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 once tried to describe our team as the human body. Each department, each job a very different and very important part of what makes us function. On a day-to-day basis, we couldn’t be what we are without each other, but even when norovirus strikes – quite literally – our other body parts take over to make sure we still work.
I’ll try to get right into it since babbling and tangents are my strong points, and getting to the point sometimes is not. My first adventure into the townhouse was during my April Visit. I wanted a way to sharpen my photography skills without taking a class every semester. I started shooting as much as I could. I very quickly learned what I was getting myself into, and it wasn’t just sharpening photo skills. I was being given the tools and critiques to become a photojournalist in D.C.
I couldn’t get enough. I would find any excuse to stop into the townhouse just to look over at Eric Roper’s desk and make sure he was still looking just like Clark Kent, with his glasses and classic green lamp. I was in awe of this thing I was becoming a part of and the knowledge and opportunities my editors had to share with me. But I still had no idea what a large part of my life the paper would become.
My junior year, upon learning my DSLR could also shoot HD video, I began exploring. I shot a few videos for Gabe who, little did I know, was in the midst of building an incredible section. I was hooked. Becoming a part of the multimedia team was a whole new learning experience, and one I wouldn’t trade for the world.
I had never heard of Holi before seeing the posters at GW my freshman year. I decided to cover it for Snapshot even though it was taking place only five hours after I would complete my all-nighter for Relay for Life. I rolled out of bed, grabbed a plastic bag to cover my camera and showed up to University Yard in my pajamas, having no idea what to expect. My editor, Viktors, ended up putting together a slideshow of the event, my first ever.
Since then, I have covered Holi for The Hatchet every year, each time showing my development in the organization. Freshman year a slideshow that showed me I could get more than one good photo, sophomore year a photo that ran on the front page, junior year a video of the event as I was just learning multimedia, and this year as an editor, I had the opportunity to cover the event with one of my multimedia reporters. Together with team photo we produced a piece that, to me, ended up being the culmination of all the things I’ve learned over these past four years at The Hatchet.
As contributing multimedia editor, I have had the opportunity to meet and interview incredible people, share some great stories, learn FCP and soundslides all too well, and have learned the importance of sharing our knowledge with our reporters, the future of our paper. I cannot do justice to all the ways being a part of the multimedia section has changed the way I see things and the things I want to do. Knowing that this thing we are a part of, still so unknown and unsure to media outlets across the world, is something we are learning and developing right along with everyone else.
Each and every person I have worked with at this paper has been incredibly inspiring and an integral part of who I have become.
Viktors, Anne, Chris, seeing you all go last year was incredibly difficult. The three of you were the reason I took every assignment I could. You all brought me from a photographer to a photojournalist.
Gabeybaby, where do I begin? You introduced me to a beautiful world that is growing right in front of our eyes. We have loved and hated decisions we’ve had to make with strong conviction, but without your critical eye, and especially your critical ear, I know I would be at a loss. I know I would have woken up to the multimedia page on countless mornings saying, “Why did no one tell me this looked so silly? Why didn’t someone catch this terrible audio transition?” I cannot wait to see where you and Stacie take the team next semester. You have great things ahead of you.
To those that have come onto the visual team in the time I have, Francis, Jordan and Gaby, working with you are some of my best memories in the townhouse and out. You are some of the most talented photographers and videographers I know, but aside from that, you are some of the most incredible people I know. Whether it’s a five-hour assignment or making a five course meal, I know I will enjoy every minute I spend with you. I can’t wait to be that alum that stops by the townhouse every prodo because I’m ‘just in the area,’ and I miss you all madly.
To Stacie, you had a raw talent I could see from our first shoot together with the underwater hockey club, and, from our last shoot together at Holi, a talent I see developing to do incredible things. I absolutely can’t wait to see everything you bring to the team next year and the new heights you carry our section to.
To the woman I have somehow been able to go 28 inches without mentioning. Michelle, you are and have been the most wonderful co-photographer-turned-editor-turned-floormmate-turned-roommate-turned-incredible-friend I have had at GW. You have been with me during some of my very worst and very best moments these past few years. You inspire me in every way someone could. With your national award winning photos, incredible leadership of the photo team, amazing achievement in your classes and your dedication as a dear friend, I find myself looking up to you on a daily basis. You have been my rock in the townhouse, the classroom and our home. I cannot wait for what lies ahead for us next year.
To everyone I can’t mention in 30 inches, expect a personal note. I cannot concisely enough put into words what this paper and this staff have taught me, all the ways I have been inspired. Each member is unique and integral, and while I won’t get into who is the bladder and who is the lungs, I will just tell you that my body would not function as efficiently as it does at 4 a.m. without any of you. -30-