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viewpoint

Never stop writing

| Friday, May 19, 2017

Thank you, Observer, for shaping me into a storyteller.

Stories capture the significance of the world around us by taking snapshots of everyday events and conversations, whether they take place in a lecture hall or at a demonstration downtown. They entertain us, they inform us and even more importantly, they challenge us. They challenge us to keep writing.

Being a news writer my first year challenged me to engage with a brand new campus community. I found myself interviewing faculty and staff and attending lectures on topics previously foreign to me. It was all very intimidating, and yet I kept writing.

Over the past four years, I’ve written on a variety of topics. I have fond memories of sneaking a picture of my sister into the article I wrote about Little Sibs Weekend, and I can still recall the conversations I had with the wonderful alumni who invited me to sit with them as I covered President Mooney’s Tribute Dinner. Those memories kept me writing.

But of course, my five minutes of fame came from my article “SMC lecture examines relationship between humanity, nature” being featured in the Irish Potato in 2015. No, I have not forgotten, and yes, I laugh every time I think about it. Keep writing you guys.

During this time of learning how to write news articles, I also learned how to listen.

For example, one of my most poignant news writing memories occurred in fall 2015. Immediately after writing a preview article about the upcoming Respect Life week, I found myself staying up late with my fellow co-associate news editor writing the article “SMC display examines Planned Parenthood services”. To write those articles, I had to listen.

It was during that week of controversy that reinforced for me the importance of listening to both sides of an argument … and the importance of recognizing that there can be more than two sides. Readers, in our world today, I encourage you to keep listening.

And that is why storytelling is important. Storytelling as a news writer challenges a writer to listen, so they, in turn, write in such a way that encourages the world to listen.

So with that, I would like to conclude with a message to my fellow storytellers. Thank you to all who make the publication of this paper possible. Even though I may not see you very often, please know that I admire your hard work and dedication. Thank you for the opportunity to be a storyteller for the past four years.

For those of you who write for Saint Mary’s, take a moment to look at the seniors who have gone before you. Recognize you are part of a legacy of strong, incredible women. Keep up the good work; there are plenty of stories left to tell.

Finally, to the readers. Thank you for your curiosity, for reading the paper over lunch, for doing those crossword puzzles in sociology class. Know that when we write, we write for you.

All I have left is this: Keep writing. Keep listening. And most importantly, keep telling stories.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Kathryn Marshall

Kathryn Marshall, Saint Mary's College '17, is a Biology and Humanistic Studies double major. Follow Kathryn on Twitter @kmarshallSMC

Contact Kathryn