Farewell from the 136th

Editorial  /  by The 136th Editorial Board  /  February 24, 2017

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” –Douglas Adams, “The Salmon of Doubt.”

It’s 1:00 AM on a Thursday night—a familiar time in the office—but for once there is no mention of deadlines. Perhaps Fig and Dr. N have decided to take pity on our final night in the office; perhaps this impending departure, our last one, has simply yet to sink in.

Chisom intermittently drops by from the “L10” office to flirt with Panos. Amulya is yelling at her Associates, taking selfies, and pretending to be cultured. Emily is watching the InDesign tutorial (just kidding). Panos is doing both of their pages, while also attempting to “manage” a team of editors racing their scooters down the hallways of Pop. Yiannis is copying memes he finds online onto the Features page. Michael Man, decked out in a sleeveless gym tank-top, fresh from his daily lift, rants about intolerant liberals.

Not far away, Brian and Arjun complain that they need to see chiropractors because they’re always carrying the team and Ricky is doing everything but copyediting, while Maia and Grace are down the hall actually working. Fig and Dr. N, immersed in a passionate philosophical discussion, periodically realize that time is running out and emphasize that “this time, the deadline is final.” Everyone badgers Sasha and Lisa for photos and graphics, while Michael, visibly frazzled, yells at the team to “do something, please.”

When we were first handed the keys to Pop 027 one year ago, still drunk on idealism and naive confidence, we wanted to do something big. Every boundary had to be pushed, every limit exceeded: more pages, more time, more all-nighters. We thought that more was always better.

However, one of our greatest shortcomings is that we tend to spend excessive amounts of time on the things we love, often at the expense of things we should love. In the Lawrence office, too cramped but just cozy enough, this flaw becomes magnified. At times, one or two editors will stay late to help Michael put on the finishing touches before leaving together, dimly aware of the homework still untouched but caught up in the perceived importance of our work; at others the school’s Public Safety workers will find us alone in the early morning, still typing and humming along to some Top 40 hit that was playing three hours earlier.

Along the way, we’ve certainly made our fair share of mistakes: failing to properly fact-check our overly ambitious 20-page Commencement issue, mangling the names of countless unfortunate underclassmen, and printing Yiannis’s Features page every week.

It’s taken a while, but perhaps after 365 days of self-funded TJ’s, midnight lava cakes, and breaking every check-in rule that has existed or ever will exist, we have achieved something. We have provided a platform for students’ words, and we have found a community within ourselves. That’s what keeps us going tonight, as we work beneath the eerie red glow of the Pop Hall basement, after hours.

Finals loom; our homework collects dust. The 137th Board awaits.

Thank you, Lawrence, for everything.