April 23, 2015 | Feature
last words at post-
I joined The Herald as a freshman. I sat in the upstairs library (no longer a part of The Herald’s property), and I checked the “Editorial” box. I proceeded to complete the reporter training, writing a fake article about rats at the V-Dub, which was edited by a boy with lovely eyelashes who now works at Forbes.
My first article was about some science research I never really understood, but even so, I mailed home copies of my first byline to my parents. Soon after, I learned to identify Heralders by their bylines, so much so that I had an enlightening conversation on the Main Green one bright spring day.
M: Hi, I’m Mark. Nice to meet you.
E: Hi, I’m Elizabeth.
M: (Noticing a stack of Heralds by her side) Wait … Koh? You’re a writer at The Herald, right?
E: Are you Mark Valdez?!
What a wonderful way to meet someone, no? The Herald never ceased to be not only a source of stress but also of friendship. During the first night of Blizzard Nemo, the section editors and senior staff writers gathered in the living room of a house on Brook Street, got to know each other, and drank until any amount of snow became insurmountable. I tried to be athletic in Herald vs. Indy kickball games, and I lost most memories from each Herald Banquet. I was later told there was fruit and cheese. I also learned that I’m not capable of handling office romances.
After reorienting my future career path, I switched to writing, and later editing, for Post- Magazine (which I learned about through a former editor-in-chief who seduced me with Taran Killam’s rendition of Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own”). I was finally able to write what I was passionate about, which was anything dealing with pop culture. My first piece was a collaboration about my experience waiting in line for a live Saturday Night Live taping. My last piece, in this issue, is about saying goodbye and television series finales. I was a blogger at BlogDailyHerald, where I was able to compare my past hook-ups to Valentine’s Day chocolates and review new television shows. It was at Post-, though, that I realized what a privilege it is to be published, to have your thoughts printed and spread around campus, regardless whether your words are read or not.
I now like to brag that I’ve worked at every branch of The Herald, all except finance, and I think my time has run too short to try and sell an advertisement. However, by moving around, I met incredible people, people with whom I’ve shared drinks on a rooftop in the West Village, waited in line at UCB, explored new restaurants, shared a cup of coffee at Tryst in D.C., celebrated 4th of July in SoHo, learned “You Do You,” sang karaoke at the Boombox, and waited into the wee hours of the morning at 195 Angell to send our words to print.
I first felt that I belonged at Brown the first few nights I’d leave 195 and the edit board would call me by name and wish me a nice night. And now, it’s my turn to say farewell to 195 and leave my words to yellow in the bound archives. – MV
Things have changed since I started at Post-. Columns have been phased out, editors have graduated—but most shockingly, nobody fights over pizza anymore. For those of you who don’t know, every production night, Post- gets two free pizzas from Nice Slice. Historically, the kind of pizza we get has been one of the biggest points of contention among the editorial staff. Joy Ride or Cranberry Picnic? Pepperoni or Barbeque Chicken? We’ve had to accommodate vegetarians and vegans, carnivores and gluten-frees. But recently, everyone has seemed mysteriously ambivalent. Pizza time comes around, and it’s way too quiet at 195 Angell.
Tonight, though, the Post- editorial staff reclaimed its fighting spirit. We raised our voices. We voted, and we voted again. Our editor-in-chief had to step in as (an admittedly biased) mediator. In the end, we reached a compromise at what I think is the most complicated pizza order in Post- history: one Joy Ride and one half-Pepperoni, half-Cranberry Picnic.
After tonight, I know that the Post- editorial staff has the passion to fight, not just for their favorite kind of pizza, but for their favorite magazine. I know Post- will stay great for years after I graduate. Thanks for reading, and never stop—I won’t! – VS
Damn. I feel like I already spent a lot of my feelings on my Editor’s Note. But I owe Post- one more blurb, and one more blurb I shall write.
I’m going to dedicate this one to Ben. As our more astute readers may have noticed, Ben has been, at various time: Managing Editor of Arts & Culture, Editor-in-Chief, Irrelevant, Power Forward, Ass Coffler, and Irrelephant (my personal favorite), and one of my best friends at Brown. Thankfully, he’s still serving in that last role to this day. Ben was the one who brought me to Post-. It wasn’t like a quid pro quo, “I’m going to give you this editorship and you’re going to be my bro, dammit!” kind of thing. But if it hadn’t been for our weekly hangout sessions at Post-, which gave way to other, non-Post- hangouts, I don’t know where our friendship would be. I certainly can’t imagine we’d be as close today as we are.
Next year, Ben’s going to be in DC. I’m going to be in New England. As much as I’d love for Ben to take the Acela every Friday morning and get Louis with me, I’ll venture to say that the odds of that happening are low. I’m not sure when, if ever, we’re going to live in the same place again.
I could say that about any number of people on the staff. Where’s Tori going to be? Will Mark land a starring role in a sitcom pilot? Will Caroline take German or Latin? Is Hillary going to find the next John Green?
These questions, and others, don’t have answers right now. Sure, that’s scary. But am I happy to have something to show for getting to know and work with these awesome people? Absolutely. How many friends do I have where I can say, “We did this together” and not have it be an empty handle of Jim Beam or a depleted Netflix queue? We made a fucking magazine.
Thanks, Ben. Thanks for bringing me into this weird little corner of Brown’s literary culture. We did good. -AA