. I’ll miss our late-night editing in the townhouse.
Priya: Hadas was kind to say last year that I would be a better Metro editor than she was. I don’t think that’s true, but I know you will go beyond what I tried to do. I can’t wait to see all the great stories you write and I’ll miss all the Metro news jokes we have. Love you.
My lovely roomies: You girls sometimes don’t see me for days due to my late-night Hatcheting, but you make South Hall feel like home. Thank you.
Mom, Dad, Jeff and Susie: Thank you for always supporting me and for making all this possible.
Hari: In exactly a week it’ll be five years together. Thanks for sticking with me and this newspaper. -30-