By Jack Archambault
This story begins with my mother.
I don’t mean that in the sense that she’s my mother and gave birth to me and therefore all stories must begin with her. I’m not feeling that existential. Rather, it begins with her advice to me while I was moving in to college.
“Just join all the clubs you can,” she said while moving the desks in my room in Jogues to try and “make the room look larger,” the impossibility of which became apparent in about two seconds. “It can’t hurt to go to a meeting and find out more.”
I would have been forgiven for ignoring her this once. This is, after all, the same person who joined both the College Democrats and Republicans her freshman year of college because they both claimed to have the best parties. But for once, I didn’t ignore her, and so, I signed up for everything.
I signed up for ultimate frisbee. I went to one practice and found out that maybe I didn’t want to die from alcohol poisoning.
I signed up for Fordham Experimental Theater and found out that I didn’t even know where the theater was.
I signed up for The Fordham Ram and found out that you have to actually be passionate about things like indefinite articles and compound predicates.
I also signed up for a club called the paper. It was really a no-brainer after I picked up a copy with this on the cover.
Anyway, I went to a meeting. And then another. And then a whole bunch more. Here’s what I found out:
I found out that meetings always start 10 to 15 minutes late. Sometimes more, but never less.
I found out that every meeting starts with an icebreaker. It doesn’t matter that it’s usually the same 12 people at every meeting. And it doesn’t matter that the question is always, “Are you ice or breaker?” You will be expected to have an opinion.
I found out that there’s no adult supervision. Of course, 18- to 22-year-olds are technically adults. But I also found out that if you tell an actual adult that you write for the paper they are quite a bit less likely to think of you as such.
I found out that you’re not allowed to hang up beer signs in the print shop, and if you do, someone from USG will send you a passive-aggressive email telling you to take them down.
I found out that when you go to Good Morning America, you should arrive an hour earlier. And then another hour, just to be safe.
I found out that when you keep every single extra copy of the paper and throw them in a corner, they take up a lot of space and become a fire hazard.
I found out that every once in a while, a guy named Stew sends rambling, nearly incoherent emails to the paper. Nobody knows who Stew is or where he comes from or why he reads the paper. But boy, am I happy that he does.
I found out that we’re not very good at kickball.
I found out that honeydew is the worst fruit God ever created, and even if that upsets some people, it doesn’t make it any less true.
I found out that the paper is not always formal or professional. And I found out that those things are overrated anyway, especially when the alternative is being genuine, heartfelt, funny, and always one-of-a-kind.
I found out that Claire and Colleen were a couple of kick-ass Editors-in-Chief and paper queens.
I found out that editing the Opinions section with Hillary was more fun than I could have ever imagined, and that Bob and Judy are immortal.
I found out that getting to steer this ship with Meredith was nothing less than a gift, and a memory I will always treasure.
I found out that Gabby, Katelynn, Katelyn, Liv, Marty, Christian, Suresh, Andrew, Zahir, Angelina, Ashley, Noah, George, and Nora are some of the coolest, funniest human beings of all time, and creative geniuses to boot.
I also found out that they all have their heads screwed on a little bit sideways. I don’t think there’s a greater compliment I could possibly give.
And I found out that signing up for the paper was the most right I’ve ever been about anything in my entire life.
So, here’s to the paper. Here’s to the print shop. Here’s to production weekends and paper parties and Tuesday nights at 9. Here’s to Stew and Neil Breen and Giuseppe Duomo Fromaggio. Here’s to Bob and Judy and Brett and Bryttneigh. Here’s to pushing the envelope. Here’s to fire hazards and spills by the post office.
Here’s to making mistakes, and not taking yourself too seriously.
And here’s to all the talented, funny, kind, and unique individuals who made every minute spent in the dusty basement print shop a minute well-spent.
Here’s to helping future generations of students find their voices. And here’s to helping them find the courage to use them.