Famous last words… for now

During the fall, Dr. Koch asked me to put my thoughts about “Why I Write” into an essay for his Language Theory and Teaching of Writing class. While I remember thinking that Dr. Koch knows exactly why I write — I was an English major taking all of his English classes — I still had to write that essay. After much debate, I decided to start the essay with September 2014: the first semester I walked into The Lorian office.

My general desire to write began with a journalism class during my sophomore year of high school as an assistant editor for my high school’s newspaper. I enjoyed journalism in high school but didn’t see myself going far with it once I graduated. That mindset quickly changed. What started out as writing a small piece for The Lorian turned into me sitting at a Mac on Tuesday afternoons and evenings come the spring semester of freshman year as the news editor. I had bought a one way ticket on the Lorian train, and there was no turning back. And four years later, here I am at the head of it all.

I’ve been questioned time and time again why I choose to let so much responsibility for this newspaper weigh on my shoulders. When I explain this job to my peers and professors they respond with, “Wow. I’m so glad I don’t have your job. That’s too much.” And to them, maybe it is. But the best thing Loras has given to me is a community to grow with and learn about. I’ve grown to love Loras because of and through this newspaper. Seeing Dance Marathon’s success through an interview with their co-president and miracle kids, covering the Visitation Fire and the Loras Strong fund and sharing student opinions through What Du You Think has allowed me to see this campus differently: through the Duhawks who make this place as lovely as it is. Loras’ community is — in one word — remarkable. I can tell you every bit of  “too much” work that comes with this role is worth it when you see campus the way I have.

The Lorian is not something a handful of students throw together every week for kicks and giggles because we have free time. It requires hours of planning and preparation to put together a publication like this one. And when you’re attending a small liberal arts college in the Midwest with no journalism major, the challenge appears even more daunting. Making the Lorian relevant across campus again and winning five statewide awards for the first time in six years have been the biggest accomplishments in my time at Loras. But this isn’t a one-woman job. For that, there are people that need to be thanked.

Tim Manning, I don’t have the words to thank you for these past four years. You have entrusted me with so much and constantly pushed me to become a better editor. Thank you for absolutely everything you’ve done and for every piece of advice you’ve given me. Know your efforts do not go unappreciated.

I could have not asked to work with a more stellar editorial staff this year. Eating Zombie Burger at the ICMAs and laughing in our tiny office while editing pages late at night will be memories I will not forget. A special shout out goes to my right hand woman, Ava, for reassuring me in times of doubt. Kayla, you are the best friend anybody could ever have. Brian, you are an advertising rock star and I have no doubt you will succeed no matter where you go. And Brody, thanks for simply being your quirky, wonderful self. To Kelsey, Anna, Jacob, Andrew, Jon, Elizabeth, Madison and Natalie, all the best of luck in the years to come. Steer this ship with pride.

To all my writers, photographers and copy editors: this year has been one of the best years in a long time, all because of you. Your commitment to your job and to this paper deserves a thank you. And to you reading: thanks for picking up our paper. I mean, that’s what readers do, right?

And of course, some professors deserve thank yous as well. I thank Dr. Koch for pushing me to challenge myself in writing and for executive editor tales from years ago.  I thank Professor Jablonsky for giving me tough skin, Dr. Kanyusik for encouraging me to always “expand on that a little more” and Dr. McG for building a framework for me to excel in not just one, but two languages and for having faith in me when I had very little in myself.

And to the person who identified themselves as a helicopter during the Free Speech Wall survey and skewed our results: I hope you fly high … and far, far away from any more immaturity during your college career.

Much Lorian love, always. Executive editor out.

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