Roped in and forced out

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This is probably the single article that I am least excited to write.

My journey with the paper, now that I think about it, compares very well to an animal being poached (or at least what I imagine that process to be like). I was spotted by the poacher, a.k.a. Sara Vigneri, the faculty advisor to The Weekly. I guess she saw potential through my Journalistic Traditions class assignments. She targeted me in the corner of class, lifted the tranquilizer, and fired. I woke up with my ankles tied to my wrists — a bind which I was never strong enough to break free from.

I will say once I became part of the editorial staff, the metaphorical rope which bound me together was loosened. I had my opportunities to flee. It would have been difficult, but doable. But I never did. I don’t question why I didn’t leave the unpaid role, which requires an absurd amount of hours, all while trying to manage other campus activities, being a student-athlete, and putting together somewhat competent assignments for class.

Don’t feel bad for me for a second. The thought isn’t meant to seek pity. It is a testament to how amazing the people at The Weekly are, and the value I gained as part of such a talented and driven staff.

Let’s start at the top. Chloe: working with you as my boss for two years has been nothing short of marvelous. Your perfection-or-nothing mindset is what keeps us both in the office later than we would like to be, but (more importantly) it’s also the reason The Weekly has continued to flourish as a standout publication. You exemplify a human fact check, a critical characteristic for any journalist. Thank you for being flexible with my schedule and my preferences.

Layout has been my escape. No need to worry about A.P. style in layout. No need to think about copy editing in layout. Just see the pages forming on the screens. With that said, Emily, and Ji are two science people who only manage to escape New-Sci on Tuesdays. They also manage to do the work of 10 by themselves. I don’t ask questions (mostly because layout doesn’t enjoy questions… or anything other than odd music and interesting foods my uncultured taste buds have never come across). I just assume they will figure it out each week. And by “it,” I mean everything. I assume they will produce a modern, polished, and pleasant-to-read paper each week — and so far, neither of them have made an “ass” out of “u” or “me.”

The section and online editors — those who spend their Tuesdays in Seegers’ basement with Chloe, Sara, and I — work throughout the week, chipping away at different tasks that would make Tuesday extend far into Wednesday morning if they weren’t kept up with. Lauren, Brooke, Will, Melissa, Arielle, Jason, Laura, Sydney, and Alex, you have made my job absurdly easy because of your preparedness. The appreciation I have for you being able to answer “yes, I will do that,” or “it is already done,” is immense. Thank you for working so hard to do everything regarding stories, from thinking of intriguing ideas to editing a story’s final copy.

Honestly, I probably couldn’t pick most of the writers on the staff out of a police lineup. But that is simply the responsibility of the position I hold. That does not mean, though, that their energy and proficiency should be ignored. The writers of this staff, no matter their title or experience, have done a fantastic job using this publication for exactly what it is intended to be – a stage for writers to learn and grow while producing quality content pertaining to Muhlenberg College.

And to Sara, you were the poacher, but I forgive you. You did not seek my person only to steal my writing abilities and discard the rest of my worth. You have taken time to mentor me through job searches, courses you did not even teach, and life as well. My office rants are able to go on because of you questioning why I think what I think. I think you have made me a deeper thinker, and a fantastic skeptic. I appreciate how you will stay until the end of production each Tuesday and seek my professional Candy Crush advice.

As for the future of The Weekly, the depth of brilliant people within this organization is solid. There are genuinely a handful of people who I am confident are wonderful leaders in this group, even though there may not be as many fancy titles as qualified individuals. Acknowledge the top-to-bottom strength of this group and appreciate what is now their publication.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be a part of the success and progress this next group creates, as I am sure they will. But hey… if anyone has any suggestions on cool things to do on Tuesdays, let me know.  

*I know there are Oxford commas in this piece. I instructed editors to leave them in. I hate the technicalities included in AP Style, therefore I hate the subtraction of Oxford commas… there, I said it.

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