By Gabby Rente
I’ve thought a lot about what I’d say in my senior farewell these past few weeks. My brain came up with a ton of great points and jokes to make, but now that the moment is here, my mind is blank. Doesn’t that always seem to be the case?
I’m listening to Joan Baez (This is me, the Lifestyle Editor, giving you a music recommendation one last time), reflecting on my time at The Elm and trying not to worry too much about the future. We already know it; none of us thought the semester would end like this.
But it also seems right that the past four years would conclude in absolute chaos. They do not call us the class of 2020 for nothing; we’ve seen literally everything. Clowns emerging from forests, shocking elections, kids eating Tide Pods, Notre Dame burning, the Amazon burning, Australia burning, Oppy ending its mission on Mars, people drinking bleach… The list goes on.
But it is because of my role as a student journalist that I was able to process all these events. I told this to my staff writers when we found out the semester would continue online; it’s our job, as journalists, to rifle through the mess and report the truth so people know what is happening around them and make smart decisions.
So yes, I owe The Elm a lot, and I’m going to miss working for this paper even more. Seems just yesterday that I was a wee freshman babe, when I saw people walking around Hodson wearing t-shirts promoting the paper during freshmen orientation. The backs said, “Want to make $5 the easy way?” (Well, now we pay six dollars per article.) It didn’t take much to get me involved.
But going to that first Monday evening meeting was the best decision I’ve ever made, because that was the first of many Monday evenings I’d spend in the Publications House. The section I wrote for? Lifestyle.
Being a staff writer taught me time management and how to talk to people, but copy editing taught me to pay close attention to everything; from the photo captions to the bylines. I’m glad I did two years in that role before I became a section editor.
Then when I got the job as the Lifestyle Editor, I was scared out of my mind because I was taking over for the Erin Caine. Her articles were graceful, informative, and engaging, and most times it was just her writing for a whole section. I knew I wanted to continue her legacy of creating diverse content, and to that I added the goal of expanding the section.
And so this is the part where I thank my staff writers. John, thanks for sticking with me since the beginning of the semester. Olivia, you’re an article-writing machine. Percy, you came in half-way through the year, and I’m so glad you did, and then you brought Bren in too. Thank you, all of you, for taking all the edits I sent back like champs. You showed up to every meeting with ideas ready, prepared to tackle any challenge I threw your way, and for that, I’m grateful.
As for the other seniors leaving with me, Cassy, Abby, Mary, I couldn’t have asked to work alongside better women. Cassy, nobody can get stuff done like you can; quickly, effectively, and sometimes deadly. Abby, you have this magical ability to lead and make it look easy, and it’s inspiring. Mary, you’re ridiculous, but that’s also what makes you brilliant. Thank you for being my friends.
Dan, when we found out that you would be our advisor, I asked the group, “Does the new guy make lasagna, too?” Not quite, but your patience and nurturing nature made up for it. Thanks for sticking up for us.
To whoever takes over for Lifestyle next year, you’re going to be just fine. MacKenzie knows what she’s doing, even if she doesn’t think so.
Here’s to turning over a new leaf.