A final goodbye to my pals

Tara Anastasoff, Editor-in-Chief, Photo Editor

Being accidentally put in newspaper is easily one of the best happy accidents of my life. Also, yes, I’m using hit words in this article, whoops. You all have been my second family, and I will be forever grateful for every connection and conversation I have had because of Newspaper. The Chant has given me a place to call home for the past three years and shown me what it feels like to be surrounded by a group of people that have a fiery passion for writing and photography. I know it isn’t fair to pick favorites, but of my past three years on staff, this has been my favorite group of people. All of us have bonded over pumpkins and chicken nuggets, the death of our beloved fish (swim high, Chief), and our burning desire to make a difference in our community while operating out of a (very stylish and ~aesthetic~) closet. My heart fills with nothing but love when I think about our staff this year; I will never stop mentioning cool articles you guys write into every conversation that I can.

Third period is always my safe haven, I know that walking into the pub office means I can put the stress of everything else away and focus on my newspaper family. From brainstorming sessions that get into excited discussions (want my kidneys?) to spontaneous throwback song dance parties and hula-hooping at enterprise season, you guys have made my heart overflow with love.

Getting the privilege to be in the world of journalism is something that I will always be forever grateful for. Thank you for allowing me to lead the publication two years in a row, and I want to thank each person this year who has made our award-winning publication possible. Of course, with the 32,932 photos in my camera roll, there are some quite spectacular images and memories I’ve captured over the years. Enjoy the photo galleries throughout the article. Oh, and I included a little Spotify playlist at the end of all the songs that remind me of you guys. I love you.

Mrs. Zavala: Thank you for being my second mother and always being the voice of reason and love in every situation. I know you felt like a fish out of water at the beginning of the year—we were all just a bit worried about you, but this publication has flourished and blossomed because of you. I wouldn’t be here, writing this article and listening to sad songs in my bed, if it weren’t for you. Your passion for everything that you do and willingness to make a difference inspires me. Thank you for the cucumber and Greek yogurt, the insider scoop on drama, the endless bags of popcorn, the reassurance that everything will be okay, and the texts of humor and encouragement. If you ever forget how to make a featured image immersive or need advice on another balloon costume, I’m always just a text message away. I love you.

Esteban: You’re my right hand man, my fellow dawg, and one of the most fascinating people I have had the chance to meet. I can’t wait for four more years of adventuring and storytelling. I know you’re going to keep doing amazing things and defending out-of-the-box opinions; never lose that spark and please don’t sell your kidneys in the next few years—you’ll need them.

Shannon: Whenever I looked over at your computer, you were either editing, looking at makeup, or playing Papa’s Cupcakeria/Rameneria (?)/Tacqueria, and I think that describes you perfectly. You always scared me just a little bit, but I knew beneath that tough exterior you were full of love and laughter. Thank you for always speculating Riverdale theories with me.

Harrison: I don’t know how you know everything about anything, but I love you for it. I know that your intellect and quick-witted humor will take you so far in life. I can’t listen to “Come On Eileen” without thinking of your harmonious voice and laughter filling the pub office. Thank you for your contagious laugh and endless fun facts—you are the only person that I would believe if you told me that the Earth is flat. I can’t wait to see you on Jeopardy absolutely crushing everyone else.

Isabella: From our second period Pub Office talks, to encouraging sticky notes of positivity, and to third period trips to the pet store, I have loved getting to grow closer with you throughout this year. I can’t wait to see your name in lights on Broadway, I know you’re going to do so well in New York. Thank you for being my desk buddy, my lover of stationary, and the most exciting storyteller out there, you are so special to me.

Morgan: My eco-friendly queen! Watching you develop as a writer and as a human in general has been amazing. Thank you for always being there for deep talks about mental health and the future, I know it’s so scary but I also know you’re going to be okay. Your passion about preserving this earth is so inspiring, we need to get our fancy (and slightly overpriced) foldable straws.

Jacob: I can’t believe you went from Trump supporter to Anarcho-Communist in just a few short years. Our friendship is a relationship that I am so thankful for, especially the long hallway talks junior year—those kept me sane. Thank you for all of the horse-clopping-esque snaps and the water fountain rating, your quiet quirkiness is one that is rare and I love it. Keep doing long math equations and confusing the world with your thoughts.

Rachel: From red hair, to purple, to pink, and every color in between, your changing hair has never changed the incredibly sweet and caring person that you are. Thank you for making our social media presence beautiful, and I can’t wait to see the amazing graphics and photos you create in college. I have loved our random chats about birth control and Buzzfeed quizzes (Which duck are you?), and I’m really going to miss the creative spirit that you always carry with you. You are the kindest spirit, I love you pal.

Jayden: I love your ability to find light in dark situations and your bubbliness. The love that you radiate when you walk into a room inspires me to be a better person. I have seen you grow so much as a writer from your past two years on staff and I have complete faith that you will sit on the duct-tape wrapped throne with poise. There is no one else I would have wanted to become EIC, you’re going to kill it. Keep making the staff amazing, and please don’t let anyone write an article on pumpkin-picking.

