Emma Tyrrell: Copy is more than just commas

Media Credit: Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Joining The Hatchet was always a part of my college plan. I went to The Hatchet’s open house during CI, applied as soon as the application was released and was determined to make The Hatchet my college “thing.”

When I became the assistant copy editor the spring semester of my junior year, I thought my thing would be checking for commas and AP Style for the various sections of The Hatchet. While that may have been what brought me to the townhouse every Sunday, it’s not at all what made my time at The Hatchet better than what my freshman self thought it could be.

Throughout the time I’ve spent at this college newspaper, I’ve found it’s easy to say “I love The Hatchet.” I am so proud of the work we turn out every week, the service it provides for GW and Foggy Bottom and how rewarding I find being the last line of defense for any AP Style disasters or comma conundrums. But the truth is that the physical newspaper we spend hours putting together on Sunday is not the only reason I look forward to spending 12 or more hours in a basement. It’s the people, the laughs and the memories that have made my three semesters at The Hatchet more than commas.

During the times where I’ve jumped out of my chair when I hear Tayna, the townhouse ghost, slam the door or blasted Taylor Swift when the clock strikes midnight for a birthday celebration, I’ve found that it’s never been a misplaced modifier that’s helped me find an idea for a paper or entertain my irrational travel itineraries for when I will finally have money to travel.

On any given Sunday, The Copy Desk will be host to some of my loudest laughs, panic attacks about life after graduation, Buzzfeed quizzes and the best “SNL” cold opens. But it’s in this windowless backroom of a basement where I became a podcast producer, as well as where I decided to look toward podcasts as a career. It’s where we joked about being roommates in New York one day, and then created a spreadsheet of apartments to tour on a weekend to New York. It’s where I’ve started and completed assignments due the next day, ate copious amounts of Captain Cookie and where I met some of the friends of a lifetime.

Olivia Anderson | Photo Editor

Even though those late nights can get a little old and it might be nice to see a little more sunlight on Sunday afternoons, if trading in my Sundays in a windowless basement for bottomless brunches meant I wouldn’t have met the people I have met along the way, I would turn it down in a heartbeat.

Elise: If it wasn’t for you, I would never be on Hatchet staff. I can’t thank you enough for suggesting that I come and take the copy test for the assistant copy editor position. I not only loved having you as an editor and seeing the work you put into each and every story, but I also loved having you as a friend. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for The Hatchet’s next volume as managing director, but also what the future has in store for you.

Ryan: You were the first person I texted when I was offered a position on staff. Even though we first met at a Hatchet party freshman year, your friendship has never been strictly Hatchet-related. You are always there to shop at Zara, explore new lunch spots in “deep Dupont” or listen to every life event that may come down the pipeline. Thank you so much for showing me the ropes when I first joined staff, but also being one of the most incredible people in and out of the townhouse.

Justine: When I first came on to take over as assistant copy editor, I knew I had big shoes to fill. You are probably one of the most kind, intelligent and hardworking people I know. Thank you so much for welcoming me with open arms and showing me the copy ropes. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you in the future, I know it’s going to be amazing.

Melissa S.: When I sat across from you in Intro to News Writing sophomore year, I did not think I was going to be sitting across from one of my best friends. Whether it was the elaborate wine and cheese nights from the comfort of our PJs, 7 a.m. yoga or our mini prodo escapes to District Taco, I can honestly say that our friendship is 100 percent more than commas. When I first started as the assistant copy editor to your copy editor, I thought my Hatchet life would stay separate from most other social life. Oh boy, was I wrong. Not only do you put up with my weekly country music sessions, watch every “SNL” cold open and are always ready for a Captain Cookie run, but I can always count on your advice and guidance to point me in the right direction. While I can count on you to talk me down from buying a Vespa and reassure me that a trip to Antarctica maybe should take a backseat to rent bills, I always know that I can drag you to that country concert and order that extra side of onion rings for our ice cream sundaes. As I currently sit in your New Jersey family home writing this after an afternoon looking for our New York apartment, I know that my Hatchet days might be coming to an end, but I’ve made a friend of a lifetime.

