Being that it is summer break, the last thing I want to do is write an editor’s note. Now don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy editing and managing arts and media content for tens of people—if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have taken this job. However, summers for me are sacred. I need a break from the trials and demands of the school year. I’m realizing now that after this one, I only have one real summer left—which, of course, is reserved for people do their big internship. So in all actuality, I’m pretty much booked (or should be theoretically) for the rest of my life until retirement. That’s fun.
All cynicism and mild exaggeration aside, I guess I’m really just upset with the fact that summers are no longer those fun, do-nothing times where there was little stress and little worry about how what you are doing that summer is going to benefit you in your future career.
When I was younger, summers were times when I would learn about the world around me in ways you couldn’t learn in school.
Some days, the neighbor kids and I, armed with a “half-broke” fishing pole and a frayed “huntin’” net, would spend hours capturing fish, frogs, bunnies and any poor wildlife we could get our grubby, melted popsicle lathered hands on for our “backyard zoo.” Biology and anti-PETA lessons all in one.
Other lazy days, when it would rain or the Indiana heat got to us, we would mindlessly waste the day with our hands glued to the XBOX controllers as “Battlefront 2” (with me dominating because the force was definitely strong with me) or “Halo” (with me idly watching because I sucked at Halo) flashed on the TV screen. Early lessons in procrastination.
What really made my summers were bonfire nights. The kind where the egregiously blazing sun left for the night, so that the temperature rested just a tad cooler. Girls would change into oversized sweatshirts for no reason at all and guys just kind of wore whatever they wore that day—as the flames licked all our bare legs alike. Many s’mores and feels were shared around bonfires, and as the flames died down into embers, we would lay back in our lawn chairs and see all of the star—a single star—through all the light pollution and talk about our hopes and dreams. Lessons in farmer’s astronomy and carving sentiment out of over-used clichés.
More and more, summers become less of a break and more of a continuation of everyday life.
In this volume of Recess, I hope that our stories can be a bit of a break from the daily chronicles of Duke. This year, in diversifying our coverage, everyone can find something that interests them. Whether it be student life or popular culture or the newest Nasher exhibit, Recess will grow to not just to be the section that serves the niche few but expands to serve a little more than few. The stories and storytelling methods we have planned for this next school year will be experimental, but change is a good thing. My time at Recess has been marked by both lax and feature-heavy tenures, but I hope that mine is a healthy mix of the two.
And if you’re a curious writer who has a passion for the arts, media, popular culture, know that our doors are always open here at The Chronicle, and we would love to have you aboard.
So whether you’re pool side, at an internship, nervous about coming to Duke or need to line a litter box, Recess is here for you this summer. Enjoy the summer, and if you can have fun, have it.
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