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McKinstry reflects on Voice, root beer

Lee McKinstry

Oh, The Wooster Voice office, home away from dorm, sweet dungeon of my soul. I love you. I adore you, in all of your warm and terrible windowless glory.

No one knows the joy it is to be curled up on the Voice couch until they’ve sat there, lived there, sipping root beer from a Lowry to-go cup while Frank Ocean is blasting out of the News computer, and the copyediting pens are flying at someone’s head, and an editor has finally got all the columns to line up perfectly, and no one is doing homework or can, and your co-editors are also your best friends and your little brothers and your ship mates and your fellow criminals rolled into one.

Someday, when someone asks what me loved about college, what I will remember this.

When I first came down to the office freshman year, I was intimidated and vaguely terrified as I turned the corner into the room, a den of frustrated grunts and screamed edits, the sheer volume of which nearly blew me back into Mom’s. It was my second week of college, and I heard an A&E editorship was open, so I thought I’d give it a shot. That first year was difficult and incredibly stimulating, and topped with a particularly ridiculous episode involving one Marten Dollinger flying a remote-operated plane into Maddie Halstead’s head, and I was hooked.

I learned quickly. This newspaper became the chaos I organized my life around, and I staked my spot here thanks to a group of incredibly loving, dedicated and generous co-editors, photographers and reporters who have come and gone. Jonah Comstock, Andrew Vogel, George Myatt, Maggie Donnelly, Chris Weston, Linda Kuster, Maureen Sill, Maddie Halstead, Kris Fronzak, Jon McGovern, Bob West, Matt Kodner, etc. … all of you helped me understand who I was and what my strengths were in the scary new world of college, dealt with my frenzied deadlines and terrible jokes, and showed me what it meant to be part of a team.

It’s been hard to see each of you go each year, but that’s the nature of the newspaper — we pass the torch, learn from our collective missteps and keep going after each graduate turns in their Voice key. You’re all still here though, your tattered quotes and ridiculous head shots lining the walls. It’s a nice reminder of the tradition we’re all joining, the words I’ll soon leave behind, the terrible sex jokes no future staff will think are funny.

And this year, these fools, they’re my family too. Those who fall backwards out of office chairs like a wounded swan, the ones who blotted tears during Junior and Senior I.S. and neck injuries, who belted all the words to “Beauty and the Beast” on our Voice field trip, the sassmasters who put me back in my place, the friends who fed my root beer addiction (seriously, is there any better beverage? I should have just changed my acknowledgments section to a picture of Barqs), and dance shamelessly to Swedish pop, who are friends and goddesses and assets to this school — what would I have done without you?

We’ve stirred the shit, shined the spotlight back on Woo’s overlooked issues and did it with finesse and integrity. We’ve made people listen, whether they wanted to or not. We tried to be journalists. We loved each other fiercely and with a fair amount of sass.

We did something great here. I won’t forget it. Thank you Voice.

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One Response to “McKinstry reflects on Voice, root beer”

  1. marten says:

    It’s always great to see that The Voice is running strong as ever and that the staff is always heavily invested in it. For the record, though, it was a remote control dragonfly, to this day the best purchase I have ever made.


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