Barbara: I remember when you first introduced yourself as the new contributing sports editor and thinking, this girl seems cool. Little did I know I was sitting next to one of the three founders of The Copy Desk. But it didn’t take long for the friendships of The Copy Desk to go from 609 21st St., to Clairidge House, to Dupont speakeasies and third-wheel dates in Chinatown. I am so happy that from you joining The Hatchet, I not only got an amazing buddy for The Copy Desk, but an even more amazing friend, even if you are going to make your children get bowl cuts to “build character.” I am going to miss you so much next year, but I know that you are going to do amazing things with the sports section and I can’t wait to read every byline by the one-and-only Barbara Alberts. The Copy Desk will always continue to live on with you to see it through. And don’t forget, there will always be a couch with your name on it in NYC.

Tyler: I didn’t know you too well when I first started at The Hatchet, but it didn’t take long before I could count on you to show up to The Copy Desk with a Big Gulp in hand. Both getting to work with you and getting to know you through the pod has been one of the highlights of my time at The Hatchet. Whether it’s tirelessly trying to get soup from Wisey’s or spending hours recording the pod, you always bring some humor into the townhouse. You have worn so many different hats at The Hatchet and while things may come up at last minute, I’ve never heard you complain or take your stress out on anyone else. I’m so happy you became an honorary member of The Copy Desk, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

Arianna: Copy has never spent a ton of time working with the video team, but when the podcast was getting up and running, I realized I had been missing out. Getting to know you during the late Friday nights and early Saturday mornings while recording have been some of the best moments of the pod. You taught me everything I know about editing on the video computers. You are always game to try new things to make the podcast better and to lend a hand, even after you have been shooting video all day. The pod would be helpless without you.  

Liz P.: I always looked forward to reading the weekend outlook while on copy. But from budgeting culture stories for the pod, to talking about how we had no idea what to write about for our next assignment for Feature Writing, I’ve been lucky enough to know you as a friend and an incoming EIC. I know how hard you work on every story and how much you care about every part of The Hatchet, and I am so excited for you and Vol. 115. The paper is in great hands with you in the corner office. I would say make us proud, but I know you will.

Matt D.: You came on to staff a little later than most of Vol. 114, but it did not take long for you to become part of the basement family. I love having you on the podcast every week, hearing your incredible story pitches for culture and your country music recommendations. I can’t wait to read, and listen, to your culture section next year.

Leah and Meredith: I have to admit, when you two first came on staff it took me a couple weeks before I knew which one of you was Leah and which one was Meredith. But now I can’t imagine The Hatchet without you both. You are both always ready to show up at 7 a.m. to record something for the podcast and go out to collect audio for the various D.C. marches. Meredith: I will always remember you locked-jaw expressions and especially your face on basement desktop computers. Whether it’s a medicine ball in the basement or the latest endowment numbers, you conquer every task in front of you, and I can’t wait to see what you do next. Leah: I’ve loved talking about your ideas for podcast and your life outside of The Hatchet. I always look forward to hearing your voice on the pod and making you an iced mocha at Filter. The pod is in good hands with both of you at the mics.

Cayla, Liz K. and Dani: I think it’s safe to assume that you have been in the townhouse at all hours of the day. I’m always impressed with how much work you put in every day and the stories you work so hard to produce. But no matter how difficult a story might be or how last minute an interview might arise, you all continue to have great friendships with one another and have fun in the townhouse. I’m going to miss reading the infamous quotes on the newsroom chalkboard and laughing through story interviews on the podcast. Cayla: While I may not have written as much this year, I loved having you as an editor. You are so committed to your reporters and always take the time to make them feel a part of The Hatchet. I’m so excited for you as you lead the news section through another year of campus news.

Ellie: Thank you so much for hiring me for the copy team. I loved getting to know you as an editor in Vol. 113, and as a friend. I’m so excited for our NYC adventures and what I assume will be our shoe-box size apartment. Cheers to our freshman year of life: New York Edition.

