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.
The Hatchet is the same as a hot, beautiful California burrito from Rico’s Taco Shop in Encinitas, Calif.
For those who are not yet enlightened, a California burrito is what God ate when he chilled on the seventh day.
Packing at least 1,000 calories, it is a magical medley of carne asada, cheese, guacamole and french fries all wrapped in a large flour tortilla in a way that can only be done in San Diego.
California burritos are my first meal when I am back home, and just like The Hatchet, they have come to define my existence.
Most of the savory mass and delicious protein comes from the carne asada, in this case the news team. This is also the main cause for mess, which is why you need Copy napkins.
The sports, culture and opinions sections are the french fries. They add the starchy crunch that makes the paper even more unique and fun to eat. I mean read.
Holding the inside all together is the editor in chief cheese. It is a salty bite that grabs on to everything and gives all the disparate ingredients a common flavor.
Design is the colorful, creamy guacamole that makes the paper look good on the inside and read smoothly.
But making the burrito, and the paper, look tasty is the tortilla. For those who have never been to San Diego, you don’t know what tortillas taste like. This is photo. We make you pick up the paper and nobody knows how to do our job.
Tortillas have the unique job of having to be flexible enough to change shape and size to accommodate any kind of burrito.
Being flexible, both physically and metaphorically, is a crucial part of the job of a Hatchet photographer. I have regularly both contorted my body to fit in between the chairs and legs of high level administrators to get the perfect photo and contorted my weekly schedule to fit around the spontaneous nature that is The Hatchet.
But, the scary thing about both the California burrito and The Hatchet is that you love it more than life itself, but if you finish the whole thing, you’ll inevitably be sick.
This year was tough for me. I had a thesis, a job, an internship and a full course load. It was like getting ready to enjoy my favorite edible past time after already finishing a large pizza and two hamburgers. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can fit on your plate, pun intended.
What got me through this year – and these past four years – are the people who surrounded me. You must enjoy burritos with friends.
Annu: I could write my entire 30 about all the things I love about you. First, you’re the only other person on staff that understands my burrito analogy. You are the kindest, most empathetic and most entertaining person that I know. I will never forget awkwardly meeting you for the first time, spending my birthday with you painting ceramics and eating chili peppers, rapping about staff, creeping out Priya with meditation, spelling letters with our hips, smoking cigars on Broadway at 3 a.m. with you and Michael, and road tripping to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday. I can sincerely say that all my favorite moments of being on staff have involved you. I look forward to continuing these great experiences with you until we are both #gippers.
Priya: We have been close friends since I left early from that boring ANC meeting. Despite the strain on our friendship this year in accordance with the traditionally tempestuous photo editor-EIC relationship, I’m glad now we can be loving best friends again. In that vein, I am sorry for anything I have said to you this year that has insulted you or portrayed the paper in any way less than the amazing institution that it is. I have no excuse and all I can hope is that you forgive me. You have done an unbelievable job leading Volume 109 and I have been proud to call you my EIC. Prom? Again.
Michelle and Anne: You two. Wow. You both are amazingly talented photographers and editors. Anne, even though I was initially a little scared of you, you are so fun and spontaneous and I have learned so much just being in your presence. Michelle, I have learned more about being a leader from you than from anyone else. You are a photo goddess and an astounding, level-headed editor. Thank you both for everything and for being some of my closest friends.
Chris: Your technical knowledge of camera equipment is still incomprehensible to me. I have learned more from you than from any photo class I have ever taken. You also have a unique ability to give me a critique in exactly the manner that I need to hear it in. Thank you for teaching me so much and for being so cool.
Francis: First semester freshman year, I remember feeling pretty awesome about being “the best” photographer for the Hatchet. But then I saw your photos from the equality march on the Mall. My ego was shattered and we were bitter rivals ever since. Well, I’m glad we don’t feel that way anymore and I’m so glad we have become close friends. You are an inspiring photographer and an unbelievable editor.
Marie, Becky, Zach, and Gaby: You four have been some of my closest friends for all of college. Marie, being in your presence is one of the most powerful experiences in the world. I have loved every moment I have ever shared with you, whether it be just hanging out or clearing the salsa dance floor with our sexy moves. Becky, thank you for always listening to my rants. You are one of the kindest and wisest people I know, and getting to know you has been a blessing. Zach, I am in awe of your attention to detail, level of creativity, and overall cool personality. Gaby, I think we met doing an all-nighter with Kathleen freshman year. I am so happy that you joined The Hatchet because we have become closer than I could have ever imagined. Talent is literally oozing out of every orifice of your body. You might want to get that checked out. I have learned so much from you and you have always pushed me as a photographer and as an editor to do better.
Sam, Delaney, and Cameron: I know the future of the photo section is in great hands with the three of you. Cameron and Delaney, you both are so creative and passionate and you will lead this section swimmingly in the near future. Sam, you already know how amazing I think you are. Thank you for all your hard work this semester and I look forward to your triumphant return from behind the bamboo curtain.
Ferris: I sincerely hope that next year you can make a paper with 50 Obama heads on the front. Working with you this year (now that you can actually tell Doug Cohen and I apart) has been an adventure. I’ll try to keep the Secret Doc alive and I hope you’ll do the same. Also, you better come visit whenever you go home. Bring ice cream. Also, sorry to break it to you this way, but Priya and I are back together for prom.
Traynor: I have known you longer than anybody on staff. Since freshman year, I have road tripped with you, walked with you to random chicken restaurants near Barcroft Park, dressed up like Bill Clinton with you, and have even leaned out your window to throw newspapers on my air conditioning unit. You are a fantastic writer with an undying passion to be the best (which you are!)
Amanda and Ryan: You two kept the townhouse alive this year. Amanda, I’m so excited for your future at massage school, I mean, marriage counseling school. At the end of the day though, married couples in crisis could probably use more massages anyways. Ryan, two girls, one cup and cum omelet. Enough said.
Cory: The Hatchet is in amazing hands next year. Even though you haven’t shown up to nearly all of our weekly Penn Grill dates this year, I’ll still hire you as my intern when I get a job at Planet Money.
Gabe: We’ve had a really weird relationship, but I can honestly say that I am jealous of you in every way. You are hilarious, wise and intelligent. The way you think about the world is unique and fascinating. I see us as old men, drinking scotch discussing the death of art in the second half of the 21st century.
Connor and Dev: I’ve always had this weird feeling that you guys don’t like me.
Patrick: I feel like we have a strange connection that I can’t put into words. Your sense of humor and confidence are perfect. Let’s get that motherfucking cookie.
To everyone in Volumes 107, 108, 109 and 110 who I can’t address personally in this 30, thank you for everything you have given to me and to this institution. I can’t wait to see how this paper gets even better in the near future.
Friends outside The Hatchet: This is mainly directed at Scott, Laura, Chris, Regina, Komal and Caroline. Thank you all for being patient with me and for letting me leave social events, drop phone calls and just in general be unfriendly and rude to you for the Hatchet. You all mean so much to me and I am so grateful for all the love and support you have shown me through the good and bad of the past four years.
Thank you to everyone and to this paper for making college so delicious. I love you all more than I love Tupac and airplane crashes. -30-