Another year at Eastern has gone by, and what a year it has been. As finals begin and procrastination becomes habitual, I am reminded of what has happened since the beginning of Fall 2010, at least in regards to the Waltonian. The list is long and not without its major ups and downs.
In fact, I have been feeling quite nostalgic lately — perhaps a symptom of senioritis — and so, in preparation for this goodbye letter, I began to wander down memory lane to see where I have been and, perhaps, be able to turn toward the future.
Long ago (four years), in a town far, far away (20 minutes up Rt. 422), I was a senior in high school. It was a year that was supposed to be the highlight of my educational career, though I don’t remember much of it.
What I do remember is writing and editing for our high school paper, The Rampage. It was not much of a paper but, at the time, I was quite proud of it. So imagine my disappointment when I recently came across a collection of my past articles from The Rampage and found them to be severely lacking in journalistic quality. I even had the nerve to start an article with the dreaded “It’s-that-time-of-year-again” line. Obviously, I had less skill than I thought.
Despite this, I joined The Waltonian during my first year at Eastern. I vividly remember coming early for the summer workshop and meeting all of the editors, getting to know them better and thus being more comfortable as a new writer at a new school.I stuck with it. For four years, I have written and edited The Waltonian in various roles. I have seen editor-in-chiefs, section editors, writers and advisors come and go. I have kept every issue that I ever wrote for and then some. Through working for The Waltonian, I have made many friends, people whose stories and memories I will carry with me into the future.
This year, I was honored to be chosen as editor-in-chief. While being “the chief” has not been easy, it has been a great experience. There have been tough moments and struggles that I was not prepared to face. Luckily, I had people there to help me get past them, like advisor Kat Hayes (another new face to The Waltonian), Bryon Calawa (one of last year’s editors who has been kind enough to give some of his time to assist us) and Bettie Ann Brigham (the Vice President of Student Development who doubles as our publisher).
And The Waltonian would not be the paper it is today if it were not for the editors, writers and photographers who have dedicated their time and energy to move one last text box during layout weekend, retype a sentence again and snap another picture. They have stuck with the paper through thick and thin, braving the tough spots and (I hope) coming through with a new and wiser perspective. Plus, they have dealt with my random bouts of self-embarrassment and silliness with tact and respect, something for which I am thankful for.
Therefore, I firmly believe that we have fulfilled that illustrious goal that we set forth in the first issue: “to draw in readers and have them talking about The Waltonian for years to come.”
Next year, Emilie Eastman will be taking my place as the head of the paper. She has a brand new staff backing her up, a group of people that can bring a new look to The Waltonian that could not have been envisioned by an old fuddy-duddy mired in tradition like myself. Because of that, I am confident that they will serve you, the readers, well, and keep the legacy of The Waltonian alive.
So, to somewhat quote the words of Douglas Adams: So long, Waltonian, and thanks for all the memories.