The snack that smiles back

Sophia Fowler '22

Meghan Wysocki '22, Editor-in-Chief

Before I wrote for the newspaper, I ate it.
You read that correctly. Not ate it up, idiomatically. Physically chewed it. I have an embarrassing number of photos featuring one bald-headed baby, yours truly, munching on the Free Press. So if you really want to know where my love for journalism came from, there you have it. (My palate has since diversified.)
Recently, I was reading up on some supplementary materials for a paper, as a scholarly AP Lit student does, when I came across a fantastic quote from American writer Ralph Ellison. He says, “We become writers out of an act of choice. If we do not transform (our experiences) into forms and images of meaning which they did not possess before, then we have failed as artists.” Tower is an art form. Journalism is an art form. And Tower gave me that choice – a choice to document the best and worst of high school and a choice to give my life a little more meaning.
It took what I understood about the teenage experience and squeezed a larger perspective out of it. It taught me not just how to talk to people, but how to listen to them. It also taught me to talk about big things in little words. As Bobby Hawthorne, a fantastically dry and very Texan journalism professor, once told me at MIPA camp, “Don’t be stupid. Quit with the Smart Girl Language.” It’s one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned: People like it if you talk with and about them in language they understand.
Of course, I would not be writing this without the support of so many people. Edge, you were the first high school teacher to give me your cell phone number and my rockstar, whip-smart support through the past four years. Eleni, thank God you like InDesign. There would be no paper without you and your brilliance. To the staff, in the kindest way possible, you are the people who jump on my bed every morning as I attempt to hit the snooze button three more times. You get me going even when I don’t think I can. And to my ridiculously talented and brilliant teachers, the environment you create and the passion you bring to this building makes me one of those kids who likes coming to school. Thank you for that.
Good night, Tower. It’s been fun.