Senior Goodbyes 2018
Tuesday is the last day of print publication for The Michigan Daily in 2018, and the last paper The Daily's 2018 class will make. Following Daily tradition, below the seniors say goodbye to 420 Maynard and reflect on the impact it has had on them, just as it has on thousands of students for the past 128 years.
Evan Aaron — Senior Photo Editor
I don't normally write things. But guess if there's a time to kick off my career as a writer, now is definitely the right time.
I don't really remember how I ended up here at The Daily, it sort of just happened, but I can tell you that I definitely didn't realize the impact this place would have on my time here at the University of Michigan.
From chasing a crazed Jordan Poole running laps around a basketball court in Wichita, Kan., to awkwardly sitting in the back of a Ann Arbor City Council meeting being incredibly paranoid about how loud my camera shutter was, The Daily has lead me to places and experiences I never would have had without being on Photostaff.
One day while rummaging through the photo desk drawers, I found a note that read:
“To Future Staff:
So long as you remember that the most important photographs are the ones you don't take, you'll be fine. You’ll never be worried about finding them on your disks, hard drive or film, because they are forever ingrained in your mind. -SY”
I am incredibly lucky to not only have the tens of thousands of photos I did take, but also the tens of thousands of memories I have made in the newsroom, on road trips, in the Big House and, yes, even in Ohio Stadium. All of which I would not have without this newspaper, and I am incredibly grateful.
Katelyn and Alexis: Thank you for your fearless, enthusiastic leadership. You guys have been amazing partners over the past year, and I’m going to miss not having our group chat in my 10 most recent messages. Alexis, I have no idea why you want to do this again, but you’re going to do an awesome job (again).
Amelia and Emma: The O.G. Photostaff squad. Feels like we’ve been through it all together over the past 4 years. Thank you for just being awesome. The sass will never die.
Grant and Amanda: Thanks for giving me my start. I, and most of the rest of Photostaff, would not be here if it weren't for you guys.
Mike and Laney: Did you guys update sports crops yet?
Kevin and Betelhem: see above :)
Jack: Somehow you are always able to make our photos look that much better. You're gonna kill it next year, as always.
Photostaff: I am gonna miss looking through all your awesome photos every week. Keep up the good work, make me proud.
Thank you, Daily, for letting me turn a passion into something much more.
Think that's all the writing I know how to do. Copy, how'd it go?
Riyah Basha — Managing News Editor
Year after year, I found myself back at The Daily because I believe this place is a means to do good. The more lasting intention I’ve clarified here is not simply to tell the truth or make a paper — but to extend its light to the people who haven’t always gained such access on this campus. There’s a lot left to be done. But we worked these years to give the front page to survivors, undocumented students, and Black and brown organizers — and it is because of these stories I can leave The Daily with my head held high. My first thanks, then, must be to every single person who shared their voice with us in the last three years. It mattered.
Because I intended to use The Daily to serve my community outside the building, I’m humbled by all the good I didn’t notice going on in it. So here is my attempt to make up for the nights I was M.I.A.
Thank you, Allana. You are forever my first editor and best sister here, and together with Nabeel, you kept it real with me. Nabeel, you’re more of a weird MSA cousin man brother, but I mess with you all the same. Alyssa and Camy, I look to your examples of love every day I come to work. Laura Schinagle — wherever you are — I’ve never thanked you out loud, but talking to you as a freshman always made me feel a little bit bigger.
To everyone who rode with Sophie and me in the Fall 2017, you were the best cheerleaders we could’ve asked for. Lydia, Nisa, Sophie, Jen, Alexa: SNEd year was my favorite year. We brought out the best in each other in strange times. I’m utterly grateful to each of you for covering for me, and making me a better person. Lydia, you are my post-Daily role model in all things, but especially in telling the truth, whether it’s on Twitter or K Street. Nisa, it’s been illuminating to see you flourish as a model reporter, leader, and as my Desi confidante. And Emma, you gave me so much I couldn’t have even asked for. I rarely repay you for it. You believe in, stand for, and love me fiercely — and when I think about how far the girl from Elk Rapids has come and where she takes the people around her, it makes my heart full.
To this year’s senior news editors: you killed it. Each of you grew into the role better than we dreamed. Matt, you stayed patient with my micromanaging, just as I will be until you win a Tony. Carly, you light up entire buildings by being crazy and kind. Andrew, you make me feel simultaneously confused and at home, you are good at your job, and I have more love for you than either of us are good at expressing. And finally, my WedListen co-hosts: being crazy with you kept me sane. Kaela, everything about you is good and we all see it. Maya, you truly lifted all of us to the heights we reached, both in chaos and content. I don’t think either of you realize how much the dancing and listening and loving meant to me. It was what I needed this year. Thank you for being the talented, strong and active women you are.
To Alexa: I am in awe. I’ve said it before and I will likely keep saying it, but you really did everything we set out to do. And even if you don’t understand what I’m doing or why, you support me. That zeal is an incredible quality, one I hope to even marginally mirror with my loved ones. It usually catches me off guard late at night on the couch when it’s just the two of us, but you have such a big place in my heart. I believe what you’ve done here is a mere preview of what’s to come, and I cannot wait to watch.
At long last, Sophie P. Sherry. You were, are and forever will be my partner in making all this good happen. Every time you’ve run up against a wall, you knocked it down for those after you. You pushed me into this last job, but then stayed with me through the emails, meetings and long nights (but usually not class the next morning), and every day I’m running late, I thank God I can count on my sister to hold it down. I love you, white princess. Let’s go take on the world.
Lastly, I’m supremely indebted to the Michigan Muslim community for nurturing me, for the oceans and valleys and mountains of love I feel amongst us, for moving me to present my best self on these pages. Thank you Nour for being my rock. Thank you Hafsa for overlooking all libel with love. Chaand, there aren’t words, but I thank you for catching me and my feels after every Daily night. I love you.
Mummy, Baba and Zahra, I owe you everything. And so I end with the beginning, as the pens have been lifted and the pages dried: All praise and thanks to the Most High.
P.S. FREE PALESTINE
Zainab Bhindarwala — Senior Michigan in Color Editor
Though my time at Michigan in Color was short, it was memorable. My experience at The Michigan Daily seemed to be a culmination of all the lessons I learned in college. This space taught me how to navigate complicated and controversial issues without losing sight of my values. I learned how crucial it is for platforms like this to exist in a world that isn’t inclined to give people of color the space to voice our opinions. This is a community that truly strives to live our values. Michigan in Color has been a space where I’ve felt affirmed, appreciated and accepted. I want to thank the entire Michigan in Color family for being a part of this community that meant so much to me this year. I’m happy I decided to be a part of this incredible group of people this past year, and I’m sad to say goodbye.
Laney Byler — Managing Sports Editor
Feb. 23, 2016.
Freshman me had just written two stories that night — one I was proud of, and one that, if I ever saw it again, would be way too soon.
I was trying my best to do well after not getting a spring beat, so naturally, I felt pretty disappointed to have a story I wasn’t proud of. I hopped on a Bursley-Baits bus (yikes), went home, curled up in bed and, for some reason I still don’t understand, checked my email at 1 a.m.
I had one, and it was from Jake Lourim.
The subject line said “Thanks,” and the email was just a short note saying he appreciated I put two stories through edits on a busy (late) Sunday.
Jake, I don’t know if I ever told you, but that email was the moment I really felt like I belonged at The Daily. It probably took five minutes to write, but to someone who felt invisible on a big campus freshman year, that meant the world. Thank you for your thank you.
Max Bultman, thank you for always picking up the phone, even when we both know you’ve got much better things to do. I honestly don’t know where I’d be today without your help, but it probably wouldn’t be here. Tell Allison and Fred thank you for me, too.
Thank you to all the rookies who’ve been spending arguably way too much of your valuable time at The Daily. You’ve helped make this year the best senior year, and we love you for that. Keep killing it.
Thank you Aidan, Akul, Bennett, Dilly, Jorge, Kent, Kopnick, Mark, Rian, Rohan, Teddy, Theo and everyone else who came in, wrote stories or, at some point, put a smile on my face when I really needed it. The Daily wouldn’t be the same without you.
Thank you, Max Cohen and Liz, for responding to my random texts throughout the year. Matt and Chloe, I literally cannot thank you enough for taking the time to eat at the BEST restaurant in the Boston area, Border Cafe (strong plug here.) Thank you Ted for posting that video of Kevin tripping up the stairs and thank you Simon and Minh for going to that country bar in Chicago.
To all my girls — Abby, Alexa, Anna Haritos, Amelia, Ashley, Alexis, Aria, Betelhem, Bailey, Katelyn, Katie, Lane, Maggie, Megan, Molly, Sarah and Sophia — you make this world go round (or, at the very least, you make my world go round).
I want to thank the Euchre Squad of Tien, Mike, Ashley, Paige and Bob, but also, you all have helped me establish horrible sleeping habits and I am exhausted. But I also wouldn’t change that for the world :)
Max, you are such a great person, and there aren’t enough words in the world to express that. Thank you for always understanding, and for always getting coffee on nights when tip off doesn’t start until 9:30 p.m. Sears, my gambling skills have literally gotten worse in the last year so like, what’s that about? (Just kidding, you know I love you. We’re going for a run at 2 a.m. tonight, right?)
Betelhem, thank you for the late-night talks and undying support. Few people in this world are as passionate as you are. Kevin, if only you had a Twitter so you could see these goodbyes! I could say a lot, but this video says it better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB7v9IkniL8
Sylvanna, thank you for answering a text four years ago that said, “Hey Sylvanna, I have a really freshman question for you.” You and Phoebe are some of the best sisters I never had.
Kelly, thank you for being a role model, an amazing host in Chicago (you too, Jacob!) and for being one of my best friends. I am a million times better off for knowing you.
Ben, can’t wait to FaceTime you into graduation! Thank you for including me in your life and telling your mom about me. (Consequently, thank you Ben’s mom for the really good mandelbread!)
Thank you to my first child, Anna, who is actually only one year younger than me and only my child in spirit; our mozzarella stick dates aren’t going anywhere, so don’t you worry. Also, I could not be more proud of you.
Efe, thank you for being a part of sports, even when you were super busy and had a million other things to do. We always loved having you around.
Kennedy, thank you for always paying attention (and never forgetting absolutely anything). I loved your post card.
Shames, there’s no one I’d rather take pictures with at random house parties and web presses than you.
Rob, thanks for a really good beer that one time and sharing a mutual distaste for Salad Up’s “medium” or “heavy” dressing choices.
Avi, you somehow always manage to have fun, which makes the rest of us have fun too, even when we’re having bad days. (Except that one time you unplugged the computer 14 minutes before deadline; that was not fun.)
Orion, you help make sports what it is, and I just want you to know how much I appreciate you and everything you do.
Paige, thank you for sharing your sweet potato recipe with me. Also, on significantly less important note, thank you for being my best friend. I could write a novel about the good times we’ve had, but I’ll settle for this: Wagamama.
Ethan, even though we’re only friends because you hit me with a Razor scooter freshman year, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Thanks for also being my best friend, and for being you with all your bad jokes and 11:11 snapchats.
Mike, I don’t know what’s worse — the fact you bought champagne BEFORE we played the State News, or the fact that you know I secretly add some of your song suggestions to my Spotify. But I do know this — this has been the semester of a lifetime, and there’s no one I’d rather run a section with than you.
And finally, thank you to The Michigan Daily. You gave me a home away from home, and I’ll always love you for that.
Amelia Cacchione — Senior Photo Editor
One of my first big assignments was covering a Marco Rubio rally in Grand Rapids. On the way home, we stopped at a Starbucks so the writers could write, and I snapped a quick iPhone photo. A frappuccino sits next to a 300mm Nikon lens. I was so in awe of the girth of this chunk of metal, and thankful I was trusted to transport it across the state. That was one of the first things The Daily gave me — opportunity and a sense of importance.
As I covered more and more events, I came to know the photo closet fairly well. Inside there’s a newspaper clipping taped to the door — a short column and few photos of Sara Krulwich, a Daily photographer in 1968 who was the first woman allowed to photograph a football game. The Daily gave me a piece of its legacy, and I carried that with me whenever I stepped onto the football field.
There are a couple photos my roommate took of me sophomore year as I was getting more and more involved at the Daily. In one, I’m standing on State Street in full gameday gear and a camera around my neck, because I worked weekends but it was also gameday. In another, I’m asleep on the floor of our dorm room, still wearing shoes but wrapped in a blanket after an overnight drive back from a football game at Rutgers. The Daily let me live my best life, but also quickly became my life.
January of sophomore year Emma and I became Co-Managing Photo Editors, and I saved a screenshot of our poster. I didn’t know Emma at all before this, and didn’t know The Daily would drop into my lap a gem of a human. I have another picture of our feet on a desk, the night before we officially started our jobs. You can see my striped socks peeking out from my jeans, and Emma’s floral boots. The Daily welcomed us, as we were, with open arms.
I have a picture from the World’s Largest Truck Stop in Iowa en route to the University of Nebraska. I have a picture eating pizza at NYPD at 2 a.m. after making a paper. There’s lots of selfies in the second floor bathroom mirror, lots of blurry photos from Daily parties. A photo of cheese curds I ate in Wisconsin. Six of us crowded on the “gossip couch.” Homemade signs for The Daily-State News football game. A late-night snowball fight. Three of us sitting on the beach in Tampa, Florida, while there to cover the bowl game. A diet coke next to an empty bottle of wine on the photo desk. Many sunsets as seen from the sport’s section window.
