A Mosaic editor’s farewell
ASSISTANT MOSAIC EDITOR
A typical Sunday at The Review office consists of the following:
1. Making desperate attempts to finish an article that was due several hours beforehand, where you proceed to promise people pure genius. Often, the finished product is not pure genius.
2. Mad rushes to Dunkin’ because the evil men within don’t open it until 2 p.m.
3. Cursing the grammar gods because you can’t remember finer details of correct punctuation and AP Style, which usually results in a slew of profane language.
4. More profane language. It’s a newsroom.
5. Realizing during the budget meeting that you’re guilty of all the things on the Dukabi list.
6. Thinking about pitching stories on fish migration because you’re out of ideas. (There were worse, but some low points are left unspoken.)
7. A hankering for Mexican food.
8. Discussions of “Mad Men,” the merit of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” silver foxes, writing, unemployment and sleep.
9. Sitting around a table caked with crumbs, coffee spillage and the detritus from newspapers past because we’re slobs.
10. Laughter. Because we think we’re funny.
Time well spent.
About a month or so ago, Abbie Sarfo and I had a more in depth discussion about writing—one that wasn’t fraught with the mania of Sundays.
One of us brought up how difficult it is to sit down and write, a process that’s often more painful than it should be.
There is a fear that everything worth writing has already been written by those with the capacity to do it better. The writers that brought us to journalism—Hunter Thompson, Joan Didion, Tom Wolfe—remain untouchable. We lamented that, as much as we try, we cannot command language and convey thought the way they have.
Depressing ruminations aside, nothing pulls you out of that fear like writing for a newspaper. You get over it, and do what you must to put out a story. If the writing is poor, people will see it and comment on it—harshness breeds thick skin.
Still, the feeling of having written remains invigorating. All the thoughts of inadequacy are still there, but we can say, with some confidence, that we have produced a story worth reading.
During my time at The Review, I’ve seen staffers tackle sexual assault and misconduct on campus, the university’s lack of diversity, protests, Harker’s departure, Assanis’ entrance and a series of other occurrences that they’ve covered with acuity and great care.
I’ve also seen Matt Butler boldly defend us from Katie Pavlich’s unsolicited diatribes, an event that, in retrospect, I would have hated to miss.
As a Mosaic staffer, I’ve seen the section’s creativity grow tremendously. Of course, some weeks are better than others, but Lisa, Abbie, Alex, Kayla and the incomparable Matt Moore have honed it into a force to be reckoned with—something no longer overlooked.
It’s been a good run here in this office above Perkins. I’ve seen that the paper’s strength these past few semesters will carry it forward.
In parting, no one but Thompson could have said it better: “Walk tall, kick ass, learn to speak Arabic, love music and never forget you come from a long line of truth seekers, lovers and warriors.”