Michayla: I’m so glad you came back on staff this semester, I have loved reading your stories and hope that even though you won’t be able to fit newspaper into your schedule, you will still keep writing. I also really cannot believe you don’t like watermelon and mangos, but when I come back to visit, I’m bringing a mango and we’re pulling you out of class for an “interview.”

Lisa-Quinn: I only met you this semester, but with every article you wrote I could see the immense talent and passion you have for wanting to make a difference in the world. You have such an eye for recognizing rifts in society and analyzing them from a logical perspective, I know you’re going to go so far in life.

Angela: You feel like a little sister to me, and I am so proud of all of the incredible stories you have written this year. I have loved subtly tormenting Michelle with you and jumping into the background your funnily filtered Snapchat videos. I know that you are going to do so well as an editor, your ability to write a wide range of stories is incredible and I’m so excited to see what you create next year.

Ashu: I am 110% convinced that you are going to end up working for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the near future. With every five billion page article you wrote, I could see your voice, passion, and talent, and I enjoyed reading each paragraph. Never lose that passion for doing what you love, you have such a kind heart. Also, I promise that everything is going to be okay, even when it feels like it won’t be.

Jessica: Your kind-hearted nature that’s also just slightly malicious towards your friends has made me laugh so much. I have loved watching your writing develop and grow throughout the year, and I cannot wait to see what you create next year. Keep thinking of creative headlines and putting ice cream on waffle fries and creating incredible food combinations (could a weird combo cookbook be in the works?). Also, watch out for Michelle and her push-pins.

Michelle: For a fellow Asian, I really do not understand you, but we share the same odd cravings for corn dogs and ice cream sandwiches and I really love that. Also, you’re my real choice for Editor-in-Chief, just don’t tell Jayden. As much as I joke around with you and call you Michael, just know that I strive to be as effortlessly entertaining as you one day. Don’t stop surprising people and please keep trying to learn how to actually program a computer, and if we get another fish (or a hamster now apparently), please don’t turn him into sushi.

Elyssa: You have a passion for journalism that is unmatched, and that passion is going to take you so far in life. Making faces at each other from across the room when we heard random comments really made me smile. You are so full of love and life and you’re going to be such an amazing editor. Also, please make a podcast next year, I want to hear more about what you love (and how living in that new house is going to be!).

Erin: I have loved getting to read about what goes on in your mind. Your talent for writing is undeniable, probably due to your devotion to books (which is a real passion, unlike math…) and reading. Sorry you were always in the line of fire when we missed the basketball hoop.

Julyana: When we were first DMing each other over the summer before the year even started, I could see the passion for writing and photography that you have. Thank you for being the soccer and basketball guru and always having the biggest smile in the room. I can’t wait to hear stories about all the different buddy boys when I come to visit.

Nia: Your lively and carefree personality is one that I have loved getting to know this year. You have such a contagious laugh and energy and I enjoyed reading every article and watching every video that you created. I know that you’re going to film such amazing videos next year, keep doing cool stuff (and tell us about it!).

Nati: I think you’re an angel on earth. Thank you for your endless support and reassuring smiles, you are the sweetest soul. I cannot wait to watch you tear apart Petland; your passion for wanting to do good and be good in the world is so inspiring. You are so creative and full of life, and I am so excited to get even closer when we’re dawgs together. Keep being lovely, unbelievably fashionable, and effortlessly hilarious.

Maddie D.: You have such a quiet but powerful voice, and your ability to write such in-depth articles on political issues is a skill that I really look up to. I am so glad that we finally got the chance to become friends this semester, you are so incredibly sweet. We have to make Michayla try all of the amazing fruits next year, she’s really missing out.

Dehlin: I can tell how much you love taking photos and creating cool images, and I wish we could’ve had your talented eye during football season last year. Thank you for the encouraging compliments and smiles, you radiate a positive energy that is going to take you far in life.

Lainey: I can’t wait to see the controversy you stir up next year, please tear apart the patriarchy and the sex education epidemic apart limb by limb. You are a walking ray of sunshine and your smile never fails to make me smile. I am so grateful we became friends this year, and I hope the world continues to treat you with nothing but blessings and love.

Haley: My fellow JoBros fangirl, what would I do without you? I am so thankful that we grew closer this year and I have absolutely loved seeing all of the amazing photos you have created this year. There is no one else I could have imagined being Photo Editor, I know you’re going to be incredible.

Maddie P.: You took the idea of creating an Archives section and made it into an incredible element of our site. Your passion for our publication is awesome, and I hope you continue to come up with new ideas to make it even better. Thank you for always being so sweet, I’m wearing the purple fuzzy socks from Christmas as I’m writing this.

Chief: Oh, Chef, it’s always the good ones who die young. Thank you for being there through all of my editing adventures, mental breakdowns, and moments of incredible happiness and positivity. I hope the fish afterlife is treating you well, swim high.

Thank you all again for making our newspaper what it is. Thank you for the photoshoots, the ice cream runs, the pizza parties, the jam sessions, the endless laughter, and the unforgettable memories. Keep writing, keep taking photos, and keep creating—you can only grow from here. I am so proud of everything you guys have produced, and I can’t wait to read through all of the stories on the site next year when I should probably be studying.

With love always,