There’s a lot of things that go on at The Daily that are not coverage related. I’ve napped in this newsroom, cried in this newsroom, laughed and danced in this newsroom. My job when I got here was to take pictures. Now as I’m looking back, the pictures I’ll look at again and again aren’t the ones I took on assignment.
There’s a lot of student organizations on campus, a lot of clubs I could’ve fallen into and a lot of places to devote four years of my time. I’m forever thankful for The Daily, and the people I’ve met as a result. I hope that with all The Daily’s given me, I’ve been able to give back just as much.
Madeleine Gaudin — Managing Arts Editor
I didn’t think I was going to get hired when I applied to The Daily. I didn’t think I knew enough or wrote well enough or had enough grit to be a “real journalist.” I lay awake in my freshman dorm room for a week, friendless and wrapped with worry.
And then Chloe Gilke sent me a remarkably unceremonious email and threw my life wide open. I met the best people I know and they’ve introduced me to the best people they know. And now, when I trace the web of wonderful people that make up my life, the strands all lead back here.
I didn’t love every minute. I’ve spent a lot of time crying in the upstairs bathroom and the downstairs bathroom and the back couches and the windowsill in the stairwell. Four years of missed homework assignments, failed romances, print typos, angry Facebook comments, stress, anxiety, self-doubt, it piles up and sometimes it bursts. And sometimes I wanted to quit.
But when I did (when I do), I remember how it felt to see my name in print for the first time, how it felt to do my first interview, to organize my first B-Side, to send my first comment into the elections group chat, to hit publish for the first time.
When I want to quit, I think about the girl who comes to her first meeting with a spark in her eye that says: “I’m going to have your job one day.” Because she’s right, she will.
I think about about how I felt when I saw Chloe and Adam or Theisen and Kathleen or Natalie and Anay at the front of the room. I think about their poise and their grace and the ferocity with which they loved this place.
It is an honor to have been in their company. It is an honor to have been in all of your company.
To the managing editors, thank you for letting me turn story meeting into therapy, for talking about dying and crying and for making me laugh every day. I didn’t always do story list, but I always looked forward to story meeting.
To my senior editors, thank you for putting your hearts into all that you did this semester. To Sam for the vines, Dom for the dramatic music takes, Becky for the wit and Arya for her unflinching love of Chad Michael Murray (you get me).
To my beat editors, the work you have done to make your writers feel welcome and the patience with which you have fostered their writing is what makes Arts the best section on this damn paper. Shima for your grace, Asif for making books a real beat (finally), Jack for your Twitter, Sofia for turning in my Milton papers, Fallon for your dedication, and Tess for your passion and creativity.
To the incoming class of Arts editors, I am so in awe of you. Stay as in love with your weird niche passions as you are now, keep Arts pregames long and postgames lawless, be good to each other (even when it’s hard), and never stop going to Totoro even when the weather and your bank account tell you otherwise.
To Danielle: Ahoy Sexy! Thanks for being my other half for the last year. I could not have done this job without your thoughtfulness and organization. Thank you for teaching me the power of spreadsheets and for navigating the bizarre world of Cannes with me. You are a powerhouse human being and I am so lucky to have had you.
To Matt Gallatin, thanks for throwing up on the back couches with me freshman year. Maybe we’d still be friends even if you hadn’t, but I’m really glad you did.
To the editors who raised me, who pushed me to write longer, stronger, more thoughtful pieces, who were hard on me when I needed it: I will never not be amazed by the people you were and are.
To Sports for “Country Roads” remixes.
All of you have made me feel seen and heard and understood and less alone. And for that, I’ll never be able to say thank you enough.
All I can really say, I suppose, is: Thank you, next.
Dayton Hare — Managing Editor
It’s odd, really, to finally sit down and write what passes as a goodbye. All of this is made more difficult, of course, by the fact that it’s not really a goodbye — a senior I may be, but I’m not going anywhere. Earning two separate degrees in completely different parts of the University is, it turns out, a time-consuming process, and I’ll be around for another year. I’ll still write, I’ll still come to newsroom: So much of it will be a continuation. The sole difference is that now I’m handing over the reins to the next class, retiring from the actual management of the paper. I have all the confidence in the world that they’re up to it.
After spending so much time in a place, doing work that I love and surrounded by people I have come to know so well, to condense my experience of it all to the length of a page is an impossible task. My time here has been more than a neat list of gratitudes, and the people I want to thank hardly need to see it in print to know I’m grateful. But a list of gratitudes is what you’re going to get.
The first person I want to thank, of course, is Alexa. Without your confidence and friendship I could never have done this job. Somehow, thanks to you, we’ve put out a newspaper every weeknight for an entire year. I’ll cherish our long nights of production in the newsroom, sharing jokes at our desks, bantering about your love life and shooting each other amused looks over the excitability of Bob. You’re the best partner I could have asked for, and you’ve always been worth more than you think. I know you’re going places, and I’m proud to have helped you weather the storms along the way however I could.
Bob, dearest Bob, my cherished desk partner. Thank you for putting up with me, and thank you for all the energy you bring to our newsroom. You consistently went above and beyond, and the fact that you were practically always bubbling over with ideas and energy was a welcome shot of adrenaline when Alexa and I were worn down by the endless grind of editing. Thank you for being my food-ordering partner, and I look forward to seeing where you’ll end up down the road.
Natalie, perhaps my oldest friend at this university, thank you for putting up with my quirks throughout the three years we have known each other. Here’s to our friendship, commiserating over our common procrastination habits, and making it up as we go along.
Katelyn and Alexis, thanks for being the best managing page editors we could have ever wanted. You’re both a delight to spend time around, and brighten a room with your presence. To Alexis, thank you for the way you care about the living Earth, and to Katelyn, thank you for the hat (it is very warm and cozy).
Madeleine and Danielle, thanks for being the chillest and quickest Arts editors imaginable. It has been so much fun to work with both of you.
Anu and Ashley, it has been great to learn more about Opinion with you over the year, and thanks for putting up with me when I’m needlessly persnickety about a writer getting philosophical.
Anay, you who recklessly encouraged my pretentiousness, thanks for all the great times watching Herzog documentaries and drinking port together.
Mike, Ashley and Tien, thanks for all the euchre games.
Shev, my CC partner, thank you for all the time we spent together, running the beat so well, and being such a fun and passionate person to be around. I’m so proud of the things we accomplished.
Which brings me to Arya. I’m so happy that you’ve come so far, and I know you’ll do a great job as managing arts editor. I’m sure Shev feels the same way. Hold in there.
Finn, thanks for being the best copy chief one could desire — I know you’ll be a great managing editor, and when it gets exhausting in the middle of your term, just know that I know exactly how you feel. Good luck.
And to everyone else who I don’t have room to mention by name, know that I’m grateful to you as well — it’s been a time.
Robert Hefter — Senior Sports Editor
I had the immense privilege of having a mother who pressured me into writing for the school newspaper when I was a freshman in high school. Being a teenager ambivalent about engaging in extracurriculars other than sports teams, I was wary about journalism.
However, almost eight years later, I want to thank her for making me write that first story. After being a sports editor my senior year of high school, I knew that I wanted to stay involved with journalism on campus at the University of Michigan.
(Both of my parents attended the University and I have been following the Wolverines ever since I could remember … Thank you, Mom, Dad, Steven and Jimmy.)
While many would think the natural progression of this story would include diving head-first into The Daily, quite the contrary occurred.
I came to The Michigan Daily the first semester of my freshman year and immediately knew I belonged in the laid-back yet professional space we know as the newsroom. But due to other circumstances involved with time commitments as a freshman, I remained distant after writing my first mock story. It was certainly a mistake, but one that helped me appreciate The Daily even more.
Fun fact: I attended a field hockey game with Mike Persak, Orion Sang and Avi Sholkoff, all of whom I would come to call close friends.
Something did change, though, when I returned for a Sunday meeting after holiday break. For those of you who know Jake Lourim and Max Bultman, it’s no surprise that the atmosphere they helped to foster was an attractive force hard to depart from.
To Mike, Laney, Orion, Paige, Ethan, Kennedy, Shames, Kevin, Ted, Crowder and Hunter: Thank you for helping me to be the best I could be on paper and off. You all have left such a positive impact on this newspaper that is poignant.
To Max, Sears, Mark, Ben, Anna, Tien, Kopnick, Jorge, Rian, Aria and anyone else I am missing: I have had the privilege of watching all of you evolve over the years. You all have killed it thus far and will continue to do so. I am 100 percent certain of that.
Along with being an editor on staff, I also had the opportunity to join Greek life at the University. To all of my fraternity brothers and other members of Greek life whom I have gotten to know: Thank you for your unwavering support. While I have missed some Sunday afternoons on the couch, you all have continually encouraged me to stay involved with Michigan sports and The Daily.
I am so proud to be a part of two amazing institutions that have helped me gain a unique perspective not only on this great university, but also the world. Meeting people on the various desks around the newsroom has opened my eyes to just how diverse Michigan is.
That being said, though, Sports is loud because we are fun. The past three-and-a-half years on this staff have, in fact, been outrageously fun.
To sum it all up, this has been an unforgettable experience. My little brother is currently going through his own journalistic journey, and I get to live vicariously through him while he navigates it. I just hope he stumbles upon such a closely knit group like the Sports section, just like I did.
P.S. The ceiling is soft.
Andrew Hiyama — Senior News Editor
In order to get better acquainted with the existing membership, new members in my pre-law fraternity are required to interview the older ones, and one of the questions that always gets asked is, “What’s the thing that has most impacted your life at Michigan?”
Since I joined that group, my answer hasn’t changed. Without a doubt, The Michigan Daily has given me more opportunities, introduced me to more people and developed me more as a writer and person than anything else I have or could have done with these four short years.
The credit for my joining The Daily, though, has to go to star sports editor and one of my oldest friends, Orion Sang, without whose prodding freshman year I never would have branched out. Still though, it took me a while to fully come into my own at the newspaper, and for about a year I stayed at the fringes of the news section, too afraid to try to break into such a tightly knit and professional group of people.
Finally making the leap to beat reporter was one of the best decisions I’ve made. It was then that I really discovered a love for the work of The Daily, and what it meant to produce something that mattered to people. As you may know, Sophie and Riyah, sincerity is not my strong suit, so it was nice of The Daily to let me express this on paper: I really couldn’t have done any of this without your guidance and support, both as my SNEds and managing editors. Like I said, it’s not my strong suit, so I have to apologize for sounding so formal, but it’s been an honor and a pleasure, and there’s no one else I would rather work under.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also thank the other news editors who came before me. Nisa, Lydia and Alexa, thank you for trusting me with this job. Hope I didn’t let you down!!! To the SNEds who come after, enjoy it. It’s a hard job, but if you do it right it will be the most rewarding thing you do here.
And to Maya, Kaela, McHarm, and Boo Boo Ryan, thank you for making this job so enjoyable. The Daily would not be anywhere near as much of a home without you. Matt and Boo Boo, I’ll miss our nightsides dearly. Maya, as we all know, you’re going to do a fantastic job as EIC.
Mom and dad, thank you for your loyal attention to everything I’ve written, and dad, I’ll give a half-hearted thank you for your unsolicited copy editing.
I don’t really know how to end this. Mike, it was great to see you.
Jeremy Kaplan — Senior Opinion Editor
I only remember one thing from the time I picked up a print copy of The Daily while waiting for a tour to start. A dead ad right in the middle of some page reading, “Bored in class? Read the Daily.” I chuckled and probably forgot about it until I sat down to write this goodbye.
The Daily made me laugh again my freshman year, when I showed up for the last fall mass meeting. While waiting for the meeting to start I started reading the rather serious campaign posters on the wall. Except their text wasn’t serious — they were all exaggerated jokes about former editors’ prowesses. It wasn’t long before I realized this was a place filled with people who could be serious and fun at the same time.
I didn’t expect to end up at The Daily. I thought I’d closed the book on journalism after high school. But Festifall and mass meetings left me feeling much to desire. I needed a space that cared about the work they did not because it would look good on a resume, but because it mattered. So I wandered across the Michigan Union basement from South Quad Residence Hall for the last fall mass meeting. There I found what felt like a rare breed: people who cared because stuff mattered (showing a clip of editors on The Daily Show didn’t hurt).
420 Maynard St. hasn’t made my laugh every night. Some nights have been deeply serious, others frustrated by slow progress or inertia keeping much the same. But every night I’ve come in for editboard I know I’m surrounded by and follow in the footsteps of 128 years of people who give a damn — and wouldn’t do so anywhere else.
Derek, Aarica, Claire, Regan, Anna and Steph: Thanks for being warm and welcoming to this freshman who wouldn’t shut up, and probably overstepped his bounds a few too many times trying to find some footing.
Lara, Alex, Brian and Caitlin: Thanks for making what could have been a lonely summer a ton of fun, whether it was adventuring to Cleveland or the Argo Cascades.
All the editboard members too numerous to list: Thanks for showing up and giving a damn. You always mentioned to teach me something new every Monday and Wednesday.
RT: Thanks for being a friend since basically day one of college, and being a rare voice of STEM in the newsroom to freak out about 427 with.
Maggie and Joel: I’m super excited to see what you all take on this year from the sidelines. You two make such a great team and I know you’ll do great.
Anu and Ashley: Thanks for making this year at The Daily the best one yet. It has been great to see the two of you smash inertia and make real change for the better of the section.
