Bye, Forum

Hedy Gutfreund

I’ve been putting off writing this piece for a while now, because I’ve been putting off leaving The Forum for a while now. I’ve left it until the end of the day today–the last day that Aidan and Will said I could get this article to them, the day after my last Latin assignment was completed. Goodbyes are hard and weird, and this one is particularly crucial to me, because being a part of this newspaper has defined my life at Latin.

I joined the Forum staff when I was a nervous freshman, following up on a gathering announcement by the dynamic duo of then-editors-in-chief Dilara Akgunduz (‘11) and Ben Quazzo (‘11). I was impressed by their enthusiasm for the newspaper, which I had heard less-than-stellar things about, and I had enjoyed my work on the Middle School newspaper enough to try my hand at this. Sitting cross-legged on the floor outside the Admissions Office and what was then the Publications Office, I felt a sense of community and eagerness that drew me in for the next four years.

I’ve put a lot of time into The Forum- hours editing articles, playing with the layout, interviewing people, writing editorials, having late-night Forum video chats with Rachel Stone (‘13) and late-night email conversations with Mr. Fript- and I hope I have been able to give back to it through that time. Because when I look back on it, working on this paper has given so, so much to me.

When I walk down the halls for the last time as a Latin student this Tuesday, it will feel sad and nostalgic and also exciting to look forward to the next step in my life. But it will also feel like I’m leaving a place that I know terribly well, and I know Latin so well because of The Forum. I know I would have loved Latin regardless, but I love Latin so much because I really know it. I know its people, its faults, its quirks. Whether it’s recognizing the depth of mental health problems via an anonymous letter submitted to us or just being able to say hi to people I wouldn’t have otherwise met like Ms. Flassing (who helps us endlessly with this blog) or Mr. Guzmán (who kindly offers us interviews about security and facilities).

But beyond that, I know that Latin is a place where I can speak out and people will listen, where I can question and find answers, where I can engage in meaningful discussion. I’m beyond grateful to have had such a wonderful four years with The Forum. Thank you to everyone with whom I’ve worked, everyone who endured my endless Facebook posts to read this paper (and especially those who actually read it), to everyone who I’ve interviewed, and to everyone who allowed me to get so much out of this experience. I’m hopeful that it will continue to be an opportunity for the Latin community- both those involved with it and those who read it- to learn, grow, and speak.]]>