Jason Nguyen’s 30

Never have I had a greater understanding of the idiom “time flies” until now. Now that my reign of terror in newspaper is over, I feel satisfied with what I have done but wished I had done even more. So many times the adequate four weeks to do an entire issue became a mere two days of stress, complemented with the flooded “back-to-edit” box. What really hits me hard about how fast time goes by in here is how I can hardly remember the last couple years in this room.

I do remember coming into journalism. Mostly a decision I made with Rao, I chose the newspaper path of the force and to this day, I don’t regret it whatsoever. The ironic part of my editor-ship is the fact that Rao and I had expressed so much doubt in staying on staff. My GPA-whore side was stubborn in accepting a 4.0 every darn term. So many times I remember singling out Joanna with him and asking her to help us weigh the options. And every time I concluded that the GPA was going to be the death of me and that I had to get out, when it came time to choose my classes, Newspaper was the first one I signed up for.

There’s something about this small family that has grown to become something I look forward to being with every day. When it started out, it was a class that I was dreading. Even though I got along with everyone on staff and I met my deadlines, it just wasn’t the class that was fun to me. So then, why did I continue to sign up for it? The commitment? The loyalty? Something in me kept me coming back and now I finally understand.

The bond you build with people in journalism is ridiculous. It’s the way speech and debate kids bond over tournaments. The way actors and actresses bond on stage and the way crew members bond over doing make-up or making props. We just happened to bond over stressful deadlines. But it’s through these tough times that I’ve grown to love and adore and cherish Newspaper so much. It’s just as much of a club as the ones offered in high school and definitely deserves more recognition than it gets. And while the newspaper itself is a dying art, journalism isn’t. A need for news will always be around and a need for society’s involvement will never go away. I no longer feel bad to those who shun journalism. In fact, I pity them.

This year has been wonderful to me. It was the year that I tested my leadership skills and in retrospect, I feel like I’ve done a pretty O.K. job. Executive decisions had to be made, that was for sure. But I’m glad that I was able to let you guys voice your opinions and ideas. I’m really glad I went out of my way to break some barriers between you kids, with all the random seating and timed writings. You guys hated it at the time, but it really brought you guys out.

My goal this year, besides producing a better paper than the last, was to build a family out of you guys. I wanted to break the silence, break you guys out of your comfort zone, and get our story meetings to be more interesting, inclusive, and thoughtful. While I valued each one of you for your skills (whether it’s graphics, writing, or dependability), I strove to emphasize each one of your characters. Because that’s what a club should do, besides producing a lovely piece of work. It should improve you as a person, and if you walk away with nothing from this class, I hope you’ve walked away at least as a more social person. Never be afraid to ask those questions, never be afraid to pitch an idea, never be afraid of sounding dumb. You know me; I was never afraid to shout something out. It could always be the starting point of a new idea.

I know the year itself wasn’t a perfect one. We had so many obstacles to overcome including the major one of jumping to a newsmagazine. And then when Aprintis couldn’t come through, I lost hope in color and glossy pages. But you guys have done such a good job jumping the hurdle and helping me keep my faith alive. And between how overachieving you guys are and all your AP classes, you guys still kept newspaper a priority and that meant a lot. I may not be the best editor-in-chief you guys have had, but you guys are most definitely the best staff I’ve had.

The trolling, the laughter, the cries, the stress and the screaming are memories I’ll hold onto forever. The historical references and terrible jokes we’ve all cracked are what made this class so awesome. I hope you guys feel the same way.

And to the future staff, your set of editors are, without a doubt in my mind, more qualified than any editors this school has seen— HALF as capable as me, of course. But half is still a lot; they’re smart, they’re dedicated, they’re understanding and they’re overly hardworking. You guys are in good hands. Regardless of whoever gets put into whatever position, you guys will be producing papers worth bragging about.

And to the future editors, be kind to your reporters. Always stress that this class is as important as their other ones but keep in mind that their priorities aren’t the same as yours. Treat them kindly and I promise you they will produce. Keep them included and keep pushing them and breaking their boundaries. Keep the story meetings lively and I promise you they will pitch gold. They’re amazingly talented.

I love you guys dearly and I don’t have a single doubt in my mind that you guys will be fine next year. More than fine, you guys will be excellent. Almost as excellent as me. Anyways, don’t expect any “good lucks” from me— you won’t need any luck.

Keep having food parties, keep hitting that save button, and keep being passionate. This room will always be your home, journalism will always be your haven and this club will always have you talkin’. Stay classy, Kerronicle.