Alex the Bear: Thanks for being constant in a sea of change. Sorry for forgetting you had a real name that time. I still don’t want to know what’s on you.
Nisa Khan — Senior Michigan in Color Editor
For a while, I was kind of a mess. There were days where I said and did things that later made me want to scream and pull my hair out, where my overloading paranoia and anxiety made it hard to even physically move.
This space, The Michigan Daily, with all of its stakes and stress, has actually helped me control my own intrusive and self-deprecating thinking. While this anxious part of me might not truly go away, I will coincide that it never really stopped me from getting out there and doing my job. I feel confident and at ease lately. I feel calm. And, I will allow myself to say it just this once, I am pretty fucking proud of myself right now!!
I came out of this whole thing a wiser and sharper person. And also maybe angrier, because, to be a little dramatic, this role makes you think about all of the bad things that are consistently happening and you wonder, “Well shit, what can I do about it?”
And to reference the arachnid superhero that I will always love, it is making sure that I am doing everything that I can to be a responsible and conscientious journalist— especially, especially, especially when it comes to community and identity.
To All of The People I Wanna Thank: I made many close friends here — I am so grateful to have people in my life who care about things I do — and care about them on the same level as intensity I do. Thanks for being dramatic with me.
To News: To the news editors before me: Thank you for taking a chance on a very quiet sophomore.
To the news editors with me: I couldn’t ask for a cooler SNEd class and MNE to have rolled with. Thank you so much for suffering Tuesday nights, for letting me bounce rants off you, for being a group of women I can confidently say will positively and absolutely influence anything you choose to do.
To my reporters, ANEds, and the summer 2017 staff: Thank you, thank you, thank you for your dedication, for getting things done, for doing what you do.
To the MiC crew: Thank you so much for sharing your space, for being such a wonderful and growing powerhouse of this paper. Inviting (and retaining!!) people of color is a necessity to The Daily. I hope that I can take what I learned about the instant community that I saw in Michigan in Color and push it out in the real world because I think it could use you guys.
Circumstances can be beyond unfair for a POC writer and creative — it makes my heart ache. I wish I had the answers, I wish someone had the answers, to what we can do when we face struggles but I hope that falling back on our friends and knowing that someone gets it can help us for now. It’s not enough. It’s why everyone needs to do better to support those of marginalized identities.
To my parents: It took you awhile, but you eventually came around to the idea of reporting! Sorry for freaking out you two out for being in the newsroom at 2 a.m. on a Monday.
And finally, Tajwar, who reasonably deserves a little bit of credit in everything I do because she is the person I turn to in times of need: There’s nothing I can do to ever repay you, so I won’t do anything.
Brian Kuang — Managing Statement Editor
I showed up to a Daily recruitment event the September of my freshman year, unsure of what I wanted or where I would end up. There was a magical hum to the place as writers and editors ran about their desks — giving off a sense of excitement and energy I had never felt elsewhere.
Four months later, I would be volunteering to spend my week nights in the Ann Arbor City Council chambers, scribbling about debates on budgetary minutiae and angry citizen comments toward a municipal deer cull. If you asked why I chose to pour my spare hours into The Daily, my freshman-self would have been hard-pressed to answer.
But really, it was because The Daily gave me a purpose to escape the madness and mundanity of the everyday. No matter how frustrated I could be by the problem of the day, I could always find refuge in 420 Maynard St. I could always be able to find a new story, a new project, a new opportunity in The Daily that would excite me to jump out of bed in the morning.
It’s going to feel strange when I start my final semester in January. There will be no more production shifts, no more pressing print deadlines. But there will also be no more late nights of inside jokes with fellow staffers, no more shared sense of duty to make a paper. However, the lessons learned, friendships forged and memories made will stay with me for the rest of my life.
To Jackie, thank you for recognizing my potential as a writer before I recognized myself, and for expecting nothing less from me in the interim.
Lara, Yoshiko and Alexis, thanks for the laughs, memories and 11 p.m. battles over headlines during our year at the original, pre-annexation Statement desk. To Lara, thank you for looking out for me when it mattered, and for entrusting me with more autonomy than I probably initially deserved.
Jenn, Colin, Amelia and Rebecca, I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to spend the Tuesday nights of the past year with. Thank you for second-guessing me when I needed it and for sticking by my side through good days and bad.
Andrea, I’m excited to see what you accomplish in the magazine in the next year. The enthusiasm you have for The Daily reminds me of how myself and many of my fellow seniors felt about this place not too long ago.
Finally, to my parents, thank you for asking me to send you every story I wrote, and for making me sit up as a child to keep writing in a journal.
Max Kuang — Weekend Photo Editor
Every now and then, I still wonder how the hell I got onto to The Daily’s Photostaff. Unlike others, I had no DSLR. I had no prior experience. I was just a sophomore with cell phone camera, with the dream of telling stories with pictures. Joining The Daily’s Photostaff has been a gift I am all too fortunate to have received.
Being a staff photographer at The Daily has not only allowed me to explore the far flung places on campus and Ann Arbor, but also to understand what it meant to be a community photojournalist. To visually document a campus and city for history. To be the lone photographer at city council meetings. To be the first one at a protest and the last person to leave. And above all, to share the stories of so many whom I have captured with my camera, in all its glory, intimacy, happiness, and pain.
Though I do not plan to pursue photojournalism as a career, working as The Daily has shaped my identity in more ways than I could imagine. I couldn’t have done it without the help of so many others who have mentored me and showed me their craft.
To Grant and Amanda, thank you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I owe my entire existence as a staff photographer to you guys. To Sindu, my first dayside editor, thank you for believing in me and giving me some of my most memorable photo assignments. And to David, thank you for encouraging me to apply to the Daily for the third consecutive time.
To Alexis, thank you for being my partner in crime as co-MPE for the summer of 2017. To Miguel, Sandra, Ahad, Ben and Ceren, thanks for keeping up with my sporadic emails during that summer. It was my first time taking any leadership role at the Daily and I have undoubtedly made many mistakes. And to Jen, who probably worked 10,000 times harder than I did – thanks for setting up the assignment at St. Mary’s Parish that would evidently win the Daily photo awards.
To Katelyn, Evan, Amelia and Emma, thank you so much for your guidance and photo advice through the years. I don’t know where I would be without all your help and support. And to Alec, you’re going to be an amazing MPE with Alexis, no doubt.
To Cam, Annie, Hannah and Claire, thank you for being such phenomenal photographers and making my job easy for weekendside. I know I was never the perfect editor, but I couldn’t have been more blessed to have worked with you guys this fall.
To my family, thank you for cheering me on from the very beginning when I first became a staff photographer. It meant everything to me that you wanted to see the pictures I took for The Daily.
To the people of Ann Arbor, thank you for letting me try to catch a glimpse of who you truly are. It wasn’t until a year after working for The Daily that I realized I had fallen in love with the city and all its little quirks. Thank you for allowing me to photograph the cultural richness of Ann Arbor — its passions, its smiles and its tears.
And lastly, to The Daily, thanks for everything. It meant so much for me to help make the first drafts of history. I’ll always cherish my memories here and the people that made The Daily feel like home.
Sean Lang — Daily Arts Writer
First, I would like to thank Natalie Zak for bullying me into writing this goodbye — which will probably be too short and not sappy enough — and just for generally bullying me over the years. A certain saga concerning a band that formed in the Ann Arbor area comes to mind and, in retrospect, getting blasted online for a shitty article I wrote was probably an important experience for my development as a writer and, yes, as a person. We live and we learn, I suppose (or at least we live). Second, I would like to offer my gratitude to all of the editors who have found me difficult or pretentious or slow, for tolerating my sometimes very overt self-indulgence and allowing me to try things out even when they found it frustrating. Third, a thank you to The Daily itself. We are beyond lucky to have the platform The Daily provides. We don’t deserve this! Through our beloved paper, I’ve been able to meet and talk with so many artists whose work I cherish, whose art has directly shaped the way I interact with, perceive our flawed shitshow of a world. Also, I’ve saved so much fucking money on shows and festivals it’s insane lol just doing some quick mental math right now it’s been something like $700-worth of press passes over the past two-and-a-half years. A final note: Underclassmen, it’s alright to get lost in the frustrating fuckall of everything from time to time but, as often as you can, remember how lucky you are to be here — it’s not going to last forever — and don’t ever stop taking risks. It will be okay. Love, as always, Sean.
Robert Lesser — Managing Online Editor
I probably grabbed upwards of 30 fliers at Festifall my freshman year. I promptly forgot about all of them, and they sat in my backpack for 2 weeks. When I finally noticed the crumple of paper at the bottom of my bag, the only event I had not missed was the final Michigan Daily mass meeting. Of all the consequences of my disorganized life, this was easily the most fortuitous.
The impact The Daily has had on my life is impossible to quantify, which is off-brand for me as the “data” guy, but at the very least I can thank those who made it all possible.
To the web team: Thank you to each and every one of you for making the web team the most important and meaningful group I’ve ever been a part of. Thank you for your commitment, curiosity, and excitement every single week.
When I joined our fledgling team of developers my first semester, I wouldn’t have predicted us to accomplish projects on the scale of GradeGuide, the mobile app or the website redesign, alongside our many other endeavors. Three years later, I have no doubt that our most impressive feats are still to come. This team is what you make of it — the only limitations are what you place upon yourself. Never be afraid to experiment, to voice a crazy idea, or to question “how things have always been done” — it’s the only way progress is made.
Hassaan and Casey, thank you for everything you have done, and will do. Your experience and wisdom far outpaces your standing, and I have no doubt in my mind that you two will do an incredible job leading this section.
Amrutha, you showed me and the rest of the team what it meant to lead by example, how to build something strong and lasting out of nothing, and how to create a positive and constructive culture — one that has been ingrained in the team since. Your influence is still felt daily.
Nick, I still tell new members about our work on the election app - as both an example of learning new things on the fly, and as an example of high-quality mentorship that has a lasting effect — thank you for that.
Nivi, thank you for convincing me to take on a larger role, one I thought I was not ready for or deserving of at the time.Your ability to advocate for our team and our work, and maintain composure and poise in difficult situations (you’ll remember some of them!) continues to inspire and guide me.
Hess, you have truly been a mentor to me. You made me a better coder, team member and leader. Thank you for that, but even more so thank you for your dedication to the web team. It literally could not exist as it does without you.
Dylan, I was lucky to have someone with your skills and wisdom as my co-MOE. Between the two of us, there were no challenges we couldn’t navigate. Thank you everything you did!
Jordan, we killed it this year. I don’t know whether I’ll remember the disturbingly late nights finishing projects, or finally getting GradeGuide live more, but I know for sure that none of that would have happened without your talent, commitment, and positivity. We brought this team to new levels, and we should both be extremely proud of that. Thank you for being my friend!
Dayton, I could not have asked for a better desk buddy! I’ve immensely enjoyed our conversations, our Chela’s runs and our trading of strange facts. I honestly don’t think we would have ever met, let alone become friends without this place, another reason I am thankful.
Alexa, you are incredible. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say there are not many people who have been as dedicated to this paper in it’s 128-year history. Your work ethic, intelligence and leadership impress me constantly. I don’t think you fully realize what you are capable of — I probably don’t either. I’m excited to see what you accomplish, and grateful to be able to call you my friend.
BigPlans2018, you all kick ass, and it shows in what we create every night. Whether it’s our group therapy session formerly known as story meeting, or our conversations (and euchre games) far into the early morning, you are why I enjoy every moment I spend at 420 Maynard St.
Lydia, you are maybe the most lucky part of this whole experience. It’s difficult to describe how important you have been to me over the past year. You make me a better person, and I can’t wait to see how we continue to grow together.
This place means more to me than I ever thought possible. I’m thankful I could be a part of it.
Katelyn Mulcahy — Managing Photo Editor
No one really knows how I got to Michigan because I never talk about it. Essentially, it boils down to a long road of rejection and a rough three semesters in San Diego. With the way my college career started off, I didn’t think I would ever find a place to call home. And as a transfer student, I thought my time to make connections was too late.
I was so wrong.
Through the day-to-day production chaos, I’ve met some of the greatest people at The Daily. My world seems to revolve around it, so much so that I tell people I major in The Daily instead of Communications. I prefer pictures to words, but proper goodbyes and thank yous are a must.
To the 2018 ME class: Story list will always be the highlight of my day and I know you way more than I ever thought I could. Your patience with me and the server has been incredible. Dayton, you were the calm in the storm and I’ll miss your endless amounts of knowledge and wisdom. Roseanne, Casey and Jack, your skills never cease to amaze me. Thank you for making our photos stand out on the page. Laney, you light up the newsroom and I’m so grateful I got to work with you. Even more so because of the friend you have become to me (I see some aMa’s in our future). Mike, thanks for dealing with me asking about sports crops and making road trips and the newsroom a blast. I may actually miss the Country Road’s remix a bit. Sophie, Riyah, and all the senior news editors, thank you for always being understanding. Our group chat is potentially the greatest invention of 2018. Bob and Jordan, thank you for believing in the Multimedia tab. I’m ecstatic that both our sections, design, podcast and video can have a space on the website. Finn and Elise, I don’t know where photo would be without all the caption help and advice. Thank you does not go far enough.
Alec, I couldn’t be more happy or proud to see you as MPE and I know you’ll do great things with Alexis. And to the entire incoming ME class: You’re probably going to make a few mistakes. You might even fire someone. It’d be a miracle if you made everyone happy. Just remember to breathe and take it one step at a time. Enjoy The Daily while you can.
