Read our first print issue of the year, including stories about the GSEU’s continued fight for a wage above the poverty line, violence against journalists in Mexico, the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, George Santos and more. Cover by Keating Zelenke.
Letter from the Editor
By Jane Montalto
Another summer has — at least for me — flown by. Ironically, it’s usually in the last few weeks of summer that I finally get used to the rhythm of the season. My relationship with summer has always been a bit complex. Yes, of course I love having more freedom and less academic stress, but every summer seems to end with the same fateful question: What did I even do?
When the spring semester ends, I’m emboldened to be the person I wish I could be. I decide this is the summer I’ll finally feel proud of what I’ve accomplished when it’s over. But my issue lies in the stillness of it all. Every semester, I like to overload myself with responsibilities, almost as an escape from my own thoughts. If I have no moment to be truly alone with myself, then I don’t have to worry about my own personal issues, so I’m drawn to the ever-demanding chaos of academic obligations. Even this fall, I’ve signed up to juggle being executive editor, completing my senior project and contributing to an independent study. My school years are defined by this frenzied scrambling I do to survive.
If school is frenzied, then summer is still. I’m not sure how I feel about being still. Each year I try it on for size — I pick up the book I haven’t finished in months and read outside, wondering if 30 minutes of sun exposure is significant enough to warrant a tan. The same rabbit who has strangely lounged in my backyard the past few years pays me a visit, and I watch as she methodically chows down on the tall pieces of grass — her mouth operates like a living Chuck E. Cheese ticket muncher. Somehow she just exists, closing her little rabbit eyes to bask in the sun. It’s nice that we get to share this moment together.
This summer was a tumultuous one, with themes of loss, reflection and acceptance. Sometimes loss can feel so massive and all-encompassing. It makes me feel broken apart, but I still wake up the next morning. I actively make the decision to put my pieces back together and enter a new day. I know that even when it doesn’t feel like it, I’m still moving forward.
Summer’s stillness makes me feel much more grateful for the chaos that has begun every August since I was 5. Now, I enter a new school year for the last time, freshly 22 years old. That’s weird. But I am thrilled to reunite with people I have dearly missed these past few months. There is an excitement in my chest about all we will create here. I feel ready to enter this final school year and see what comes of it. Soak in the stillness while you still can, I tell myself — the mania is revving its engine and about to begin.