Duck: Meredith Galante
Asst. Copy Editor, Managing Editor, Editor in Chief (Fall 2008-Spring 2010)
My cell phone blasts, jarring me awake. It’s March 25, 2010. The NCAA Sweet 16 starts today. I was awake for 42 hours straight to produce The Daily Orange’s NCAA Regional preview guide and two days’ worth of newspapers. My whole body aches. The phone continues to ring. My hand reaches to the bedstand to answer.
On the other end of the line Asst. Photo Editor Will Halsey starts spewing compliments about how good the paper looks today. He tells me I should be proud. I sent him running around the day before taking photos of the Cornell basketball team, the line for Andy Samberg’s show. Everything dropped at the last moment. We had to problem solve. The nature of the industry. My favorite part of the industry.
I haven’t seen the paper yet today. I’m still in bed. My room is pitch-black. My head hurts. What time is it? I grunt. Will realizes he woke me up. He apologizes profusely. I ask him for the time. It’s 2 p.m. F***. I slept through all my classes today.
A snapshot of my time here as EIC at The D.O. The paper always comes first. Always. Then, it’s survival. Do what you have to so you can be ready to make quick decisions during the next night of production.
Now, graduation approaches. I will sleep more. Run around frantic less. But with that I will no longer pick up the paper every morning and feel the enormous satisfaction of another paper put out, another lesson learned.
In order of appearance …
Gelb: I looked up to you for so long, so our bumpy start to my tenure in management was harder on me than you know. The day I found out I was going to be EIC, you put only positive reinforcement in my head, trying to convince me I could get the job done. That I was ‘an all-star from the beginning.’ Hearing it from you helped the most. Through all of this, I hope I didn’t disappoint you.
Schonbrun: Your inspiration to put ‘blues, oranges and greens’ into my mid-week tennis preview really skyrocketed my career here. I’m glad we moved past all that and you can confide in me now. I’ll see you in Philly this summer when you and Oscar are hanging out, and I promise not to be so sarcastic.
Andy: ‘What crisis do I have to help solve now?’ It’s a little-known fact how much I relied on you during my time in management. You knew how to clam me down, use logic and send me on my way to do what was best for the paper. All this is my fault anyway, since I ‘had to be a hero.’ The things you’ve taught me are intangible. The guidance you gave me — priceless. The times you made me laugh — too many to count.
Clayton: When you complimented my John Desko A1 in the guide, it meant the most because I constantly ran around striving for your approval last fall.
Kyle: You were probably one of the most hilarious and inspiring people I’ve crossed paths with here. I’m sure it pains you to read that I hear myself reciting lines to the lax beat writers that you said to me last year. I enjoyed coming to work so much when you were sports editor and miss the witty banter.
Mel: We were so similar it was eerie. You were an inspiration. You taught me about more than just writing in such a small time, and best of all, we had a blast. I told News to model off what you did because I admired it.
Lesley: I was scared when you told me all the things the paper had to accomplish this year. But I filed all those tips in my head and tried to accomplish at least half of them.
Jackie: We only met face to face on SU’s campus maybe three times, but our summers in N.J. made up for it! It was so great to have you to talk to about journalism or whatever else life threw our way.
Reilly: Thank you for the random story ideas and the advice this summer: ‘Any idiot can be managing editor.’ So, so true.
Jared: You were a great problem solver, which is more than half the battle. Thank you for your support. There will always be bagels.
Tyler: Skim milk. In my coffee. Thank you for stepping up this semester when the paper, when I, needed you most. You are an amazing writer and I can’t wait to see what you can do. Thanks for the ‘tweaking.’
Ehalt: Kyle came up with ‘Thabeet Down.’ But we’ll always have Natick.
Dockery: At the end of last year, I really thought you went batsh** crazy. Now, I understand and feel the same way. I can’t compare with what you wrote to me in your Duck, one of the nicest compliments anyone has ever paid me. All I can say is thank you for being there for me and News when we needed you.
Erinn: The most underrated-hilarious person at this paper. You are truly fantastic. I will miss you. ‘Managing Things’ gave me a new insight to life when I moved into management.
Brittney: Your support meant so much. I’m glad we grew closer this semester and I can’t wait for us all to hang out in NJ this summer! (Ah, I just broke AP style)
Andrew John: You were a joy to work with. I wish we could have worked in the same Sports office during our time here. You will be a great edition to a long line of great SE’s. You’ll be hearing from me.
Tony: You excelled this semester. Your passion for this place will get you far. The way you were excited for guides and stories made me excited! Keep the Rickster on your side.
Abe: One of the finest crime reporters I’ve seen. I hope you didn’t lose your passion while you were frolicking on the other side of the pond.
Kyle Leach: What a wonderful surprise and lovely addition to last semester’s staff. I hope you take your time here at The D.O. and carry it with you the rest of your life.
Maria: I can’t try to match the lovely things you wrote in your Duck to me, I was so flattered. I hope you write for the paper when you return because you are a positive influence on it.
Luke: The water pressure joke is still funny in the Galante household. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation in meeting you. I found a photo editor, but more importantly a friend.