Photostaff, you consistently amaze me. I sincerely hope your time in the last two semesters has been rewarding and I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for giving me a chance. I loved playing mom and sorry in advance for any of the same mom things I do next semester. Seriously though, please stay warm and get home safely!
To those who have graduated already (you know who you are), thank you for talking to a shy photographer and making adulting look really cool. Keep thriving and maybe with some luck, I’ll follow in your footsteps.
To everyone on sports (yes, I mean everyone), thank you for putting up shells even when that’s the last thing you were probably thinking about. Through speeding tickets, a trip to urgent care, intense fog (and I mean intense fog), running to make the LIRR, driving through my first blizzard or chasing down Brendan Quinn in Philadelphia, you made me feel at home away from the newsroom and an honorary member of sports.
Claire, thank you for stepping up to help give opportunities to staff. It makes a world of difference. Evan, your enthusiasm for sports is beyond me (which is saying something). I’ll miss our never-ending Sunday productions, the back and forth banter, road trips and rides home. Amelia and Emma, you were the ones who opened the newsroom to me, encouraged me, and gave me advice when I needed it most. Your intelligence, empathy and friendship in the newsroom and beyond made the nervous transfer student in me feel at home. The Daily wouldn’t be what it is today without you all.
Alexa, I’m so grateful for your endless leadership and guidance. Through the general madness of production and life, you’ve become a life-long friend and helped me bring out my inner Rick’s Queen (which, let’s be real, can I ever repay you for?). I can’t wait for next semester because I’m pretty sure we’ll have some time to celebrate you and what you’ve done for this paper. STR?
Alexis, thank you for being the best friend I didn’t know I needed. You’re forever my better half, my partner in crime and my co-MPE. Through thick and thin, we were always on the same page and you always had my back. I didn’t quite know how lucky I was sitting in that booth in the Michigan Union, but I do now. I love you.
To my parents, thank you for supporting me through all of the madness. From little messages, letters and Facetimes to literally flying across the country for me, I’m ridiculously lucky. If I could choose any parents in the world, I’d pick you two, every time.
I made some of my greatest memories because of all of you. Thank you for making my two and a half years at Michigan all I could have hoped for and more.
Lydia Murray — Michigan in Color Columnist
Hello, Michigan Daily. Remember me? It’s been a minute since I’ve been super involved, but this organization will always hold a special place in my heart. I will always keep with me the nights of stress, joy, drama, and excitement and will continue to hope that “Let’s Bitch About It” doesn’t prevent me from getting a job, as my mom feared it would.
News, you were my first home and my biggest time commitment. I wish the best for all of you. Special shout out to my fellow former SNEds: We had a wild ride. Statement, thank you for allowing me to write stupid things on the internet. MiC, you gave my voice a platform to express aspects of my identity and experience that I never had before.
Alexa, I’m so glad this organization brought us together. I am so excited to see everything you accomplish (and a new semester of shenanigans upon my return).
Bob, thank you for putting up with my terrible opinions and constant mischief. I am so happy to have your support and am so grateful that the Daily brought us together.
To anyone and everyone else, it’s been real. Thanks for the laughs. I can’t wait to see what you all do.
Halimat Olaniyan — Senior Michigan in Color Editor
I joined Michigan in Color as an eager sophomore that just rediscovered her love of writing. I did not know exactly what I was signing up for but never imagined I would gain the support system and home I have in MiC.
Being a Senior Editor was one of the most challenging yet rewording things I have ever done. I came in knowing the stories of my peers varied vastly, but I left with an appreciation and understanding of the magnitude of the weight they carry on their shoulders.
MiC has opened so many doors for me, metaphorically and literally. Growing up I did not have the privilege to even think of a career in writing. I did not realize and could not even to begin to imagine myself as a professional writer, let alone editor. MiC has given me the space to publish my work and release some of the weight of my deepest thoughts. MiC has lifted my writing to new heights and helped me receive the attention of foundations that want to pay to hear my voice. But above all, MiC has give me the opportunity to uplift other voices.
Even though my MiC family started with just 8 people, it is the most meaningful network I have. I watched my fellow editors land jobs of their dreams in D.C., New York and California, and knew no matter where we all ended up I will always have them. Now as I get ready to head to medical school, a feat they supported me every step of the way through, I am incredibly humbled to have been a part of Michigan in Color.
Christian Paneda — Senior Michigan in Color Editor
I always knew growing up that I wanted to be creative.
English and writing were always some of my favorite subjects in school. I loved expressing my appreciation for my friends and family through sappy birthday cards. And I still hoard all of the journals of a young boy who wrote love poems, melodramatic fictional short stories, and quick stream of consciousness exercises. I consumed magazines, blogs, music and YouTube videos with an appetite for art. Any opportunity for a creative writing assignment meant the opportunity to just ‘go for it’ (read: my almost 3000-word review of a One Direction album.) My Tumblr was filled with countless reblogs of digital art, stylish people and genius photography.
And yet, a lot of things in life at this point told me that my feelings were irrational. Many people and societal expectations dictated that I was not supposed to feel so intensely. That the way I write or talk or act doesn’t make sense. That I, as a Filipino American, cannot and should not act on my creative impulses. These things are hobbies, not careers. I am lesser than my counterparts because I am a dark-skinned Asian American. I am nothing because I am not the norm.
Though I knew in my heart that I am creative—that I am more than valid—I let these toxic ideas get to me. I followed a path that was set for me while yearning for a sense of wholeness. Especially because I felt trapped in the rural Midwest, I tried to suppress the idea that I should be who I wanted to be. But I continued to just sit in silence with no sense of confidence, only to express myself when given permission. I went along with what everyone else was telling me until I came into The Michigan Daily. And even if cliché, it’s been utterly life-changing. Michigan in Color will always be an important turning point in my life because it let me realize that the way I think, feel and create is valid. I was never in a place of wrong.
With MiC, I found a community where I learned that I do not need to explain myself for what I am or what I love. I will miss gabbing about who is the king of pop (Jason would say Shawn Mendes and perhaps we can’t argue with that), the 2000s song March Madness bracket (if you didn’t choose "Toxic," you’re wrong), and engaging in serious discourse (e.g. what actually is a mood board?). My people on staff with are now my closest friends, my confidants if you will but also fellow critics of life. Bad taste? I can’t say that we relate. They helped me come fully into my complex Filipino-American identity. I realized that creativity for people of color is and should be pursued in a variety of ways. Advocacy in itself can be creative. But merely existing is enough, too. I refuse to say goodbye to them because I know that the bonds I’ve made here are forever. The future is great things for all of us. I am humbled to have worked with so many diverse communities and to listen to different perspectives. It was an important lesson for me to see the world beyond me. My experience at The Daily did not come without challenges, but with the help of my friends, I learned how to work through the trial and tribulation that is college.
There are many people I owe my undying thanks to. But this really extra goodbye would be too long if I listed every single person. So I’ll say this: ‘maraming salamat sa inyong lahat at ingat lagi <3” – Many thanks to all and take care.
Mike Persak — Managing Sports Editor
I often think back to how I started at The Daily. Rob and I shadowed Orion and Avi at a field hockey game, and when Rob saw me taking meticulous notes of every play, he looked at me and said, “Hey man, you know there are live stats online, right?” I didn’t know that. I didn’t really know anything.
I wrote four stories that semester, because I thought my priorities lay elsewhere, and there were times I remember being at a Daily function and thinking, “What the hell is going on right now?”
Like that year’s State News game, when I stood in the cold and rain, played exactly one snap on a kickoff and strongly contemplated leaving at halftime. I wonder if I would have believed you if you told me that game would produce some of my fondest memories.
I remember when everything changed for me. It was the final night of production for the 2015 ME class, and I brought a fifth of Captain Morgan, to which Max Cohen called me his protégé. It was the first time I really talked to Max Bultman, and it was the first night I witnessed how much The Daily meant to people. I can’t decide which of those three things was most formative, but I don’t think I would be MSE if it weren’t for that night.
Now I’m thinking back — on walking out on the ice at Joe Louis Arena, sitting courtside at the god damn Final Four and somehow not dying of exhaustion over the past year — and I can’t believe it went this fast. Everybody said it would, but I guess it’s just something you have to experience for yourself.
I have so many people to thank, and this list isn’t close to exhaustive.
To this ME class, we made some papers! Just like that movie “The Post”! Thank you all for hour-long story meetings and for making work a highlight of every day. I’m so thankful to have made such great memories and new friendships with all of you.
To our younger writers:
Adam, Akul, Anna, Aria, Bailey, Ben, Bennett, Connor, Ethan, Jake, Jodi, Jorge, Kopnick, Rian, Rohan, Teddy, Theo, Tien, Sarah plus all the freshmen (there are so many of you!) and anyone who has written for us over the last year, I’m so proud of you all. I know I’m leaving the section in incredible hands. Keep making this place a home for whoever needs it.
To the people I grew up with at The Daily:
Avi, I’ll always associate “TiK ToK” with you, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Kennedy, you’re like a sexton to a blind sailor. Thanks for remembering the little things.
Paige, we’re the greatest euchre team this world has ever seen. Tien stinks! Hahahaha!
Rob, thanks for the yees and (I can not stress this enough) the haws. I’ll see you at Rick’s.
Ethan, I’ve never met a cleverer person. Thanks for Mac Miller appreciation, toughing through car sickness, Big Mouth impressions and… for three.
Mark, I’m glad you didn’t let me get hit by that car in NYC. Thanks for helping carry the road trips and for spilling gallons of liquids over the years. Columbus wasn’t the same without you.
Max, thanks for Frank’s pushes, an endless supply of column ideas, ping pong and getting me into Liverpool. And you know what? Maybe the real tea, sis, was the friends we made along the way.
To the folks before me:
Betelhem, thank you for doing this job the way you did. Our section was decidedly better at the end of your tenure than it was at the beginning, and your fingerprints are all over it still.
Jake, I don’t call you nearly as much as I should, but I’ll have plenty of time to make up for that next semester. Thanks for teaching me about healthy professional respect and, more importantly, how to treat people like they’re the most important in your life.
Kevin, I miss you man. I’m so glad we found your glasses in the snow that night, and I’m even more glad to have had someone like you to show me how to navigate the difficult times.
Bultman, I might be dead without you, and I definitely wouldn’t have a chance at being a journalist without you. I owe you about 1,000 drinks and probably half of all future earnings. Thanks for cultivating the vowel-consonant ratio, dragging me to see Obama and talking me off the ledge after my first midweek.
To my co-MSEs:
Orion, I’m proud as hell of the work we did. I will never forget all the things you have done for me in the past four years, even when you probably didn’t want to. You deserve every good thing that’s coming for you. There’s nobody I would have rather begun my MSE tenure with.
Laney, I think you’ve saved me at least a few GPA points and countless amounts of stress. I’m glad you knew how much I needed you, even though I tried to convince myself I didn’t need anyone. There’s nobody I would rather finish my MSE tenure with.
To the non-Daily folks:
Evan, Darian, Sean, Tyree, thanks for the support from afar. You make coming home one of the most exciting things I do. Grab it.
Ultralight Beam, I’ve got a lot of lost time to make up for next semester. Thanks for being there for me every time I need you.
Gugga, Nana, Poppy, Aunt Sue, Uncle John, Aunt Tierney, Aunt Tina, Uncle Drew, Jessie, thanks for being my biggest supporters. I wish I got to see you all more often.
Katie and Mary, it’s really hard to be siblings with two people who are as talented and impressive as the both of you. I love you both and am so proud of everything you do.
Mom and Dad, you guys are my world. I swear one day it will all be worth it.
Dominic Polsinelli — Senior Arts Editor
If someone had asked me if I had any interest in journalism prior to me actually joining The Daily at the beginning of my sophomore year, I would have responded with a flat no. I’ve never considered myself much of a writer, but as chance would have it, I met some Daily kids who said to me, “The way you talk about music is absurd. Why don’t you apply to The Daily?”
Flash forward a little over two years later, and here I am, writing a goodbye to a place I never imagined would become a second home, still talking nonsensically about music and facing the reality that all the habits I’ve formed around this building — from long production nights to the constant threat of arson every time a writer failed to get a piece in on time — are slowly coming to a close. And while I’ve never been great at saying goodbye, there’s definitely a resonant sadness that comes with moving on because my time at the University would have been so, so drastically different had I not decided to apply.
At this point, all I can do is thank The Daily for the last few years: the friends, the road trips to concerts and festivals, hurriedly written B-Side leads and countless memories of hysterical laughter at the Arts desk. Today, I don’t know exactly what I’ll miss the most, but I am certain it’ll hit me like a truck when it’s all gone.
Thank you Madeleine and Natalie for pushing me to apply; thank you Matt and Carly for being editors first and best friends after; thank you Shima for keeping me sane as a partner in crime and thank you Arya for keeping me sane during production nights; and thanks to all of you at The Daily for making me feel at little less absurd and a lot more at home during my time with y’all. It truly means the world.
Emma Richter — Senior Photo Editor
First off, to Photostaff: Working in all the different roles our section offers alongside all of you has been an honor and a privilege.
I’ve worked in the photo section every semester of my college career, and this is partially thanks to Amanda Allen and Grant Hardy—without your welcome and encouragement, I wouldn’t have thought of myself as a potential MPE and I wouldn’t have volunteered to actually do it!
Thank you to my parents for making my time at The Daily possible, for never doubting my plans and for listening. Thanks to Rudy, for everything.
