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What This Newspaper Means to Me

Midnight, I've found, is among the absolute worst times for a pen to die a hero's death. Suddenly, as you're scribbling hard into a piece of college- ruled paper, you're forced to face a decision: Do I search for another one in the dark, or should I just go to bed? At this point, I always know I should go to bed, but do I? Of course not. I settle for a pencil and keep going, only to regret it in the morning with sore eyes and an essay-length, lackluster looking piece- but I'm proud of it. It's an endless cycle to which I refer as nothing other than some Friday nights.

          When I tell people writing is a hobby of mine, it's very common for them to assume I only ever do “just school stuff.” The fact is, it would be ridiculously difficult for them to be more incorrect. Now, it's perfectly fine for a person to throughly enjoy composing essays for a grade; I do, much of the time. However, the writing I do in the peace and loudness of my room is of an entirely different species. This form exists typically for the celebration of human nature (also known as poetry) and for the sake of patient friends who would surely understand me better on paper than through the spoken word.

          That's exactly why I look forward to Tuesdays. Once a week, the entire staff meets in Mrs. Horwat's classroom for an hour after school to discuss what we'd written for the newspaper in the past few days. It is here that I've encountered stories that moved me, editorials that sparked my ambition, and wonderful people I never would have known otherwise.

          The middle school newspaper is the first opportunity I have ever had to share my writing in a way that reaches the people about whom I care in such an effective way. It's wonderful to know that an interested and accepting audience exists not only within this kind staff but in those of you who visit the newspaper and look forward to its content.

          Not only is this a place for sharing creations, it is a chance to improve one's ability to create. By giving opinions and suggestions on each other's varied pieces, we are given the opportunity to become acquainted with new perspectives that may change the way we write for the better. It is with this method we expand our writing from something Holden Caulfield could follow up by saying “I don't know exactly what I mean by that, but I mean it,” to something crystal clear (and often poignant). Perhaps more importantly, it expands our ability to receive constructive criticism in general with open arms and perceive it as a chance to find our voices.

          It's a beautiful thing, I assure you, to be a part of this. The heaps of work and commitment it takes to be on the newspaper staff all amount to time that couldn't be spent better and an audience for whom we couldn't be more grateful. Truly, you play a key role in this great creative factory that means so much to me, and I thank you for reading. We'll see you next Tuesday.

Madison R