A Farewell to Room 203
May 18, 2017
From the first freshmen on staff to co Editors-in-Chief, our memories here at Lamplighter are unimaginable. For our traditional EIC farewell article, we’ve decided to each write each write our own piece, and place them side-by-side, reminiscent of the inseparable relationship we have now. Even though yes, sometimes you may see us yelling at each other. It’s all in love. Enjoy, and it’s truly been a blast.
After some quick calculations, I have spent more than 1200 hours in Room 203. 1200. This means that for at least 20% of my high school life, these precious four years that one can never get back, I resided in a hard-to-find, basement-of-the-school room that’s not only constantly messy but also constantly freezing. And yet, I couldn’t be more content thinking about that 20%. If we’re being honest, you probably couldn’t drag me away from Room 203 now.
Coming in as a freshman as well as the first freshman ever on staff, I was painfully shy. In fact, I didn’t even speak to Brooke, my now co Editor-in-Chief, until my junior year. Over the years, from writing to designing to online to Editor-in-Chief, the majority of my memories have been encased in Lamplighter.
Saying goodbye to Lamplighter is difficult. It’s given me opportunities, experiences and people that are once in a lifetime. I’ve changed so much, from a shy little girl to the bossy confident person I am today, and it’s because of Lamplighter. Staying after school until 9pm to work on the broadcast, lunch meetings every other day, painting the walls and planning schedules in the summer, panera meet-ups– the memories are endless. Lamplighter gave me a purpose, a goal to pursue, and a project to take pride in.
I remember stories that have impacted my life, changing the way I see things around me and in the world. The first double truck page I designed freshman year on Black History Month and the African American Trail downtown– I remember walking all around downtown and then later trying to map out the streets. The feel good story covering the famous Dunbar Pep Rally Promposal– I remember people crying and cheering and sweet, sweet smiles. The first serious story I pursued with Brooke about rising Xanax abuse
in schools– I remember trying being so nervous interviewing professional adults and doctors. And just this week, the full length investigative journalism article I published with Julia about the school lunch program– I remember spending weeks, months stressing and sorting through hours of interviews and information. Every single one of these stories added on to who I am today, and every single one of these stories was only made possible with the help and support of Lamplighter.
Saying goodbye to my editors is difficult. Addie, Jack, Arya, Arunmani especially– thank you for always, always being there to support me and boost my confidence. Every step of the way, you all were there to catch me, aiding me in my personal life, leadership and daily Lamplighter struggles. Thank you to the entire editorial board, you all have been so independent, creative, and hardworking. I couldn’t ask for a better group.
Saying goodbye to Mrs. Turner is difficult. She’s been the most influential teacher and adult in my life– literally my school mom. She gave me the confidence to pursue my goals and the means and skills with which to do it. She taught me her secrets of being a good teacher, person, leader, and friend. Sometimes we may disagree or she holds me accountable for slacking, but there’s really no question that everything she does and says to me, everything, is with a good heart. Mrs. Turner, you’ve changed my life and made me a better person.
Saying goodbye to Brooke is difficult. These four years, we’ve grown inseparable, like sisters. Just like sisters, we fight but we love each other, and we are there for each other whether it’s Lamplighter-related or not. The challenges we’ve faced together are countless, and by overcoming them together we’ve grown that
much closer. We’ve gotten to the point where we can communicate just through our eyes. We like to act annoyed with each other, but the truth is, Brooke, you are an amazing, beautiful, kind young woman who only deserves the best of the best and to be treated like a queen. You give all of yourself to those close to
you, and it’s so admirable, but girl , you need to let yourself have a break sometimes. Treat yourself. Thank you for always being there for me. You will never fully know how much you really mean to me.