Thank you to the managing editors that spent 2017 with me. Betelhem and Rebecca, thank you for being such strong leaders, strong role models and strong women. Thanks to Michelle for sharing the design couch and for being a continued presence in my life this semester.
Thanks to Evan for all the energy, enthusiasm and the Sunday nights.
Thanks to the 2018 summer staff for putting up with my wacky recommendations and my pop culture icebreakers, and thanks in particular to Asif for giving me the opportunity to edit and be a part of it. You all are the absolute coolest.
To Alexa, my MNE and my EIC: I’m in awe of all you’ve conquered to get where you are, and I couldn’t be prouder for where you’re going. You’ve been a gracious and tenacious leader, and I’m lucky for your friendship.
To Katelyn and Alexis: As an MPE that came before you, I’m grateful for how you did the photo legacy proud. As someone that’s gotten to work under you and work beside you, I’m grateful for how you made Photostaff a welcoming place and a high-achieving section. You’re the sunshines of my life with all your exuberance and talent, and I look forward to one more semester together!
Thank you to all my non-Daily friends near and far—Martina, Zoe, Karan, Matisen, Alex, in particular—for supporting my commitments and for cheering me on.
And finally, to Amelia: I would not have done it without you, at The Daily or in college. You’ve been the best, most dependable friend, and my English degree is failing me as to how to express that in words. I can’t wait to see what you do in the world with all you spirit, intelligence, and heart.
To The Michigan Daily, thank you for harboring me and pushing me further into the world at the same time.
Sam Rosenberg — Senior Arts Editor
Is it the end already?
To be frank, I’ve been dreading writing this ever since I got accepted to The Daily during my first semester of freshman year. I fell instantly in love with the Arts section, a community of like-minded, pop-culture-obsessed people that remained an integral part of my college career. Writing for the TV/New Media beat, in particular, was a great introduction into what would become a demanding yet immensely gratifying four-year-long job of crafting and editing articles.
Coming in as a bright-eyed, anxious freshman, I wasn’t sure how much of an impact The Daily would have on me. In my application, I wrote that I hoped Daily Arts “would be a fun and stimulating experience, as well as a building block to enhancing my skills as a writer and creative thinker.” Now leaving as a weathered but satisfied senior, I can confirm that it did just that.
Working at The Daily has taught me that it’s not just about the articles you write or the stories you tell, but like with any organization, it’s about the relationships you cultivate along the way. And with that, I’d like to take the opportunity to highlight the people who have been most essential in my development at The Daily.
For those who came before me at The Daily: Thank you to Chloe Gilke and Adam Depollo for hiring me, to Lauren Theisen and Kathleen Davis for giving me an outlet to express my views on the beautiful mess that is Internet as a social media columnist, to Karen Hua for helping shape me into a journalist and to Ben Rosenstock, Melina Glusac, Sydney Cohen, Lara Moehlman and Danny Hensel for embracing me as a friend and making me feel welcomed and understood.
For those still at The Daily: Thank you to my Managing Arts Editors Madeleine Gaudin and Danielle Yacobson for doing outstanding work as leaders this year and for ensuring that Arts continues to expand on its creative potential. Thank you to my partner-in-crime Sofia Lynch for being an amazing, personable and enthusiastic beat editor. The TV/New Media beat would not be nearly as successful without your effort and presence. To my talented beat writers Sayan, Ally, Sam D.F., and Maitreyi: You are all stellar, hard-working rockstars. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of you, at The Daily and beyond. Thank you to my co-Senior Arts Editors — my fellow Jewish cinephile Becky Portman, the effervescent, rom-com-referencing, Mandy Moore-stanning Arya Naidu and The 1975-hating, punk-loving Dominic Polsnelli. I loved working and collaborating with all of you this year and am continually impressed by your remarkable ideas and impassioned work ethic. Thank you to Tess Garcia for being a wonderful friend, confidant, fashion icon and ray of sunshine who can light up a room even on the gloomiest of days. To the future of Arts, I wish you much love and much luck.
And lastly, thank you to The Daily for allowing me to share my voice and write about what I love, namely millennial lingo, Nickelodeon, Vine, Twitter, my family, my Jewish identity, online activism, mashups, “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” British sitcoms and really anything pop culture-related. Peace and blessings, y’all!
Jason Rowland — Managing Michigan in Color Editor
On Dec. 6, 2015 — the night of my 18th birthday — I received an email that began, “Congratulations! We are very happy to inform you that you will be one of the five Senior Editors of the Opinion section for the Winter 2016 term!” The paragraph went on to name the four other editors I’d be working with, and ended with an invitation to brunch the next morning. In hindsight, that email was one of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever received — though I didn’t know it at the time. I was nervous, shocked, but, most of all, excited. Nonetheless, I never could have imagined what the next few years would bring.
From my one semester as an Opinion Senior Editor, to my two years as a MiC Managing Editor, no evening in the newsroom was identical to another. As a result, it’s tough to distill my time at 420 Maynard St. into a short reflection — but I’m always up for a challenge.
First, to Ashley: I truly can’t believe you didn’t rip my head off over the past few years (though I suppose there’s still time). While I had a blast during my time in the newsroom, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t also have our fair share of stressful nights. However, even in the depths of our most chaotic moments, you were still able to prioritize the needs of the section and the paper — even if that came at the price of a late night or missed assignment. Your dedication, drive, and passion are truly admirable, and we couldn’t have accomplished a fraction of what we did without it. Thank you for being my co-ME, and, above all, thank you for being one of my best friends.
Second, I’m so thankful to have been a part of an organization with as much tradition and history as The Michigan Daily. While being surrounded by century-old copies of The Daily offered a sobering reminder of how short my time on campus is, the knowledge that I was contributing to such a renowned space never failed to excite me. More importantly, however, I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to help shape these traditions as the paper evolved over the past four years.
And third, in light of our turbulent social and political climate, I’m even more thankful for the broader Daily community. Without this space, I honestly don’t know how I would’ve expressed my frustrations with inequities both on campus and beyond. Furthermore, I feel lucky to have been able to give others a similar opportunity. From working with student organizers to publish their lists of demands, to exposing incidents of hate and vitriol around campus, I feel immense privilege that I was able to be, in some small way, a bullhorn for the voiceless. And in a world seemingly gone mad, The Daily remained my sanctuary.
To all of the friends I’ve made over the past four years — Sophie, Adam, Tanya, Christian, Alexa, Emma and countless other — thank you. Thank you for crying with me during my lows and celebrating with me during my highs.
To Na’kia and Carly, I have no doubt you’ll do wonderful things next year. You’re two of the smartest and hardest-working people I know, and I am so eager to see how you will carry the space forward into the future.
And finally, back to Ashley, thanks for the wild ride — I think we made a good team.
I can’t wait to see how the paper evolves over the next year and beyond. Here’s to 128 more years!
Anu Roy-Chaudhury — Editorial Page Editor
I’ve written about five versions of this in an attempt to fully encapsulate this singular feeling I have right now; on leaving this place, these people and this job that has been the center of my life the past year. After putting this off for a week and editing then re-editing then deleting multiple versions—my inner perfectionist is showing its colors. I don’t think words can do justice to this feeling I have right now nor can words do justice to everything the Daily is. Ironic, I know. But, in my (multiple) attempts to make this goodbye perfect and overcome this massive case of writer’s block, I have realized that if anything, this shows how special, how confusing, and how challenging working at the Daily is. There is nothing like it. And what makes saying goodbye so hard is the fear that I will never be able to find a place like it again. But, at the same time, I realize that places never truly leave you, especially places like this.
The moments in 420 Maynard, the moments of pure happiness and of pure frustration are the moments that have shaped me and will continue to for the rest of my life. And the people I met along the way, the late night talks at the Opinion desk, the difficult conversations in the Editboard room and the pre and post production dinner runs are what I looked forward to every night at the newsroom. There is nothing like it. So as I leave this place, I feel pretty similar to how I entered it; excited, nervous except now, most of all, I feel grateful;
To my parents: Thank you for your unconditional love and support. For talking to me at whatever ungodly hour at night as I made the trek in the snow, the heat, the cold to and from the Daily. I valued those three minute phone calls every night more than you know. I know these past three years have been hard for all of us, but both of you have been my rocks and forever, my role models.
To Kaela: From Oxford to Wales to Daily to London to New York and back; thank you for being my person. My fellow bag-lady, coffee-lover and Timothee fan I don’t know how I would have gotten through this past year without you. But after hiking that mountain in Wales together, I think we knew we were stuck with each other forever.
To Sopho: Thank you for being a constant source of comfort and sharing a mutual aversion to most social gatherings. You are one of the kindest, brightest and most loving people I know. Your compassion is infectious. Thank you for your endless cleverness and sarcasm and always coming up with the best nicknames.
To Carlton: I admire you so much and am excited to see all that you do next year. Thank you for always getting it and your never-ending brightness; you can put a smile on anyone’s face.
To Ashley: From Daily party in Fall 2017 to now; we’ve come so far. I truly couldn’t have asked for a better co-EPE to go on this truly, wild, ride with. From the stress to the laughs to the successes and everything in between; I appreciate your big heart and calming presence more than you’ll know.
To our five senior editors: I love you, family. Thanks for the laughs, the hard work and for making every night of production as enjoyable as it was stressful. Also thank you for letting my finish all my texts with periods.
To Joel and Maggie: I am so excited to see where Opinion will go next year. It has been amazing to watch you both grow these past two years-into brilliant, incisive and compassionate writers and editors.
To Alexa: I am forever in awe of you. You led this rag tag group with unmatched grace, strength, and humility. I don’t think any of us said this enough last year nor do I think saying it now will ever do justice to everything you have done for us, but, thank you.
To Dayton: Thank you for all the music recommendations, fun facts and post-page read chats. You were a constant source of advice and Opinion could not have been what it was without you and your (red-pen) edits.
To Anna and RT: Thank you for your guidance, mentorship and warm welcome into the Opinion family three years ago. Having you both as editors and then EPE’s was truly what made me what to take this on, and I hope I did you proud. It was, in my opinion, a good time overall.
To my fellow ME’s: I’ll miss our motley crew and unnecessarily long story meetings the most. Every day I was inspired by your work—the powerful and innovative content you created. You are the most passionate people I have met and it was a pleasure spend this year with you.
And, to the future ME’s: The year will be a blur. So my advice is to enjoy every minute you have here, every fun night, every hard night, every night you want to quit or sleep or be anywhere but the newsroom. Trust each other, and trust yourself; we have all been there and you can do it, I promise.
Ali Safawi — Columnist
After a (very) brief stint in News, Opinion has been my home at The Daily for over three years. And what an enthralling home Opinion has been. To me, the Editorial Board is not just a thing I go to so I can slap it on my resume (though slap I have) but a community in the deepest sense of an often overused word. It was in that community that I found myself the day after the 2016 election. In a time when it seemed like the world was ending, I found in the Newsroom a sanctuary of friendship. To everyone that was there that night, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I would like to thank all the Editorial Page Editors I have worked with, Regan and Claire, Anna and Rebecca, and most recently Anu and Ashley. To Maggie and Joel, sorry but they’re making me write this goodbye a full semester before I graduate, I’m sure you’ll do great.
I have always liked writing and joining The Daily gave me a reason to write on a regular basis, though I don’t profess to being any good at this hobby. So thank you for allowing me to write with a purpose.
And thank you to all the Bernie Bros who made my op-ed “What’s up with Bernie Sanders?”, which was written out of sheer saltiness, peak at number 2 in The Daily’s Most Read.
Most of my writing at The Daily has been deeply personal. As an severe introvert, this was a challenge but one I wanted to overcome. I am thankful for the friends and editors who helped me find confidence in my voice as a writer so that I would not shy away from writing what I wanted to, no matter how much it made the social recluse within me squirm.
So as I say goodbye to The Michigan Daily, I fondly remember the friendships and the conversations, sometimes heated but always respectful, that I have had because of this paper. The Daily is, by far, my favorite institution on this campus. I believe in what we do as an amplifier of the truth and the diverse voices on campus. I’m thankful I got to be a part of that.
Orion Sang — Senior Sports Editor
I’m not very good at saying goodbye.
I thought a lot about how to write this, and every time I did, I came back to how lucky I’ve been to work with so many amazing people here.
So let’s start from the top.
Simon and Lev, thanks for being so welcoming to a freshman. Simon, I still owe you a drink for letting me crash at your place last summer.
Max, you had me at hello. Seriously. The pitch you gave for sports at the very first mass meeting was part of why I joined. Appreciate your patience with a freshman learning how to write about sports. You taught me a lot.
Jake, thanks for being a great MSE. You inspired all of us with your writing, enthusiasm and genuine kindness. I’m sorry you don’t get to cover Jeff Brohm. He seems like an interesting guy.
Jason, I’m glad we got paired together for that feature-writing exercise. I never did write a feature on you. But let’s come back to that down the road.
Minh and Brandon, we had some great times on the road together. Taught me just how fun exceedingly long road trips could be, and I’m grateful for that.
Ted, dilly dilly. We’ll always have Tampa and Ybor City.
Avi, thanks for being my pal and softball + hockey travel partner. When are we going back to the cowboy museum?
Jorge, Bailey, Anna, Ben, Tien, Rohan, Aria, Theo, Connor, Bennett, Teddy, and all the other juniors, sophomores and freshmen, you all are the future. I trust y’all to leave this place in even better shape.
