March 5, 2010

Peace Out

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“I was happiest when I was all alone — and it was very late at night, and I was walking up the hill after having helped put The Sun to bed. All the other University people, teachers and students alike, were asleep. They had been playing games all day long with what was known about real life. … We on The Sun were already in the midst of real life. By God, if we weren’t!”

— Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ’44, Sun Associate Editor 1943

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of life at Cornell and lose sight of the bigger picture. Especially for us editors of The Cornell Daily Sun.

Here on the Hill, we spend our days pretending to be real students: trudging to class on minimal amounts of sleep, chugging coffee and sometimes taking a couple notes. In the back of our minds, though, is not whether or not we’ll pass a prelim, or what grade we’ll get on a paper. Instead we’re thinking of how to articulate a perfect lede or write an epic headline. We’re immersed in the real world production of a daily newspaper, and that’s often a hard thing to realize amidst the arduous grind that is our lives.

That’s what makes this last night of publication special. As we — the 127th editorial board of The Sun — put our last newspaper to bed, we are finally struck with the harsh reality of what life will soon be like when we don’t have to wait until 2 a.m. to head to the library to start our homework, only to be disrupted by an angry early morning phone call from the press office. This night is time for reflection. To come together as a board one last time to talk about how truly formative this experience has been in our lives.

The Sun, of course, has grown a lot since Vonnegut’s day. We no longer hire “linotype” machine operators to create lines of type in molten lead and we don’t rely on a “mustrun” hung in Goldwin Smith to assign writers to stories. But at the core, what we do is exactly the same. We ask tough questions and stay on the ball. We stay up late and watch on as the community goes about daily life. We look forward to every day the The Sun comes out, and we’ll continue to, even after we’ve moved past college life. And that’s what makes being part of this organization so special.

With that, we’re signing off. We know the 128th editorial board will do miraculous things and we wish them the best of luck. The Sun inspired us in ways we never thought were possible, and we will remember it for the rest of our lives.

— E.C.