“Have I ever told you how awesome you are?” Class of 2016 editor-in-chief Jack Killeen would be so upset right now. After seeing “DSWAQ!!!!!” written across the entire header of one of my articles sophomore year, I knew that there would be some changes by the time I became editor-in-chief. Yes, I know that was sophomore year. Let’s just say I had an agenda since the day I walked into journalism class during orientation freshman year.
The above quote is something that ECHO advisor Donald Johnson asks me at least three times a week as he sees me stressing out about various things I probably shouldn’t even be stressing out about. This is the same person who is liable to sit down next to me and start singing Broadway songs, greet me every morning with “hi hi,” ask me if he is “on fleek,” and blame me for everything that ever goes wrong in ECHO.
My sophomore year consisted of repeated frustration due to the fact that all Bennett Durando did during class was play computer games and somehow he still wrote the best stories on staff. Not fair. One of my roles was video editor and so I had to film and edit the weekly newscast, a job that heavily consisted of restarting several times because people can’t read from a teleprompter. While the job was tedious at the time, now watching newscast bloopers is one of my favorite activities- from Jack’s inability to count to five, to Page Kimzey’s forgetfulness of going to the bathroom before filming, to Andy Kimball’s “bah da da da da da” microphone checks, I know I’ll always feel better when I see these clips I could potentially one day use as blackmail.
Two years later, I still haven’t forgiven Jack, who, instead of uploading Willie’s Comic to the website as a draft and waiting for me, as web editor, to publish it, decided to publish it himself. I had already perfectly planned out the week’s postings, and he ruined it.
If Jack ever reads this, he’ll probably wonder “man, she still isn’t over that?” No, Jack. Some things I will never be able to get over.
Needless to say, I got very upset with Jack when he imposed on my job, and thus began this concept that I can be “sassy.” My altercation with Jack is probably the reason why Andy, the editor-in-chief during my junior year, was scared of me and just let me do whatever I wanted. Sorry, Andy. You were cool. Ashli Wagner tells me I’m intimidating. Whoops.
I’ve loved my senior year on ECHO more than I can say. I will miss Sean Mullins’s terrible puns and dramatic recitations of Laffy Taffy jokes, I will miss making fun of Cole Schnell because he doesn’t have his shots, and I will probably never forget Ashli confidently exclaiming the wrong answers (which she thought were right) at trivia night. Just to clarify, Ashli, Harvard is in Massachusetts, not California. The number one lesson I’ve learned as editor-in-chief is that if you’re not on the brink of getting Mr. Johnson fired, then you’re not doing your job. Need I say more? Sexism, swastikas, vaping, marijuana… what a fun time.
To everyone else currently on ECHO-Rosa Parks, Josie Krueger, Evelyn Trampe, Ellie Marshall, Natalie Johnson, Greg Frazier, Riley Mullgardt, and Elise Keller- thank you for putting up with me and going along with Ashli and me for our amazing, award winning Toy Story costumes (okay, Josie wore a huge Buzz Lightyear mask and Sean brought half a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch- if that’s not love for the ECHO, I don’t know what is).
As I hand over the ECHO to Cole, next year’s editor-in-chief, I also hand over the website- my pride and joy for the past three years. I hope ECHO will turn out okay because Cole has asked me several questions during his editor-in-chief training, including “What do you even do?” and “Why are you always staying after school?” and my personal favorite, “Are you stressed out or something?” I guess the apprehension I feel by leaving was felt by former editor-in-chiefs too, but it still feels odd to leave the place that has defined my high school experience.
Finally, I don’t know where I’d be without having had my seat bud, my partner in crime, and the other half of ECHO’s greatest dynamic duo, Ashli, by my side every day. Ashli is one of the most amazing, kindhearted, and sassy (she learns from the best) people I know, and through trivia nights, walks and talks, trips to the roof, drives to Starbucks, and Mizzou photoshoots, she has become one of my closest friends. I guess you could say she’s the Jessie to my Woody.
On Aug. 1, 2014, Ashli and I walked into room 155 for the first time together. On May 9, 2018, Ashli and I walked out of room 155 for the last time together.
Luckily, we will not be saying goodbye to each other since we’ll both be at Mizzou together next year, but still, saying goodbye to four years of ECHO will be difficult for both of us.
So, thank you, ECHO, for all the laughs, stressful tears, and a lot of slaphappiness the night of a deadline. It’s been a pleasure, it’s been real, but mostly, it’s been classy.