Laney, you’re awesome. Truly the best. It’s been so fun getting to work alongside you. Same goes for Rob, Paige, Ethan — proud to be in the same class as y’all.
Kev, you’re the man. Thanks for being a great pal, mentor and fellow beat writer. Really appreciated all those late night talks while driving back to Ann Arbor.
Mark, love you buddy. Was a blast covering football alongside you this fall.
Max and Ethan, time to get this bread. Can’t wait to see what y’all do. I’m so grateful I got to work with you both. You’re gonna kill it.
Mike, we did it, baby. Thanks for being so understanding. Thanks for always having my back. And thanks for being a great friend. You mean the world to me. Almost started tearing up at BTB the other night. Now let’s go get this t-shirt.
Bultman, I never would have been able to do any of this without you. I owe ya everything. You took a chance on me when you didn’t have to, and for that, I’ll be eternally grateful. You’ve been such a wonderful friend and the best mentor anyone could’ve ever asked for.
To Andrew, thanks for taking a chance on The Daily. It was so cool seeing you get involved. I think I still need to get you the rent check. Frank, Moud, Teo, the rest of y’all — thanks for allowing Drew and I to host stuff. And for being great friends (as well as squad members).
Mom and Dad, thanks for everything. Thanks for believing in me and for allowing me to chase my dreams, even if you would’ve liked to see me be a senator or something.
To Sophie, thanks for everything. I’m so, so glad this place helped bring us together. I’m a lucky guy. Love you.
Jacob Shames — Daily Sports Writer
I feel somewhat strange writing this.
For starters, it was just two years ago that I first set foot at 420 Maynard St. Meanwhile, it’s not like I’m saying “goodbye” just yet, as I’ll be here next semester covering the men’s basketball team (pass it on: Michigan’s a basketball school) and as a senior sports editor.
But more than that, it’s pretty hard to say goodbye to a place like The Daily.
I’ve made some truly amazing memories and had so much fun reporting at such a wide range of games and tournaments — whether it’s a cross-country phone cover, volleyball regionals at Crisler or a regular season game at Yost. Last September, I barely knew what icing or offsides were — honestly, I still really don’t — and seven months later I was in St. Paul covering the Frozen Four.
And when not doing any of that, I’ve been at the sports desk — watching whatever game is on, playing music, loudly debating anything sports-related or eating way too many dumplings that one night (rest in peace). It’s cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true: We’re a family. That’s why — apart from my love of sports and of writing — this has never, ever, felt remotely close to a job.
That being said, every night when I leave The Daily, I say to myself, “I have the best damn job in the world.”
I’ve got a lot of people to thank for making that possible.
To my first MSEs, Max and Jake, you made everyone here feel confident and welcome, and I wouldn’t be where I am without that. Couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to The Daily.
Kevin and Betelhem, thank you for making a green Oklahoman cover hockey. You pushed me to be a better writer and editor, and you always reminded me — directly or indirectly — that I could do this job, even in my lowest moments, and I’m so grateful for that.
Orion and Mike, definitely wouldn’t have crossed my mind back when I shadowed field hockey with both of you that you would go on to be such great MSEs. You guys care so much for The Daily, and it’s always showed.
Laney, you’ve always stepped up big time for this section, because of course you have. Thanks for being the nicest person I know, and raising my spirits all the time. Love you. Play me in cup pong.
Ethan and Max, you both are going to do an unbelievable job in charge. I’m in awe of your talent, passion and vision for this section, and I couldn’t be more thrilled it’s in such great hands.
Paige, sorry for barely talking for that entire roadtrip to Bloomington. Definitely glad we’ve become slightly better friends since then. Singing “You Belong With Me” at karaoke with you last year — what a time that was. Very glad you’ll be around next semester to bring baked goods and intimidate people.
Aria and Theo, you two are such great, driven writers already, and I’m not sure either of you know how much better you can get. Can’t wait for some lit Tuesday nights in Piscataway next semester.
Avi, thanks for sharing my passion for “Let’s Remember Some Guys” articles on Deadspin. It’s a pleasure to call you a friend.
Ethan, your Twitter game might be the most underrated on the Daily.
Tien, I actually agree with some of your hottest takes. But please, for the love of God, get some actual shoes.
To the writers that came before me, thank you for showing me how it was done.
To the seniors — Mike, Orion, Laney, Paige, Avi, Ethan, Rob, Matthew, Efe — fourteen straight. That’s all I have to say.
To the juniors — Max, Mark, Anna, Ben, Sarah, Rohan, Tien, Jorge, Jacob, Bailey, Jodi — you all are more than ready to lead this section. Keep up the great work.
To the sophomores — Ethan, Aria, Theo, Connor, Bennett, Rian, Teddy, Akul — the future is so bright for you all. Can’t wait to see where you’ll all be in a couple years.
To the freshmen, I haven’t met many of you yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing you make the most of this special place.
To Mom, Dad, Chloe, Aunt Miriam, Aunt Jennie, my family and friends, and everyone else who for some inexplicable reason reads my articles, thank you, and thank you for all the support you’ve given me. It truly means a lot that you take so much pride in what I do.
And lastly, to the best college newspaper basketball beat in the country: We’ve been absolutely murdering it so far, and I can’t wait to see that continue next semester. Let’s have some fun.
Sophie Sherry — Managing News Editor
Serving as managing news editor of this paper has been the greatest privilege. I came to The Michigan Daily newsroom the second week of my freshman year and from that point on I never looked back. I gave The Daily everything — sometimes to a fault — but in return, this place gives me the world.
The work here was not always easy, I faced my fair share of challenges, but through it all I became tougher, wiser, and more resilient.
Being a part of this 128-year-old family has brought me so much joy. I found love in this newsroom — I found my best friends, my future roommates and my partner here.
A few hundred words will never be enough to express how grateful I am for this place but I’ll give it try.
Thank you, Emma, for being the greatest mentor and pushing me to reach my full potential. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for you.
Thank you Riyah for being my partner through thick and thin, I would not have done it with anyone else. You have made me so much stronger.
Thank you to my five SNEds — Andrew, Maya, Matt, Carly and Kaela — for your passion and handwork, I am so proud of you all.
Thank you, Nisa and Lydia, my original SNEd team, I'll forever miss your sass at the news desk. You are both incredible writers who taught me so much.
Thank you to my best friends Carly, Kaela and Anu for your endless love. I am so lucky to have found you three and I am never letting go.
Thank you, Jason and Ashley, my first friends, for all of the chaos and laughter.
Thank you, Alexa, for enduring this crazy year with me and for all of your support.
And Orion — thank you for everything, everyday you inspire me to do better.
To all the incoming editors: Enjoy your time here. There will be late late nights when you just want to go home and sleep. But remember, the work you do here is important. You have a platform to share your voice and help elevate the voices of others. Use these new positions to make a real impact on this campus.
Erika “Shev” Shevchek –– Daily Arts Writer
My Daily experience wouldn’t be what it was without people. So bear with me.
To Selena: Thanks for not only still being my friend and a beautiful human, but also for introducing me to these coworkers, this network for life and this home during my freshman year.
To the editors before me: You hired me as an awkward and obnoxious freshman, but you became my friends and role models @Kath, Lauren, Ben and Alex. You showed me that my writing wasn’t the worst thing in the world and that I have a place on this section. Thank you for giving me a beautiful start to this journey. You all helped me grow as a writer and an editor.
To Anay, Carly and Christian: You three are some of the best (and worst?) role models. You’ve always given me a place to sleep and a drink to sip on. You’ve shown me what friendship should look like, and you’ve taught me to fearlessly be myself. I owe you so much more than you will ever know. I only hope to be as creative and ambitious as you three.
To Dayton: I wouldn’t have wanted to run CC with anyone else. I may not know half the things you talk about, but you always put a smile on my face. “There’s nothing like a sunny day and Bach.” Never change, Dayton. I can’t wait to discuss opera and wear more black turtlenecks with you.
To Natalie: You’re my rockstar. You brought me into CC and held my hand every step of the way. Thank you for being my musical-watching buddy and for all the *whack* stories. You’re a friend for life, and I can’t wait to see where our careers take us –– hopefully close to each other.
To Arya: I don’t think I could be more proud of a person. It’s been an honor to hire you as a neophyte CC writer and watch you grow into the Arts boss lady. Thanks for listening to my aggressive rants. Thanks for the hugs. Thanks for being you, Arya. I’m always a call away. And I’m already crying. #womensupportingwomen
To Jack Brandon & Ryan Cox: (yes, first and last name) I talk to you guys more than my own parents. You’re immensely talented and have souls of gold. You’ve shown me the richest forms of platonic love. Thank you for being my rocks.
To Fraley: Thank you for your unique perspective on all things art. I’m so blessed that you joined this Arts family. You’re my sunshine. I’ll see you at home, kiddo.
Thank you to Dom for the British travels, the g&t’s, the pop music and the dancing. I love you more than Carly Rae. To Madeleine for always inspiring me to be a better woman, witch, writer and astrologer. To Matt for all the drunk nights at Ashley’s, all the creative journalistic ideas and all the helpful edits. I can’t wait to see what you do with your talents. To Shima for always feeding me, teaching me to love myself and showing me Mitski. Thank you all for your dedication to Arts and for keeping me going.
To Community Culture: I’m seriously so proud of every one of you and the enthusiasm you bring to this beat. Arts needs you more than you know. Also, hot take: we’ll always be the hottest beat…
To the Arts section: I still don’t know anything about pop culture, but thanks loving me regardless. I hope I made this place less intimidating for you all. Write what you want and how you want it –– this is the time and space to do so. Stay in touch! You’re all literally like my kids (especially you sophomores)!
To those I didn’t meet: I regret not branching out to other sections other than Statement. Every single one of you in that newsroom has a light and a talent. Don’t lose it. I hope to see you beyond 420 Maynard St.
P.s. I’m sorry for always being the loudest person in the newsroom. But I hope, in some way, I left that laughter and my giddiness for the next new Daily Arts writer to embrace.
Avi Sholkoff — Assistant Sports Editor
I came to Michigan with the intent of working as a sportswriter post-grad. I wrote an email to Jake Lourim in the August before freshman year as a naive, motivated and perhaps even a nervous freshman eager to find his place on campus.
Four years later, Jake’s above-and-beyond response worked — I’m here at The Daily late on a Sunday night.
Many of my friends from home joined fraternities their freshman year. And at least in my first few semesters at Michigan, The Daily functioned in this way for me. When I struggled to make friends initially, The Daily became the place where I’d go to watch sports, relax during the week and seek out mentors.
As a freshman willing to do anything to impress his editors for a coveted Spring beat spot I covered women’s volleyball, men’s soccer and a host of other sports. Still, It really wasn’t until Max Cohen convinced me to cover women’s gymnastics though, that I felt I fully belonged. Max encouraged me to email Stephen Nesbitt, another Daily alum about tips to cover a sport I knew little about. Nes wrote back a few days later providing guidance on how to approach the meet and questions to ask. I distinctly remember walking to Crisler Center with Ethan Wolfe nervously attempting to make small talk on the long walk from lunch at South Quad. This past week, I made a similar walk with Ethan to Crisler Center — only this time it was as close friends four years later, walking from my house to watch a basketball game together. Without The Daily and covering gymnastics together, this friendship might never happen.
I remember my first story. A mediocre-at-best soccer phone cover in which I emailed Soccer SID Scott Kemps about which players I intended to interview — three days before the game even happened. Scott would joke about this with me whenever I covered a soccer or lacrosse event with freshman shadows. While I have transitioned to mainly editing, I love the opportunity to provide guidance and assistance to young freshmen like the old me and encourage them and motivate them to return each week.
If I ever wanted a place to hangout with people who loved sports as much as I did (and perhaps knew more than I did) I knew where to come and hang out for hours upon end.
Though as I continued my time at Michigan, I began to drift apart from the Daily, I knew it would always be there. My nights spent editing or writing always enjoyable. From deciding which fast food to order to sporcle, ping pong games and Bar Mitzvah music, spending a night at The Daily was never dull.
This past semester I’ve edited nearly every Sunday. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have class until 4 p.m. on Mondays, but it’s also because of the tremendous environment. I’ve sat with Ethan Sears and learned of the wonders of Mike Francesa, heard the Breaking Free remix more times than I can remember, played dozens of ping pong games and edited a host of Daniel Dash volleyball gamers.
I’d like to thank Max and Jake for getting me to stick around and Max Bultman for providing constructive criticism over the phone the summer after freshman year about a softball feature. Also, Max and Jake deserve kudos for entrusting a kid from LA who had never seen a hockey game to cover the team for a semester, Orion, Mike and Laney for bearing with me as I learned the nuances of “icing” and “power play” and of course, TJ Garske and Red Berenson for being supportive and welcoming as well.
But The Daily was always about more than just the gamers and the sidebars. It was about jeopardy, the birthday party and elections and sports’ unique takes on these events. The sports section provided me an outlet to sing proudly sing Kesha’s TiK ToK at multiple gatherings and were the first people I spoke to after hearing of Lebron James’ signing with the Lakers. It was a place where the restaurant Denny’s took on a new significance and where “Gritty” and “Big J” became part of my vernacular.
Unless plans drastically change, I won’t be working as a sportswriter post-grad. Still, The Daily provided many incredible memories and a building where I knew I could go if I ever needed a place to just “be.” I’m so lucky I’m editing next semester and will relish every moment I have at 420 Maynard St. Thank you, Daily.
Alexa St. John — Editor in Chief
If I had to write this in April, I wouldn’t have been happy with it — it just wouldn’t have felt as though I was finished here.
