It will never be “that time of year again”

Photo by Hallie Lauer
This was my desk as I entered into the newsroom for the very last time. Clutter and all, this was my sanctuary for four years, and I will miss it dearly.

03/19/2020

By Hallie Lauer | News Editor

Bruce Springsteen, in his Broadway show, said, “there’s nothing like being young and leaving someplace.” And while I have to agree with The Boss, I’ve never been good at goodbyes — particularly goodbyes that come too soon.

Whether I want to or not, though, I have to say goodbye. Goodbye to Duquesne, and to College Hall Room 113, where I spent many Wednesday nights and took many Thursday morning naps. This is coming significantly earlier and under circumstances that are less than ideal, but we do what we must.

When Duquesne moved to online only, I was two weeks away from being an editor at The Duke for 100 print issues. I will end my time here at 99, and while that is disappointing, I am thankful for each and every one of those 99 issues.

It has been a long journey for me. I started as the layout editor second semester freshman year. I was young and didn’t really feel like I belonged in this newsroom. I have a vivid memory of walking into this room freshman year and asking a woman with purple hair how to get her job. She was the editor-in-chief, and while I never had her job, I’ve worn many hats at this paper.

Since then, I’ve held the position of features editor, news editor and managing editor, and this room has been my home. For four years, my weeks have revolved around budget meetings, copy editing and publishing. And now, I’m ending this journey in that same newsroom, surrounded by some of the greatest humans I’ve ever met.

Inside the walls of 113 College Hall, I have laughed so hard, I cried. I’ve gotten some of the best and worst news of my life. I’ve grown as a person and as a journalist.

I will miss the late nights, the Nicky’s Thai and driving my fellow South Side dwellers home. I’ve been a part of more inside jokes than I can even fathom, and now it has all come to an end. To have to say goodbye to all of this is incredibly difficult, but I leave it in good hands.

The editors taking over are more than capable (I know, I helped train them). They are passionate and talented and will continue to make this paper a success.

To my fellow graduating seniors, it has been a journey with you. I couldn’t have imagined it any other way and I will forever cherish the memories we’ve gotten to make together.

I love Duquesne in a way I didn’t know you could love a place. It was the only college I applied to when I was in high school and it has been my home for the last four years. This place has an aura about it I doubt I will be able to replicate anywhere else in my life.

Part of that comes from the people who work here. The professors in the media department are some of the most dedicated people I’ve ever met. As I enter into a real career, I am thankful that I have gotten to learn from them. Particularly Dr. Dillon, who started and finished my Duquesne journey with me and has always reminded me that this business is more than getting the story out – it’s getting it right and giving it a voice.

Paula, of course, gets her own graph. She joined The Duke staff midway through my career here and honestly, I was skeptical. However, two weeks into our time together she convinced me to apply for White House press credentials to cover a presidential speech. I got the creds and she has been a source of inspiration and motivation ever since. Her guidance at this paper has helped to shape me into the journalist and person I am today. She is a top-notch journalist and an all around wonderful human.

Also a special thanks to our readers; it’s sometimes hard to make Duquesne students care about things, but our readers make the struggle worth it.

I’ve written too many stories to count for The Duke, many of them have kept me up late and weighed heavy on my brain. But none, until this one, made me cry as I wrote it.

The great sports writer Red Smith once said, “Writing is easy. Just sit at a typewriter, open up a vein and bleed it out drop by drop.”

It has been an honor to bleed with you. Go Maroons.

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