Sarah Roach: Whether it’s seeing you studying for geology in the Marvin Center, or hiding under a table after decorating the entire townhouse, I can always count on you to bring some fun into all the work you do. I’m always amazed of how many roles you juggle around The Hatchet, from video, research and news, and I’m so excited to see you lead the student life beat next volume. I hope you continue to bring some fun into the stressful times that may come ahead and always keep being an incredible person. Say hi to the Swiss for me!

Annie and Kelly: I’m so excited that you both will command The Copy Desk next year. You both are going to have so much fun in what I think is the best section on The Hatchet. Make sure to give The Copy Desk the love it deserves and have a little fun on Sundays as well.

Andrew: My favorite game to play every Monday and Wednesday morning is “Will Andrew Be In Class Today?” But if you don’t make it to class some days, I know it’s because you are putting your all into The Hatchet. Whether it’s running into you in the Claridge elevator or meeting up at the printer to print out an assignment five minutes into class, I can always count on friendly smile. I will look for your byline in The Washington Post soon.

Lillianna: It has been so wonderful seeing you grow into your role as EIC this volume. From launching the podcast to moving townhouses, you seem to juggle any task that comes your way and fearlessly lead your staff toward the next adventure. Your dedication to The Hatchet can been seen in the late nights you spend editing draft after draft, and all the work that goes on under the hood that you seem to navigate effortlessly. No matter if it’s noon at a staff meeting or 3 a.m. looking over pages, you always have a way of working hard toward any task while making the townhouse a fun place to hang out. I am so excited to see where your great work ethic will take you.

Olivia, Sam, Ethan and Kevin: From TPFT to the music blaring from the photo computers, you guys always make Sundays feel a little lighter. I’m glad that even despite the new townhouse, the third floor vibe still goes on, even in a windowless basement. Olivia: I loved seeing you in action during our 30 photoshoot, which included running into traffic, sitting up on the ledge of a bridge and climbing trees. I can’t wait to see more of your photos in your second reign as photo editor. Ethan: I’m so excited that you will be taking over on the podcast. I know you will do a great job, and I’m looking forward to see where you’ll take it next volume.

The Hatchet Outsiders: While I don’t spend all Sunday with you guys, I probably would not have made it through the long Hatchet nights without you all. Rebecca H.: Thank you for driving me to horse shows nine years ago and reading over my cover letters. I’m sorry for all of our cooking nights where I had to bust out my computer and copy-edit a quick article or check a blog. After about 10 years of friendship, I can’t wait for our next adventures, and let’s make sure to buy the bear spray next time. Julia G.: I could always count on you to be awake in our room when I would come back from prodo Sunday nights or talk through a story I was having trouble with. You were probably the best random summer roommate I could have hoped for, along with best waffle and garlic bread buddy. I can’t wait to see you run the world in a few years, but for now I’ll settle for watching you be the Elliott Commencement Student Speaker! The Fam: On Oct. 3, 2014, I was on a bus to Kentucky. Three and a half years later, and we are all still here. Thank you all for doing brunch a little earlier on Sundays and always being there for a good laugh, a good meal and a good jäger bomb. While we all might be going different places after graduation, I know that The Fam will live on long after May 20.

Mom and Dad: You two are probably the coolest parents I’ve heard of. It took coming to college to realize that not many parents get their daughters a wall-mounted bottle opener for their first apartment, but you are also the most supportive parents I could have asked for. From spending hours in the car driving me to and from horse shows to flying me across the country to compete, you both always let me believe I could do anything I set my mind to. You have always loved me unconditionally and supported me when I wanted to travel to Botswana for a class, volunteer at the White House or study abroad in Copenhagen. Even though you both often told me to take a break and have more fun at school, having your love and support made the long nights at The Hatchet and the stressful weeks of finals a lot easier. Thank you for everything.

Philip: As far as older brothers come, you are pretty cool one. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve showed your skateboarding videos to my Hatchet friends on Sundays. Thank you for being being there to talk to me my first weekend of freshman year when I was feeling homesick and letting me take you on a Segway tour of D.C. I’ve always loved calling you my brother and I hope you can come visit me again when I’m a little closer to home.

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