Editors' Note

Dear readers,

Consider the last time you wrote a personal reflection—an assignment for class, an application essay, a journal passage, anything. For some of you (the poetic, introspective type), this experience may have been just last night, curled up in bed, jotting down thoughts in your Moleskine notebook; and for others (the rest of us) the memory could be months, even years, old—Writing 20, that ALP you had to take, the worrisome college essay.

As journalists, a most difficult task—more than concocting an interesting idea, completing hours of background research, getting the thoughts on the page—is often just finding a voice. This is the first-person narrative that is the articulation and representation of you, the way you think, how you feel. The task can feel daunting, even scary. The words are you—there is no hiding behind the veil of Chronicle style, Associated Press convention and excessive passive voice. But, if written well, the singular perspective can be profoundly effective.

The underlying theme of this December 2012 Towerview, the final magazine of the semester, is “Perspectives.” The majority of the stories woven through the issue give clear voices to Duke students across campus, both past and present: tales of travel from an adventurous senior who spent more than a year studying across Africa; an insightful reflection from another, hired full-time to work at President Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago this fall; the five-paragraph essay of a recent Duke graduate, paralleling his two-year Teach for America experience with the careers of two professional athletes. We hope you find their stories and the others as compelling as we did. Happy holidays and see you in January!


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