By Catalina Righter
I usually pride myself on my ledes, but, of course, when it’s my own story to tell, nothing comes to me.
I started at The Elm for the same reason I start a lot of things — fear. As a college freshman, I was a small fish who had just entered a big pond full of writers, and I had no idea how to distinguish myself. I decided that the weekly discipline of writing a newspaper article would help me improve my writing for More Serious Literary Pursuits.
I spent my entire first year at The Elm believing I was about to be fired until the day I was promoted to News Editor. Maybe you don’t care about my personal story, but this is my way of saying that the things we underestimate and things we don’t plan on can end up giving us so much.
For one, I got to work with a battalion of kickass women. To Katie, Megan, Paige, Emily, and Emma: your leadership, though you were only a few years older than me, was inspiring. And to Molly and Brooke, thank you for letting me be your lame Elm mom. I’m so proud of everything that you’ve accomplished in the News section this year.
And I do like to think my writing improved, in unexpected ways. What I didn’t know as a shy, poetry-obsessed freshman is how powerful it is to listen to another person tell their story and what a responsibility it is when it becomes your job to represent that story faithfully to many others.
To my staff this year who have joined me in this task, thank you for your humor, your inquisitiveness, your precision, and your persistence. To the Monday night regulars: Brooke, Molly, Brian, Andy, Dan, Abby, Caitlyn, Brooke, Hailey, Allison, Caroline, Cristen — maybe I have Stockholm Syndrome after too many hours trapped in the Pub House, but our layout nights are some of my best memories from this year.
To the staff of The Kent County News, thank you for taking me on for a summer. Your mentorship came at the perfect time in my life, and I’m so grateful.
To Melissa, the most kickass woman of all. You’re the meanest advisor I’ve ever met, and I’ve never admired someone more. In your boldness and your skill at your craft, you’re a role model for all of us, and you keep the paper navigating straight in rough waters. Thank you for taking time away from your own family to make The Elm as it has been for me and so many others, a family.
And finally, to you the reader and the Washington College community, thank you for being the big ecosystem in which we, the paper, waddle around. Nothing happens without you. As always, if you have any questions, complaints, or critiques, please contact us.