If I had to write this in September, I wouldn’t have been happy with it either, because it still wouldn’t have felt as though I was finished here.
Now, though I don’t want to be finished here, I am happy. Because this is the most magical place with the most magical people and moments, and it’s time.
Walking into The Daily freshman year, I expected to stay the quiet, introverted person I had always been. I expected to write my stories and just wait to see them the next morning in print. And for a few semesters, I did. Those times in and of themselves led to special moments. But so much has changed from then to now.
My priorities have shifted from whether my article would be on the front page above the fold to what The Daily accomplishes through all its platforms. I’ve been able to have a hand in a much larger part of the editorial content of The Daily for the last two years, taking on managing news editor as a second semester sophomore and keeping my eye on EIC all the while. I see how much one reporter’s story can be the difference between being short on content in print or the most-read article online. I see how important every single person who comes in each night is. I see The Daily in every important, big and small, perfectly imperfect capacity.
Bittersweetly, the day my elections for editor in chief took place was the four-year anniversary of my high school journalism teacher Jeff Nardone’s passing. It couldn’t have been more appropriate that I had the distinct memories of his impact on my life, and my career choice, on the back of my mind as I prepared for the role I so longed to have, in front of the editors I so longed to make proud and the staff I so longed to lead. Nard, as we called him, told us to never forget what we are a part of. Then, and now, I certainly won’t.
I’ve challenged myself, doubted myself, learned to love, lived and grown up at The Daily. I’ve experienced different opportunities, made some of the closest friends and had some of the most critical conversations that I never would have without walking through these doors.
And because of it, I’m happy to say that I’ve become more of who I want to be, not only professionally, but as an individual. I’m happy with where I’m at and who I am. I don’t think I could have said as much even a year ago, and I owe much of that to this place. And of course, this place wouldn’t be the place it is without its people. You all have allowed me to simultaneously try, fail, try, succeed, be hard on myself and love myself over and over again these past few years.
Throughout the last year or two closing the paper, I’ve seen firsthand that it’s the work that was done together that makes this position, and this publication as an institution — for learning, teaching, mentorship and quality journalism — great. It reminds me of my greatest reporting accomplishments and more importantly, the accomplishments we’ve hit as a staff, whether a new product, a new series of coverage, awards or the welcoming of another impressive cohort. This is a selfless place full of selfless, brilliant, dedicated people. These are reminders that all serve as inspiration for fostering not only our legacy, but the legacy of those to come.
The 40 hours a week for two years, two different cohorts of managing editors, 100 or so articles before that, and the important people who invested in me (and those who didn’t) got me here. Thank you.
Thank you to the first class of managing editors I was a part of in 2017 — Anna, Amelia and Emma, Rebecca, Betelhem, and Anay, for your irreplaceable and genuine friendship. I will never forget you.
To Jackie, Katie and Lydia, for believing in me.
To Shoham, Jen and the recent Daily EICs before them who provided guidance and help throughout my tenure.
To the underclassmen, whose dedication and kind-heartedness reminded me of the good of The Daily on even the hardest days. To Maya, especially: I wasn’t going to say it, but I knew it. Congratulations.
To my current ME class, especially Riyah, for challenging me (and sometimes, my sleep schedule) with the important conversations; Bob, for the encouragement and fidgeting; Katelyn, Alexis, Laney, Roseanne, Casey and Sophie, for never failing to make me smile; Myka, for the unfailing help; and Dayton, for meaning the world and being the world through thick and thin. Dayton, you are an incredibly genuine, talented and giving human being and managing editor. I can’t possibly repay you for spending every single day with me this year, but I will say you’ve made me a better (calmer) person, and I’ll miss seeing you each day. There’s no one else I would have wanted to share this ride with.
To my mom, whose unfailing love and unlimited support got me to where and who I am today. You are the strongest woman in the world and I can only hope to be a fraction of the woman you are one day. I’m a writer but it’s hard to put into words exactly how you do it.
Our tradition and history has carried us to this moment, but our innovation, drive and community push us forward. I am so proud of this staff and the incredible people that I’ve been surrounded with for the past four years. I’m so privileged to have served in the positions I’ve had. And I’m more than optimistic for the future.
Rebecca Tarnopol — 2017 Co-Managing Editorial Page Editor
If I remember correctly, what drew me to The Daily was this vague notion that a) I liked to write and b) I was decent at it. So I went to one of the mass meetings at the beginning of my freshman year, and I ended up joining the Opinion section because it seemed like a forum in which I could basically write about whatever I wanted to. Well, that and the fact it was the only section without an application process.
Flash forward three years and somehow I went from joining a section because it was easy to do so to somehow running that same section, and everything that happened between those points has been a wild ride. I have spent too many hours sitting at that desk in the back right corner, too many hours debating the merits of an Ann Arbor deer cull and too many hours listening to an EDM remix of “Country Roads” (thanks Sports desk). I can’t tell you everything that happened those nights between the hours of 6 p.m. and god knows when, but I can tell you that there aren’t many places like The Daily where students work hard and put out a product every day. Because of this, The Daily has allowed me to learn, fail and grow in ways the classroom never could facilitate.
But if you read any number of these Senior Goodbyes, you’ll find out quickly what makes The Daily such a special place are the people there. I’ve met too many brilliant/passionate/crazy/beautiful people in that second floor newsroom than I can count. So here are my thank you’s to some of those people, in however many words:
To Brian, Jenn, Colin and Amelia, thanks for making my semester on The Statement a great time. No better way to spend a Statement night than by accidentally ordering the wrong thing from Madras Masala off EatStreet, spending upwards of 20 minutes trying to find that perfect cover font only to settle on the two we always use and somehow, despite everything, churning out a magazine each week.
To Anna, my otterly wonderful co-EPE, I couldn’t imagine anyone else to take on Men Who Talk Too Much During Editboard™, University Public Relations or neo-Nazis wanting to sue our columnists for libel with. Your dedication to the paper made me want to give it my best, even in the most stressful hours. Thank you for teaching me both passion and patience.
And to all my wonderful senior editors, I have so much to thank you for. To Max, the University of Michigan Three-Time Iron Chef Champion, for somehow editing about 95 percent of the content that came across our desk, hosting 95 percent of Opinion section social events, and driving all the way to Chicago with me when I tried out for College Jeopardy that one time. To Steffichonga, my favorite Ross School of Business alum, for duking it out with me over comma placement (the most important part of line editing) and debating which restaurant we should eat at every Tuesday night only to settle on Hunter House. To Madeline, my fellow Woman in STEM™, to borrow words from your own senior goodbye, for “giving a shit” and also for introducing me to the Punch Brothers, which Spotify recently informed me I have listened to for 176 hours this year. To Anu and Ashley, my EPE successors, for blasting “Traveling Soldier” by the Dixie Chicks at the desk and for an unfettered shared love of Muji pens. I’m so proud to see what you two have done with the Opinion section this year. To Jeremy, for your encyclopedic knowledge of all things political and also for being there to vent about genetics or whatever other class we happened to have.
And to those who came before me: Regan and Claire, I can only hope I lived up to the example you set with your leadership. Thank you for taking the chance on me as a writer and an editor. Aarica and Derek — thanks for opening your section up to me as a freshman and showing me what the paper really is about.
There are many more words I can say here, but as journalism demands, there’s a word count and a deadline looming over my shoulder.
To put it simply: It was a good weekend overall.
Kaela Theut — Senior News Editor
Somehow, over the course of these past few years, The Daily has moved from the periphery of my college experience to its place as a centripetal force in my life. I cannot pick out a single moment when this shift occurred, as it seems reductive to separate such a seemingly infinitesimal collection of too-late nights and In Design induced meltdowns into a single, definitive before and after.
Nevertheless, that’s part of the beauty of this place — despite us all growing older and getting jobs and making numerous inappropriate and amazing decisions along the way — the newsroom has remained exactly the same. A source of quiet comfort, uncertain angst, as well as the location of Mike’s personal DJ booth (where “Country Roads Remix” is the only song on the queue). After the first night spent dancing on chairs, they all begin to blur together.
Only now, as I struggle to separate myself from what has begun to feel like a second home, and write a piece that adequately captures the range of emotions I feel about my experience here, have I begun to understand exactly how much I, myself have changed. A little more sleep-deprived and delusional than I was at the beginning of SNEd year, yet also overwhelmingly infatuated with this building, its traditions and all the crazy people within it.
I first walked into The Daily as an anxious sophomore, feeling adrift and uncertain whether Ann Arbor was still the right fit for me, after quitting a sport through which I had defined myself for nearly half of my life. In all honesty, I wasn’t immediately hooked on being a journalist, yet I kept returning to the newsroom for the almost ineffable feeling that, in the midst of the frantic deadlines, I could be a part of something so much greater than myself. I couldn’t quite put a name to the feeling then, but now I realize going to the newsroom on a Sunday evening — as snow batters the windows and people begin to gather for story meeting — has taken on an almost ritualistic quality in my life. A respite from a campus that, despite its thousands of students, can feel devastatingly lonely at times.
Even as I walk down Packard at 1 a.m., having spent the past 8 hours in the newsroom, surrounded only by darkness and the sound of my own footsteps — I carry this sense of belonging with me, smiling about one thing or another the entirety of my way home. I have felt so many things at The Daily, but I’ve never felt alone, and I’m certain my words will fail to describe the immense amount of gratitude I have for all those who’ve shared this wild experience with me:
To Anu, thank you for always just getting it. From London to Ann Arbor, you’ve been the best friend to me and I can’t imagine my experience here without your reassurance, guidance and mutual love for extravagant meals.
To Sophie, you have one of the kindest hearts of anyone I know, and I feel so lucky to have had you as a boss for the time being, and friend for all the years ahead.
To Carly, my ever-patient lab partner, whether we’re running through Cambridge in what felt like a 36-hour fever dream or sleeping three feet apart all summer, nobody makes me laugh like you. As our uber driver said, keep eyes wide open — you’re going to do incredible things next semester.
To Maya and Riyah, thank you for the most unexpected friendship. Whether we’re spewing fake science, filming low-budget music videos, calculating astrological compatibilities or discussing much more poignant sources of existential angst — you two fill the void. Love, always.
To my fellow SNEds, you’ve seen me at both my best (rarely) and my worst (more often than not). I’m so thankful for your friendship, and can’t imagine this year with a different group of humans.
To my soccer team, that Monday night at Rick’s will always be one of my favorite moments of this year. I won’t remember the goals we didn’t score, but I’ll definitely remember how terrible going to my 8:30 a.m. on an hour of sleep feels the next day.
To Alexa, I will forever be amazed by you. You’ve set a precedent for leadership that will undoubtedly continue to shape the newsroom for years to come.
And finally, to all the rising news writers and the incoming editor class — cherish this time, it goes by so fast! You are all beyond talented, and it’s been an honor to watch as you’ve gone from cursory event covers to playing major roles in the writing of groundbreaking investigative pieces.
Alex Harring, I better see you as EIC in a few years.
Ashley Tjhung — Managing Michigan in Color Editor
In a way, The Daily is the one constant throughout my college life. From my start as an Opinion writer to the strange events that led me to becoming an ME, The Daily gave me the space to learn what it means to be a writer, an activist, and a leader.
I continue to be thankful for, and look back fondly, on the opportunities I’ve had here. Some of it is the nature of the job: I just got to do some incredible things as a member of Michigan in Color. Others are from being around wonderful people. Nights spent talking until 5 am, Jeopardy kickbacks, and wreaking havoc with Jason and Sophie — it’s difficult to describe the beautifully weird moments that happen when you put sports stars, theatre kids, social justice warriors, meme creators, responsible journalists, and more in the same room 5 nights a week.
I like to think The Daily and MiC have changed and evolved over the last few years. MiC grew from upstart column to full-fledged section (with a desk!). The Daily became more willing to accommodate the needs of this campus’ most marginalized — in our coverage and our workspace. I feel privileged to have witnessed and been a small part of that change, and hopeful that the necessary changes will extend far beyond my time.
As I write this senior goodbye, I struggle reconciling what it means to be a part of both Michigan in Color and The Michigan Daily. In my mind, the two are distinct entities — though perhaps closer together than they first appear. In a perfect world, MiC wouldn’t need to exist, yet here we are.
Working for The Daily is a privilege. The ability to have your work spread across campus or meet alumni who work for this country’s most esteemed publications is not an opportunity afforded to everyone. From my time here, I look back on warm memories; looking forward, I see opened doors. It is my hope that one day every student who strives to find those same opportunities in our newspaper can — and will.
Jason, we’ve really been through it all haven’t we? From Editboard to West Quad to Michigan in Color, I am lucky to have had you by my side. So many of my unforgettable memories were with you. Please never wear two pairs of pants in the summer, forget to take a class pass/fail, or tell the story about the lumberjack ever again. Thanks for reminding me that things aren’t that deep and that at the end of the day it’s just a … well you know.
Carly and Na’kia, the future of MiC is so bright with you two in charge. I’m so proud of the work you’ve put in and the goals you plan to achieve. Strive boldly and keep being the rays of sunshine that you are.
Lorna, Kareem, Efe, Maya, Sam, and Angelo, I am amazed at your energy, talent, and passion. Wherever you go next, I am confident that you’ll succeed and thrive.
Nisa and Zainab, you two are such strong and compassionate writers, activists, and friends. The work you two do in and out of The Daily is so inspiring and I’m proud to know both of you.
