Erica Steinberg: Four years, countless memories

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.

For me, there is no GW without The GW Hatchet. It’s been a part of my life since stepping on campus.

As I sat down to write this piece, my first and only byline in The Hatchet, I found myself overwhelmed by the idea of squeezing the love I have for this organization into 30 column inches. How do you fit four years of memories, love and gratitude into 30 column inches?

My first encounter with The Hatchet was during CI. My mom forced me to go to the student org fair and embarrassed me as we approached the then-editor in chief Jake Sherman at The GW Hatchet welcome table.

I started working for the production department of The Hatchet in October of my freshman year doing design. As one of the few freshmen in the office on production nights, I was intimidated, overwhelmed and just plain scared. For any freshman that has ever worked in The Hatchet townhouse, you know what I’m talking about. The bond this group shares can be intimidating to an outsider. I found myself jealous of the friendships I saw around me and determined to form those bonds too.

I continued working on the production staff for two and a half years, working 15-hour Hatchet shifts. After going abroad, I came back to The Hatchet my senior year in a new role. As the director of development, I got to work for this organization in an entirely different way. Not only did I get to interact with Hatchet editors, but I also got to work with other members of the GW community on a regular basis. Even though I thought it wasn’t possible, my bond with the townhouse got even stronger.

After being on staff for four years, I can’t imagine my life without this organization and these people. Twice a week in 2140 G St., student journalists come together to make a newspaper.

But The Hatchet is about so much more than just making a newspaper…

It’s about insisting to Justin for the millionth time that I really am from Los Angeles, not the “greater Los Angeles area.”

It’s about pissing French off because we “accidentally” hit her in the head with Ed Ball.

It’s about punching Louis in the stomach after he tells me I don’t spend enough time at The Hatchet.

It’s about working on the computer nearest the bathroom when Roper walked in on Nakita doing her thing.

It’s about walking all the way to Starbucks to go to the bathroom because I was too afraid to go in the townhouse due to the aforementioned Roper-Nakita incident.

It’s about watching Tim get duct-taped to a desk chair during production.

Then, it’s about trying to figure out how to get the tape off Tim without ripping off his eyebrows.

It’s about hearing Roper’s shriek of joy every time he said “FWEEEEECKLESSSSS!”

It’s about meeting up with Natalie Kates in a foreign country and feeling like I wasn’t that far from home after all.

It’s about explaining to Cahn that poop really isn’t all that funny. OK, fine. I guess it’s a little funny.

It’s about the bond I share with Kyle, Tim, Abnos, Rachel, Cory, Eve, Allison and any other production staffer that ever spends 15 straight hours at prodol or prodor.

It’s about laughing hysterically during Gabe Muller’s epic citizenship speech. I still think he rehearsed it.

It’s about intending to stop by the townhouse for five minutes and leaving two hours later.

It’s about Tim never being able to find his shoes.

It’s about the sincere friendship I formed with Rachel Lee, my Hatchet little. Kittens, snuggies and Harry Potter aside, you and I will always share a special bond.

It’s about referring to ourselves as a “fratchet.”

It’s about the taunts I continue to receive for wearing my snuggie around the townhouse.

It’s about being in awe of French, Emily, Madeline, Amy, Priya, Andrea and every other past news editor I’ve had the pleasure to work with. The hard work you guys put into this paper on a daily basis is inspiring.

It’s about being on a first name basis with administrators.

It’s about curling up on the couch next to Viktors, Anne, Michelle and team photo when I just needed a 10-minute break from production.

It’s about the passion Lyndsey and Annu feel for issues most students have never even heard of before. You two are one of the main reasons I love spending time in the townhouse.

It’s about knowing way too much about the things that have gone down on that couch, and taking a nap on it anyway.

It’s about being in awe of the drive and passion inside French. Not many people could do what you do. Keep up the outstanding work.

It’s about experiencing the 2008 election and Inauguration Day in a way most students could never even fathom.

It’s about the true friendship and support I have with Justin. Your friendship is one of the greatest rewards I will take away from my time at the paper.

It’s about contemplating not going abroad because I didn’t want to miss a whole semester in the townhouse.

It’s about Byers patting me on the head in an attempt to console me the night before I actually went abroad.

It’s about the life-long friendship I’ve made with Tim and the mentorship he has given me through these four years. You are one of the most genuine people I have ever met and I value our friendship more than you will ever know.

It’s about cleaning toothpaste off the bathroom mirror at Dan Greene’s infamous ’90s party because someone decided it would be a good idea to write “Hatchet” on it. Still a mystery.

It’s about storming into my apartment and venting to Eloise, Anna, Kiki, Liz and Mikke about the horrible-ness that happened at The Hatchet that night. And then, it’s about taking it all back five seconds later after all of them reminded me how much I truly love The Hatchet. You are my best friends and I value your friendships more than I could ever express in writing.

It’s about the unyielding support I’ve gotten from Mom, Dad and Andrea through these four years. I never would have been able to thrive at GW without my family’s support. I love you.

It’s about not understanding why Mike continues to date me even though I see him less than I see the inside of 2140 G. You’re too good to me and I don’t deserve you.

It’s about showing up to a campus townhouse every Sunday and Wednesday to put together a product our staff can be really proud of.

It’s about so much more than I will ever be able to write in these 30 inches…

After all that, I am still overwhelmed with emotion thinking about my past four years at The Hatchet, and I ask myself the same question again: How do you fit four years of memories, love and gratitude into 30 column inches?

It’s impossible. You can’t. -30-

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