But perhaps saying goodbye to my staff with be the hardest task this farewell has forced on me. Knowing that tomorrow is the last day I will stand in front of you all as your EIC. Knowing that tomorrow is the last day I will be able to start class with a “hi guys!” and then listing off a plethora of “quick reminders.” Knowing tomorrow is the last day I will sit in that chair with my laptop and asking everyone to please sit down and be quiet. I’ve loved seeing you all grow, and accomplishing amazing stories, shooting amazing photos, creating amazing segments, all while being part of that warm, Lamplighter family. You all will forever stay in my heart, and I am so proud of each and every one of you. It’s been an absolute honor to be your EIC, and hopefully, your friend.
There are a lot of feelings that arise when I hear the word Lamplighter. Joy. Stress. Satisfaction. But most of all, Pride. To be able to pour your heart into a single entity for four years is a true gift, and I couldn’t be prouder of the positive and impactful things we have accomplished.
I’m a fairly sentimental person– the kind of person that will get nostalgic about something before it’s even over. The truth is, Lamplighter was my home. It made me feel welcome; it was my family. No, it IS my family. It was the place I would run toward to destress, by stressing about Lamplighter problems instead. I loved that feeling of stress, of laughter, of “organized chaos,” as our dear business leader puts it so endearingly. It was fun to soak in, and fun to complain about.
I’ll carry on Lamplighter and my memories and friendships with you all for the rest of my life. It won’t feel right to not walk into Room 203 every day ready to put out some fires, but I know my experiences with Lamplighter these four years
Sharon, Abby and the rest of the 2017-2018 editorial board, I leave Lamplighter in your hands. To my staff– I know you’ll do great things, and I’ll always be here for every single one of you. It’s been good, y’all. And remember, it could be worse.
As graduation day approaches, I have began to realize that the cliche saying “High school is the best four years of your life,” is actually accurate. Although these four years at Dunbar have been full of ups and downs, room 203 has been one of the highlights during my time here. Lamplighter has played a big role in who I am. I have had the opportunity to record a podcast at WUKY, cover impactful events, gain new connections and be on the editorial board for three of the four years I was on staff. Coming in as a freshman, I had no idea what to expect. Emily Liu, my co-editor-in-chief and I were the first freshmen to ever be welcomed onto the staff. I never would’ve thought that as a freshman, I would find my safe place in room 203.
Serving on staff for four years has been an absolute honor. I have lived by the staff’s motto: “Eat, Breathe and Sleep Lamplighter.” But now, as graduation day is right around the corner, I have to adjust to a life without Lamplighter. After being on the editorial board for three years, I have realized that Lamplighter
has become a family to me. We have our ups, and we have our downs, just like any family would, and because of that, Lamplighter will always be my safe place, my home and the place where I figured out who I am.
To Emily, I will miss you so much when you go off to UPenn but I know you are going to do amazing things. Being on staff with you for four years has been the biggest blessing and I could not have made it through highschool without you. You have been my rock and have become one of my best friends. Our friendship means more to me than you will ever know.
To Turner, I wouldn’t be who I am without you. You have served as my school mom for four years, you’ve kept my secrets, and you have loved me even on my bad days. I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done for me and I cannot wait to come back and visit and see how amazing Lamplighter is doing.
To Sharon and Abby, you all will make great co editors-in-chief. You both earned such a special part in my heart and I know that you will be the best you could possibly be next year. I could not imagine a better pair to serve as editors-in-chief together.
To the 2016-2017 staff, thank you so much for allowing me to be your editor-in-chief. Every single one of you, yes even you, Haris Ali, has been amazing. You all have worked so hard and it has been great watching you all grow as young journalists. Thank you for being patient with me and dealing with me on my bad days. Thank you for becoming my second family and for filling room 203 with constant laughter and love.
Although a life without Lamplighter seems impossible, I cannot wait to see where this next chapter takes me. I cannot put into words all that the Lamplighter has done for me and I am forever grateful for this experience and the life-long friendships I have made within the staff.
To the 2017-2018 staff, keep illuminating the news, for the students, by the students.