Christian, my favorite human bean! Thanks for being with me from the beginning of my MiC journey. You are such a creative soul and an even better friend.
Sivanthy, Areeba, Adam, Tanya, and Halimat, I miss you all to the moon and back. Your passion and humor are unmatched. So excited for when we see each other again.
Mom, Dad, and Jordan, thank you for all your support and encouragement. I’ve always felt like my dreams could be realized because of you all.
Roseanne and Casey, my favorite Singapore gals. I cannot wait to see you two continue to shine next year. Thanks for the mems and the dumplings.
Alexa and Dayton, thanks for keeping this chaotic ship afloat. Rock stars, truly. Looking forward to seeing you two at Significantly Left of Center.
Sophie, glad you looked past your first impression of me at MCSP orientation. Thanks for being there through it all, from David’s class to now. Good luck as Jason’s newest co — trident forever!
Mike, Paige, Bob, Laney and Tien, there’s no group of people I’d rather spend 3 am on a Monday with. Thanks for being the insufferable jackasses you all are. And Tien, for the love of God, do not pick that up.
Finally, to everyone that made it into random memories. Thank you to the MEs who stayed up watching the ends of abjectly terrible movies, my printer-trip car for finding a McDonald’s in AA open past midnight, everyone who participated in MiC Madness, and, of course, fellow lovers of the oxford comma and em dash — I wouldn’t have made it without you.
Paige Voeffray — Senior Sports Editor
When I think back on my time at The Daily, there’s not really one moment that stands out. I never had that ‘aha’ moment where I knew this place was going to be a special place, it just sort of gradually happened without me noticing. But here I am writing this senior goodbye, realizing how desperate I am to stay.
I would hear older writers talk about how special The Daily was or what a profound impact it had on their lives, and I never thought that would happen to me. At first, I struggled to find my place here. I felt uncomfortable and nervous, but knew I wanted to have that same feeling that everyone else had.
And so I worked for it. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I picked up more stories and I conferenced for beats or editor positions I never thought I would get. You get out of The Daily exactly what you put into it. You edit on nights when you have a bunch of homework. You pick up stories on sports you know nothing about. You stay at the Daily long after the paper has been exported (like, 5 a.m.) just to play cards.
As someone who has no interest in going into journalism, there’s only one reason I did all of that – the people.
The Daily has introduced me to some of the most fascinating and different people that I’ve ever met and I am incredibly grateful to know every one of you.
I will definitely miss destroying Tien and Ashley at cards and watching Tien lie about it later.
I can’t wait to watch Anna and Aria take up the Kelly Hall mantle of being a badass female sportswriter and showing everyone that girls can write about sports and they can do it well.
Shames, I would never want to drive five hours to Bloomington and say precisely three words the whole way with anyone else. Please never change.
Whenever I would walk into The Daily and see Ben we’d both talk about how we hadn’t seen each other in forever and continue to do that for many months. But that was okay, because when we were together it was as if nothing changed.
I have a bad habit of being extremely sarcastic to Ethan Wolfe, so there is a high likelihood he won’t take this next part seriously, but he should. He’s one of the most quick-witted, charismatic and creative people i know, and I am extremely lucky to call him my friend.
Avi, Matthew, Orion, Rob and all my fellow seniors, I am still convinced that our class is the most stacked class The Daily has ever had, but I might be biased.
Max and Sears, your dedication continues to amaze me. You’ve put in so much time and work, and yet I still see the fire in your eyes when you talk about the Daily. It’s extremely refreshing.
Mike, I don’t even know where to start with this one because while I am incredibly mean to you, you still continue to surprise me with your heart and selflessness. I wish everyone could see you the way I see you.
The Daily introduced me to my best friend and one of the people I admire most in the world. Laney, I could go on for a while, so I’ll just say the world is a better place because you’re in it.
I would never be where I am today without the people that came before me. Jake Lourim, thank you for answering my email, it changed my life. Max Bultman, thank you for making me feel like I wasn’t just another writer. Kevin, your laugh is still one of my favorite things about The Daily. Betelhem, you’re so passionate about everything you do and that is so important. Ted, I mean you gave out tedits, what else is there to say?
I’m not really sure how to end this thing so I’ll leave future Daily members with one piece of advice.
Put everything you have into this place because you will be repaid many times over. Not in actual money, unfortunately, but in memories, friendships and State News victories. And those are priceless.
Ethan Wolfe — Daily Sports Writer
I didn’t just stumble into The Daily.
I knew over six years ago, starting at a campground in Arches National Park, that I’d be here. As a 14-year-old kid impressionable to anything said in his direction, I listened to my camp counselor, Daniel Wasserman, rave about covering Michigan basketball for The Daily.
Nine months later, he witnessed Trey Burke’s 3-pointer against Kansas, and then his “foul” in the National Championship.
Five years after that, as a college junior, I sat courtside at the Alamodome for a National Championship game Michigan should never have made. Thanks, Wass. I get it now.
After far too long and many fortuitous breaks, I understood at that moment why The Daily was the lifeblood of my college experience. I realized why I spent countless hours night editing and writing game stories, hating State News (14!), missing class and pulling all-nighters to drive back from New York, even if it was hard to explain.
I heard the concerns all the time. Mostly, How is this gonna help you? And for a while, I thought those people — friends, family and the rest — were right. Because journalism was never a career option for me. What was the point of it all when it seemed like none of it mattered?
There are clichés: I met my closest friends here. I love sports. The Daily felt like home.
But you know why I really invested this time in The Daily? My honest answer: I don’t know. Neither does anybody else. And that’s the beauty of it — every story is unique and irreplicable. In the Wolfe family, it’s an unwritten norm that we have bad luck. But everything that came from The Daily was unexpected and unexplainably good.
I shouldn’t have been a goofball in the newsroom when I accidentally hit Laney with a Razor Scooter freshman year. But it’s why I have another best friend. Laney, I hope you understand why I’m not truly sorry.
I could’ve written more politely about the baseball team, but now my claim to fame is a vendetta against me from a Division I coach.
Orion and I weren’t ready to be summer managing senior editors, but nobody else wanted to do it. I sat in the Big House press box for a Real Madrid versus Chelsea game and wrote absolutely nothing. I went to a football camp, talked to Mike Hart and Devin Funchess and forgot my computer to write. It was a great summer.
Nate drove through a red light en route to the WNIT championship game and I thought that was it for me. Alive, with Nate, Sylvanna and Maggie, we witnessed the best game in Michigan dub hoops history. I hope I didn’t bother you guys too much.
Junior year covering men’s basketball was indescribable. To Mike, Max and Mark — I couldn’t have imagined a better beat to share these moments with.
To John Denver, Miguel and NBA YoungBoy, a simple thank you.
To Sergey Kovalev, I’m sorry for interrupting your pre-match shadow boxing in Madison Square Garden.
To my Passover Seder table at the San Antonio JCC — thank you for feeding Max and me, and thanks to the couple who drove us back to the wrong hotel afterward. Okay, describing March Madness is its own story.
My championship luck ran out after witnessing one of the most painful defeats in Michigan football history in Columbus. But I was still there. It was a timely reminder that I got to do things that very few people will ever experience. I was so lucky.
To Derek, thank you for getting my foot in the door and introducing me to Max Cohen so I could join The Daily and make these memories happen.
I give endless thanks to every Daily sports writer I met for making the section what it is. We spent an inexplicable amount of time to make a newspaper five days a week for the best sports section in America. With Max and Sears in charge, it’s only going to get better.
This was incredibly challenging to write. I have too many thank you’s and memories for 800 words. I asked Wass how I should write my goodbye.
“My advice: go as sappy as possible,” he said. So I tried.
This place meant the world to me, even when the politics got annoying and the writing was tiresome. Through all of its flaws, it was hard not to love The Daily.
To the Daily writers who were with me, to every friend and family member who never understood what I did here and to those who read my stories and supported me anyway — I hope I made you proud. Maybe none of this mattered.
But I’m proud of all of it.
Jordan Wolff — Managing Online Editor
The Daily will always have a special place in my life. When I joined as a freshman, I had no idea how much impact I would be able to have on the community. My mentors have developed me into a stronger engineer and leader. From supporting editorial content to building web apps, I’ve learned so much and grown as a part of this team. The 4 a.m. nights finishing and pushing code have been worth it, and I’m incredibly proud of the work my team and I have done. I’m so excited to see what the future of The Daily’s Web Team will be! Thank you all for a wonderful, memorable four years!
Danielle Yacobson — Managing Arts Editor
What you are now reading is the 17th iteration of this goodbye, and through my 16 previous attempts I have come to the conclusion that sappiness is inevitable. I am not a particularly emotional writer – my cynical sense of humor has inflated enormously since I joined The Daily – and yet, I find myself struggling to pinpoint exactly what I’m feeling as I spend my final nights of production in the newsroom. So, let’s just dive straight into this sap-fest, shall we?
Joining The Daily was one of the first things I did at the University of Michigan. I came into college pre-med, and joined the TV beat because I loved “Grey’s Anatomy”. Writing for Arts, I quickly discovered that I loved “Grey’s” not because I wanted to be a doctor, but because I wanted to make TV. Go figure. My taste has (thankfully) evolved since my freshman days, my ideas and literary preoccupations shaped by the wonderful Arts staff that continues to impress with an intimate knowledge of contemporary culture. Our writers are the absolute coolest.
I learned to think critically at The Daily, how to form opinions about art, how to connect with people through what I’ve been watching, reading and listening to. I’ve entered into this nebulous community of artsy people that are, above all, boundlessly curious. I’m not sure I’ll ever be lucky enough to find a community like this again.
And, unlike people on reality TV, I came here to make friends. Instead, I found a (sap alert!) family. To my fellow managing editors: I can’t wait to see what you do in the future, and please remember me when you are ridiculously successful. To Alexa: Our fearless leader, we couldn’t have done any of this without you. To Dayton: Thank you for doing a thankless job, and filling every production with kindness. To my Arts writers: You’ve created something special here. Keep writing, even when everything sucks. To my senior editors: I love you, individually and together.
And finally, to Madeleine: what can I say, apart from everything? I could talk about your wit, your intellect, your insights and your curiosity endlessly. Instead, I’ll just say, with the whole nine yards of Timmy charisma: You’re hella tight.
Natalie Zak — Daily Arts Writer
This is a public response to Joseph Fraley’s assessment that I publicly struggle with intimacy. Yes I’m still hung up on this, and yes, you’re probably right. But I’m still going to drag you down with me!
Words don’t come easy to me when they’re stuffy with emotion, and they never seem to express as much as I want them to. I’m slightly convinced the last three and a half years have been a fever dream, which would explain a lot of the choices I’ve made and people I’ve met (and why I don’t remember the entirety of 2017). But I’ll try to push through this veil of sarcasm, if not for myself than for Erika Shevchek, for the Franzia stain under the Arts Desk and for you, dear reader, whomever you might be. Learn from my mistakes, from our mistakes, and then make them again tomorrow night.
So let’s dig in, because boy oh boy do I give a shit about a lot of the people I’ve met here, and I owe you all so much thanks. To all the editors who took me under their wing when I was a freshman, who trusted me to run Community Culture, a beat I swiftly ran into the ground — thank you for making me think I was cool for about 8 months before reality set in. To Carly and Christian, I could never have dreamed that a $10 bet behind a house on Arbor Street would be the beginning of this mess, and I’m probably never going to pay you the $10. To Nabeel and Orion, it’s been a while! Keep in touch. And to Anay, my dear, light-footed co-conspirator and co-MAE — we did it kid. We tricked all of them, and they never even knew.
But then there are the names that people still know and who are scattered throughout the article above me. Shev and Arya, you beautiful, badass women, thank you for reviving the slow pulse CC had when I left it, and thank you for your unreserved passion for people. Jack Brandon, thank you for being a triple Cancer in this aggressively Sagittarius world. Sean, I didn’t bully you. I merely forced your hand. Dom, remember to always be nice to ugly people. Joseph Fraley, see above.
And to the people who have stuck around since we were dragged into this mess back in 2015: Dayton, oh Dayton, you’ll never get rid of me and I, you. Mads, from South Quad dinners to ACL to 923, you’ve never, ever given up on the bit (the bit was me; I was the bit). Shima, you get it. You just freaking get it. To Matthew Gallatin, you were the first and will probably be the only great love of my life.
And to Verity Sturm, who by some magical accident fell into my life just like she fell into her future at The Daily. Words, in your case especially, will never be enough to describe how fully and unreservedly I love you, so I’ll leave you with this: Thank you for holding the space at the Center for Yoga Ann Arbor. We have decided to close the location. We appreciate you and the energy you have dedicated to CFY. With Love and Gratitude! Natalie.
True to form, I’ve written too much and said too little, but I don’t want to leave anyone out. You people, the ones included in this spiel and the ones not, you make The Michigan Daily what it is — a bunch of kids stumbling and scheming their way into adulthood all while moonlighting as a student newspaper. You let me blast deep haus remixes at 11 p.m. from the Arts computer and tolerated me when I brought a punk band into the newsroom during production hours (I regret nothing). You made me laugh and cry harder than humanly possible, but I wouldn’t give a second of it back. I always joke The Daily gave me everything I have in college, but it also took so much along the way. I think, in the end, the scales tip more to the giving side. The Daily gave me a small part of this campus to call my own, a small island in a sea of 40,000 students just trying to get by. But I guess what I’m trying to say is, this has all been a wonderful misunderstanding. And I shall keep all of these accolades, every last one!