Piersol: I struggled to teach you everything I wanted to. I didn’t want you to accept failure. I wanted you to lead strongly, confidently even if it was a facade. I couldn’t give you the photo skills you desired, but I hope you gained some life lessons.
Kathleen/Beckie/Rebecca: The amount of pride I have when talking about you three overwhelms me. I am so proud of the self-driven, efficient and wonderful asst. news editors and people you three have become. KR: Keep Katie sane. Be vocal. People on staff should want to be like you! I believed you’d be great from the start and you’ve already surpassed my wildest expectations.
Flash: I set a high standard for you, and you rose to the occasion. Just keep taking risks and they will pay off.
Lauren: You proved them all wrong. You stayed for a year. You are a wonderful person and I will miss you greatly.
Toback/Swab/Papo: The connections and skills you gain here are priceless. But I hope you enjoyed your time here.
Bill: My Siamese twin. Did you ever use the stylebook? I predict a great summer in our future.
Jenna/Taylor: I hope you absorbed the knowledge spewing from Burton and Halsey. It will only serve you well in the future.
Brett/Zach: Speak up more! You are both so silently funny and fantastic writers! Thanks for putting up with my teasing. Not you, Brett. I wasn’t kidding.
Molly: Wow, you are hilarious. I apologize for every time I stifled your creativity.
Becca: What a wonderful step up for you. I can’t put into words here what this place will do for you. Push Katie. Push yourself.
Elliot/Kelly: You both have a lot of spunk. Channel it into making the section great next semester.
Julissa/ Christine/ Ashley: You all contributed to the first complete design section in awhile. Best of luck abroad.
A.J. Chavar: I suppose I did talk you up to my staff quite a bit. But you deserved it. Thank you for lending me an ear about D.O. stuff and helping me deal with Andrew. Do you know about the Spanish Inquisition?
OK, forget appearance now …
Steph: I am so sad for us.
Bethany: Your news sense impressed me every day. You took the weight off my shoulders in more occasions than you think. What you did with that News section last fall set the standard going forth. I will miss your company.
Pete: You always improved my mood with our conversations before production. Keep Katie sane for me. I’ll do anything I can to help going forward. We endured a lot together this semester, and I couldn’t have done it without your voice in my head of what’s right and wrong.
Julia: I missed you so much this semester. One of the greatest writers I was able to see flourish during my time at The D.O. And one of my greatest friends. When you asked for my number in the Sports office a year ago, I knew it was love.
852: I am so sorry I missed out on the Zoo that was our house this year. I hope you know I love you all, and thank you for dealing with me while I was at my worst. Robel: Thank you for all the inspirational texts.
Leah: You said to me, ‘I never went through anything like that.’ Well, I wish all of this on no one. But I still enjoyed trading tips about our leading/dictatorship tactics.
Will: How’d you like my anecdotal lede? You inspired the words. Thank you for your compliments, the epic cool-down walk around Thornden and, of course, the coffee. Thank you for learning as the semester progressed to text, not call, before 2 p.m. because I was still sleeping. When you told me you wanted to work hard for the paper because I worked hard — that made it all worth it.
Mom/Dad: I’m going to write you the words every EIC before me wrote to their parents, but the words are all true: I swear it was worth it. I’m sorry for falling off the edge of the earth. Thank you for all the support. But these words are mine: I didn’t call you as much because I did not want you to worry. This job was so hard and I knew I’d break down if I called. But I’m better because of this job, and hopefully now that it’s over you can see that.
Dailyorange.com: You (almost) drove me mad. But I love you. And I hate you. You’re the biggest thing I wanted to accomplish as EIC, and it happened. Even though A.J. still thinks you are terrible, I’m proud of how far you’ve come.
Conor: Standing in the foyer of Kyle’s house, you told me you thought we’d work great together. Two years later, look at us now. You were a healthy competitor for me, a trusted fellow editor and a loyal friend. Our relationship this semester was a pleasant surprise for me. And what a semester it has been. OK, I shouldn’t have let you run god(insert explicit here) in the paper. My bad. See you in Ledger Land, my friend.
Katie: I could not be prouder of anyone than I am of you. You took to this place instantly. Look at you now. You were my backbone this semester. The reason the paper came out every day while I tried to keep my wits about me. Through all of the late nights (like driving to Scotsmen), you became a trusted confidant. Put me to shame. Confidence. And you know I’ll be all up on your Gchat to praise you every day.
Sally: Most people on staff at The D.O. the past two years don’t realize how important you were to the day-to-day production of this paper. You kept me grounded. Gave me a reason to want the weekend, so we could hang out. All our little dates seemed to fix everything. I couldn’t have asked for or dreamed of a better college roommate.
Andrew: My strongest pillar of support. You were one of the very, very few people I could just be ‘Meredith,’ sans EIC title, with. That saved my sanity. Secret’s out everyone: Andrew Burton’s special project was keeping me sane! You impressed me every day. I know you think that your ideas ‘anyone could have them,’ but that’s not true. You’re special. Hence your title. You were my muse for making the paper better. I trust you like no one else. I rely on you, like no one else. One of the most valuable things I took away from this semester was your friendship. As I felt like my entire world was shattering around me, I always felt safer with you by my side, attached at my hip.
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