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Dear readers

Jenn Metz | Monday, March 2, 2009

Dear readers,

I am thrilled to begin my year as Editor-in-Chief of The Observer today.

I have dedicated countless hours to The Observer, slaving away at the old computers in the darkest place on this campus – the basement of South Dining Hall.

I’m writing this column from my room in Cavanaugh, where there is a window to the outside world. However, there are at least 10 staffers at work as my fingers type, putting aside homework and social obligations to operate a finicky software program and actually make the newspaper.

The students on the production staff are the unsung heroes of this campus, in my opinion. Getting paid less than one dollar an hour for their work, which can last late into the night, and still coming back week after week is a real testament to The Observer as both a publication and mini-community on this campus.

Some things I have learned while putting in my time at a production computer: Save your documents. Keep your cell phone on. Don’t panic. Pray. And most importantly: Save your documents.

Some things I wish I would have learned sooner: Procrastination does not always work. There are really only 24 hours in a day and it is possible to over-schedule yourself. (To the professors whose classes I’ve missed this past week and to the friends whom I’ve missed lunches, breakfasts and dinners with, I apologize.)

Though putting in time at The Observer has caused me to miss out on certain parts of being a student here at Notre Dame and sacrifice any hope of a regular sleep schedule, it has granted me other opportunities that have made joining the paper the best decision of my adult life.

I was able to travel to Washington, D.C. to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing congressmen and movie stars. I’ve sat down with University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh to talk about civil rights and his remarkable career.

Most importantly, however, I’ve had the honor of interviewing hundreds of you: my classmates. The things you accomplish everyday, whether it be passing a resolution in student government, starting a club, serving the community and still making time to study, learn and live here in South Bend are inspiring.

We’ve sought to help you – by reporting on national news with a Notre Dame angle to assist in your post-graduation job searches, by keeping you up-to-date on politics, by continuing to make The Observer an indispensable link between the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses.

Fr. Hesburgh sent me a letter shortly after I was announced the next editor-in-chief. He wrote he was sure I would carry on the tradition of The Observer “with great style and panache.” I hope I can fulfill his and all of your expectations during my tenure.

I pride myself on The Observer’s continued reputation as a responsible news media. Thank you for your continued support of our publication. It is our goal to serve you in the best way possible. If we’re not, I’ll want to hear about it and suggestions for change. You know how to contact me.