A Duke farewell from Madison Pastrick

Madison Pastrick | layout editor & ad manager

Journalism has always played an important role in my life. Ever since I was a little girl, my father has worked for The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and I have watched as both his job and the newspaper industry have drastically changed throughout my lifetime. I remember receiving tours at his office of the giant printing presses that would fly paper around the room as if it were part of some intricate dance, until it would finally slow its roll and find a place within a skinny plastic bag and make its way to my front door. At 10 years-old, my dad had the coolest job. And he still does.

Ever since this experience, I’ve always had a unique appreciation for journalism. I was editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper, which we printed on computer paper and passed out ourselves once a month during lunch. I wasn’t sure if anyone read what we were writing, but the satisfaction of seeing my name printed under an article that I was proud of was just the same. I saved up for my first camera in 11th grade and it became my favorite accessory as it found a permanent place hanging from my neck, hoping that opportunity would allow for a good candid. Even after all my friends began getting their news online, I maintained that the daily paper wore it best. I was a true advocate for old-fashioned journalism, even when the world did not agree.

This passion continued as I came to Duquesne. Though I wasn’t a journalism major, I still wanted to be a part of the magic that I had experienced growing up. So, I joined The Duquesne Duke as a staff writer my first semester freshman year. I remember the excitement I felt when I first saw my name published in the paper and then the disappointment after, when I realized how many changes they’d made to my article. But that only allowed me to grow as a journalist and my persistence paid off. Later that year, someone decided to take a chance on a quiet freshman to fill the position of advertising sales manager – I had no idea what I was signing up for.

Walking into the newsroom, I felt extremely awkward-a freshman. All of the other editors were so much older and more knowledgeable than me, and I felt like I stood out. But I saw the way the newspaper had brought them together and knew that this is what I wanted, and so I stuck with it. After a couple years, I had developed my own friendships within the newsroom, which traveled with me to new cities, as well as sketchy apartments in Uptown. Some of the funniest people I’ve ever met still work there today, livening up that dusty old room and making it feel like home.

Since I will not be pursuing a career in journalism, I think the saddest part about graduating is that there will no longer be a newsroom for me to call home.

I have so many memories of me scribbling in the puzzle section of the newspaper, as my dad would read the sports section and my mom would sift through Sunday morning coupons. Something about that newspaper brought my family together, just as it brought me to so many of the friends that I have now. After graduation, similar memories of sitting around a table to look at the newspaper will come to mind when I reminisce about my time spent at Duquesne. I’m so appreciative of these experiences and the many editors and friends that have helped make these past few years so cherished. And for anyone that is reading this, please, I implore you, don’t forget to read the newspaper.