That’s what happens when you graduate. You turn into Iggy.
by Declan Murphy
How did I get started with the paper? The same way I did everything at Fordham: chaotically, and with little planning involved. Like many of you, I scrambled to sign up for and try every club I could as a freshman. I remember being enticed by the weird but welcoming energy of the paper, like some avant-garde collective pulled from the pages of a Jack Kerouac novel. My interest was always casual – I was far too inexperienced at Photoshop to help on any design issues, so I slowly worked my way in through Earwax reviews and the occasional op-ed.
By my junior year, though, I was a ‘regular’. In what I would learn was a time-honored tradition, I was essentially drafted into always writing for news, as they were frequently scant on contributors. After writing for nearly every issue in the fall, I was asked to join as a copy editor the following semester. A few weeks later, with some slight staff changes, I was bumped up to Features and Lists.
By the end of the semester, I was the News co-editor with Nick. I’ve joked this before, but my time on the paper has been a series of unexpected and entirely unplanned promotions. As a copy editor, I imagined it to be a light time commitment, more of an excuse to joke around in the print shop. That’s why I didn’t mind too much switching up to F&L, in which my literal job was to make jokes and inane Photoshops. When I was bumped up to News, I was genuinely shocked. They wanted me to take this seriously?
To be fair, we never took it all that seriously. That isn’t to say we didn’t work to put together an excellent issue every time – I’m very proud of many of the pieces the News team published, and our continued willingness to be a voice of dissent and discussion. But it was never a slog. This was no Spotlight, even at our news-iest; it was, at our most productive, Parks and Rec.
That’s, of course, what really mattered. I stayed with the paper for as long as I did, and through whatever weirdness was going on that week, because I was laughing my way through it with my best friends. I didn’t mind spending 12- 15 hours a weekend in the print shop because it felt like we were just hanging out. (This was especially true in the fall, where waiting our turn to use Photoshop made for long unproductive stretches.) In one of our sillier moments of useless procrastination, we literally stopped production to record a single episode of a podcast, discussing what fictional drugs would be the best. Needless to say, there were not more episodes.
I can’t put into words how much my friends at the paper have meant to me, even though that is what I’m supposed to be doing. Instead I’d like to present a weird collage of memories, a scrapbook of silliness and randomness. These are the things that make me smile, things that make me laugh, some that make me cry, and some that make me nostalgic. You’ll notice that none of these are breaking hard-hitting stories, but alas, I was never much of a reporter.
• A full-page back cover during the halcyon days of the Unicorn frappuccino, proudly proclaiming “Smash the Statebucks”;
• Matt’s house in White Plains, and Hillary’s first ever snowman just moments before Secret Santa;
• The knowing glances shared among cunning liars in a game of Secret Hitler;
• Getting lost in Harlem after BOTH the D and 4 trains were shut down; my phone dying literally as soon as I called the Uber; and all this just so we could see Logan in theaters?
• Staring at the clock on Martyr’s lawn until I felt I could move again, totally unaware that Timeflies was already starting, after an eventful pre-show brunch;
• Loud and obscene conversations in the caf at 1:00 in the afternoon;
• A party where we inexplicably decided the theme was flannels, and then took a bunch of punk-looking photos against a brick wall;
• “Maybe the true [blank] was [blank] all along”;
• Nick, Rachel, Luis, and I deciding that the only way to properly talk about our current crises was to turn off the lights and take turns holding a candle to speak;
• “Mo Bounce”;
• The 5th, 8th, 10th, and 12th time we watched the Infinity War trailer;
• During finals, me managing to write 1000 words on Dante while Nick and Rachel watched Civil War in the background;
• St. Patrick’s Day 2018 (RIP me);
• Giant-sized Jenga at Clinton Hall, which I managed to make collapse every time;
• “Our icebreaker today is: are you ice or breaker?”;
• Pages and pages of incomprehensible roasts;
• Michael Jack leaving a fan at my apartment that literally saved my no-AC-having ass all summer;
• The war with my archnemesis Br**** Ly***;
Last but not least, signing our final issues like yearbooks, trying to act like we weren’t sad. Let’s be real: we were. The point is, it’s hard to say goodbye. It’s hard to imagine that someone who was always there – a quick text or a five-minute walk away – will be out of arm’s reach. That’s hard to come to terms with. That said, I will never be anything but grateful for the memories I’ve made over the past few years. I’d like to thank my fellow seniors – Luis, Looby, Nick, Rachel, Michael Sheridan – for suffering through the madness with me (and, in some cases, contributing to my madness).
You all are amazing, talented people, and I sincerely hope we never lose touch. No matter what, though, as they famously said in Casablanca: “we’ll always have the print shop.”