Well, this is quite surreal. As an opinions writer at heart, this column has always been a sort of Holy Grail, a clean slate at the front of the paper on which one can convey to the KO community a message they feel passionately about. I’ve been a part of the KO News for just about three years now, and have had the pleasure of reading three former Editor-In-Chief’s — Noah Stanton, Hannah Bash and Ben Small — monthly columns, each time feeling a small pang of envy. Now that I am now in their position, I feel it necessary to, with my first column, provide a brief insight into how I got to where I am now and what you can expect to see in this iteration of “A Wyvern’s Tale.”
My KO News journey has been, in itself, rather unusual, but it might never have been had it not been for a mundane scheduling error on my first day at KO. The art class I had signed up for ended up being full, so needed to choose another elective. I went home that night and pored over the list of possible electives, remaining woefully indecisive until my mom, probably in an attempt to put me out of my misery, made the fateful suggestion: “Why don’t you just take journalism?” As I couldn’t decide on anything else, and had always had something of an affinity for writing (although I had never really cared for it), journalism it was.
After completing journalism in the first semester of my freshman year, I began my tenure on the KO News as an associate Opinions editor. Opinions had not been one of my top choices, and while I had never lacked opinions, I had always been hesitant to share them with others out of fear of judgement or disagreement. As I began to write for the paper however, I was encouraged to begin to branch out and share some of my political opinions — a topic which I am especially passionate about — even though they could be controversial. After my first political article was printed, I was quite nervous. I was unsure of the reaction that my opinion would elicit among my peers and even teachers. While I did receive responses — both positive and negative — they were, for the most part, from people who wanted to continue the conversation I had begun in the piece in a dialectical manner, something which I was thrilled to do. After that first article, I discovered that through my writing, I could create an avenue through which I could converse with people who I may not have otherwise interacted with about topics which we were both passionate about, whether or not we agreed or not. As I continued to write, and subsequently have conversation about my writing, my confidence began to build, and I could feel my freshman timidity begin to slowly ebb away.
This newfound confidence rolled over to my sophomore year, as I decided to take a chance and attempt to create my own section: the Reviews section. I was ultimately successful, and, for the first three months, had to take on the responsibility of soliciting, writing, and editing articles for a three page section all on my own. This not only forced me to improve my then suspect time management skills, but also to continue to improve my interpersonal skills.
As my junior year of high school and third KO News year began, my solo career came to an end, as, for the first time, I had associate editors. This meant that I was not only responsible for my own work, but also for teaching my new editors the ins and outs of the KO News and making sure that they would be prepared to run the section once I was gone. Lucky for me, I hit the jackpot and over the past year, have had the privilege to watch and help my three associate editors, all of whom are fantastic writers and who have an evident passion for writing and journalism, grow, not only as editors, but as people. The joviality, inside jokes, and even the group chat made News Days at 8:00 on a Sunday morning something to look forward to, and I can honestly say that the one thing I am most proud of over my KO News career has been seeing all of three of my associates, in less than a year of being on the paper, become heads of the Reviews, Opinions and Investigative Journalism sections of the paper respectively. Niki, Bella, and Madeline, thank you for making the past year of the KO News such a great one.
But I digress. I have been sitting at my desk for quite a while thinking of how to wrap this up and I’ve decided that it’s with a promise to you, the reader. I promise, in the ten installments of “A Wyvern’s Tale” I will write as Editor-In-Chief, to be honest and genuine in my thoughts and opinions. That is, if I feel strongly enough about something to put it here in print, what you will read will be my unabridged thoughts, just as if I were talking to you face to face. I believe this approach to be intrinsic, not only to building a culture of honesty, openness and respect, but also to fostering civil dialectic among individuals or groups who may not see eye to eye on one, or many issues and ideas. It is my hope to utilize whatever influence this space has to promote this agenda and leave the KO News and the KO community a better, safer intellectual space than when I entered it.