September 22, 2019 | 69° F

A final farewell: All I can say is, 'It happened'


You know it’s a new editorial board at The Daily Targum when the cleaning supplies are out, the wall quotes are stripped down and last semester’s newspapers are in the trash.

And you know you’re no longer needed when you’re sitting outside during the budget, edit and news meetings, when the phone rings and you can’t answer it, and when you watch the new managing editor delete your name off the masthead.

It’s crazy to watch the process, the clearing of the space I considered mine for so long. I had been a part of that office for three years and had seen board after board come and go.

As an associate news editor my first-year and sophomore year of college, the board was intimidating and loud. So loud. But man, did they work like a well-oiled machine. The next board, on which I was managing editor, was completely different. At first we were quiet and unsure, but everything was still new and exciting. And by the end of the year, we became silly, sassy and like a family. We would do anything for each other. I don’t go a day without missing that family.

And then there was this past board, for which I was blessed to serve as editor-in-chief — a position that definitely taught me a thing or two. We were a strange mix of old and new, of veterans and rookies. My co-mother Taylere and I worked to impart all our knowledge into our soon-to-be replacements, and we all refused to settle. And we didn’t.

I don’t know how a place can have such a hold on your heart. Sure, 26 Mine St. was just somewhere I went to work, and I will work in many more places. But for me and most of the editors, that office was different. It was where I made some of my best friends and closest confidants; where I studied and learned; where I cried when I thought my personal world was crumbling; where I accepted my mistakes and failures; where I came to terms with my choices; where I defended myself, my coworkers and our actions; where I danced and laughed and sang; where I forgot all my issues, picked myself up and put out the next day’s paper; and where I realized what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

And you know what? If I could go back, I would go through everything all over again. The joy, the successes, the heartache, the struggles, the drama, the fights, the laughter — everything. In a heartbeat.

But I think the hardest part of letting go is not cleaning out the office — it’s moving on from all the people who’ve changed my life: everyone in the business and production departments, who put up with my antics and pretzel-swiping for two years (especially Liz and her hugs) and taught me the importance of tradition; all the old editors from Boards 140/141, who taught me how to breathe and run this monster, whipped me into shape and served as my mentors; Board 142, who gave me the laughter, hope, determination and the second family I needed to keep going when managing an inexperienced and small staff seemed impossible; and Board 143, who reinvigorated my passion for 26 Mine with its youth, curiosity and energy (you’re all my children, I swear). You all put up with me at my worst and inspired me to keep going when it didn’t seem possible. Together, we made our mark, and I am beyond proud of everything we accomplished.

And, of course, I must reserve a paragraph for Taylere, who is beyond the greatest managing editor (myself excluded, duh), design editor, partner-in-crime, housemate and best friend I could ask for. Not to mention, my personal editor who has read everything I’ve ever written a million and one times because I’m obsessive like that. It’s because we balance each other out. I would sit next to you, squinting my eyes and crossing my arms, while you tweaked every line and box and I nitpicked words to chop and change. And it’s not like I’m really moving on from you, anyway — you literally live the room over. In fact, I can hear your laughter downstairs right now. I know I always say I hate it, but I secretly love it. You are my rock.

Now, most importantly, I would like to extend my congratulations to the other graduating seniors of this board: Taylere Ham, Kristine Tiny Duck, Steven Andrew (for your mother), Matty K., Jillian/Blair, Reena Miss Teen Philippines and Aleksi Walrus. I will also throw in KFree, who is a junior but not an editor anymore: Wow. I think that’s all I can say when I look at everything we did. I feel like we all just finished running a marathon (the best one ever … or maybe the worst?). You all know I can easily slide in some inappropriate phrase, but I just truly want to thank you for your professionalism and tireless dedication. I am so grateful to have gone through this with all of you — whether it was sitting side-by-side to figure out what the heck that writer was trying to say, jumping out in the middle of production on a freezing night to cover that raging fire downtown, exploring all the glory that is Hollywood Boulevard or picking out the top songs to work to. Our sweat, blood and tears will pay off for us this May. I know it. Leggo.

But enough of the past. To the new editors: you are all intelligent, compassionate and talented. I may have been tough on all of you at times, but it was because of my confidence in your abilities. I know that the paper is in the best hands at this University, and I would not nor could not replace any of you. I’m so proud of your enthusiasm and strength, and I cannot even imagine where you will take the Targum next. I don’t even have much advice to give you that you don’t already know. Just be sure to remember one thing — stick to your guns and to each other. Sometimes it’s all you can count on.

Good luck, 144.

Mary Diduch is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in political science and journalism and media studies, with a minor in Spanish. She is the former editor-in-chief, managing editor and associate news editor of The Daily Targum.

By Mary Diduch

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