By Aviva Hope Rutkin
Over the winter break, I told a friend’s father that I had decided to become a journalist. He looked mildly disgusted.
“Journalism is dead yesterday,” he advised me. “Go to law school.”
I have heard a lot of opinions over the last few years. It’s a big part of our job, probably the hardest part. Sometimes Ajay and I joke about it. We have perfected the art of accepting criticism, anger and disapproval; we have become quite practiced at saying “Thank you for your opinion.” We say it a lot.
Sometimes it makes me wonder about who I am and why I choose to do this. The Concordiensis is a platform, a mouthpiece, a vehicle, a laboratory, a repository, an artifact—and I serve it. It is a meaningless mass of pulp and ink. It is the altar at which I sacrifice all of my time. (When is the check coming in the mail? That is another joke we have.)
The Concordiensis is a boot camp. During my time in this office, I learned to pick my battles. I grew a thick skin, and then I grew a thicker one. I fought my natural social anxiety, my defining selfish fears. I practiced voicing and defending my opinions, even when the people around me were afraid to do the same.
The Concordiensis is a huge pain in the ass. It is a bug that has bit me. It is something I love. I love spotting a student poring over the Arts section in a Reamer armchair. I love when people make sly, sarcastic references to me being editor-in-chief. I love erasing the whiteboard and Tweeting on Thursdays and trying to remember if you should spell out the number 10.
The Concordiensis is a home to me and my wonderful, surprising staff. They have been cheerful when we were critical, encouraging when we were overbearing. They have made me proud with their passion and keen insight. They supported the Concordiensis when it was not easy to do so. That means a lot to me.
The Concordiensis is an integral facet of my college experience. I have slept in this office. I have taken caffeine pills and then seen the sun rise through our half-moon windows. I have listened to the same autotuned songs over and over again. I have fought in here, cursed all manner of things up and down. I have laughed so hard at something that was really not that funny.
The Concordiensis was sixteen pages and twenty pages, broadsheet and tabloid, Pantone 202 and black-and-white, silly and serious.
It was a strange and creative stretch of my life. I thank all of you for letting me spend it the way I did. Thank you for reading, writing and contributing; thank you for doing my cryptograms; thank you for saying you liked something or being patient with our mistakes. Thank you, Ajay, for a lot of things.
And if you think journalism is dead, then thank you for your opinion. I have spent four good years in journalism. It feels quite alive to me.
Aviva Hope Rutkin, Editor-in-Chief