[Editorial] Swan Song
by The Milton Measure on Friday, April 26th, 2013
Napoleon may well have had in mind the process of producing a high school newspaper when he said “from the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step.” As we on the CXVIII Editorial Board have learned very well since last May, putting a copy of The Measure in your hands every other Friday at recess entails dealing with everything from serious global issues and school-wide concerns to the Milton community’s latest Twitter happenings. Still, the seeming disconnect between the “grandeur” of events that have world-historical implications or that will have a major effect on the Milton community and the “ridiculousness” of more mundane concerns is essential to journalism, and life, particularly in high school.
We all balance the tension of dealing with day-to-day affairs while paying attention to the bigger picture. At Milton, we call this general phenomenon the “Milton bubble,” but The Measure reflects the divide in several ways, from balancing school news with reports of the outside world to offering more serious news and opinion pieces alongside light-hearted gossip and humor sections. In our editorials this year, we were able to deal with obviously significant issues, like America’s gun culture, while also finding the serious undertones of more light-hearted events, like the controversies surrounding Milton’s dorm caroling and “Santa Baby” a cappella traditions. Everyone on the Editorial Board has had firsthand experience with both the serious and the funny aspects of The Measure, and we have all learned quite a bit about how to add a bit of humor to a news story, and how to make social commentary on the back page.
Another aspect of grandeur and absurdity in producing The Measure comes from the time commitment. Many would feel that we spent a “ridiculous” amount of time this year working on The Measure, but we all would maintain that we received a good deal of fulfillment in return. This Editorial Board has been described as the proverbial band of misfits, and this description certainly fits the unlikely cast of characters that made The Measure function this year. From the grammar whip-crackers to the pop music experts to the political insiders to the ace managers to the technical aficionados, we all contributed to the publication, and we all learned from one another in a way that enriched our final product.
The response to last week’s tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon is the strongest example of our community as a whole confronting the “serious” in our lives: a day turned suddenly dark, and Milton students rose to the challenge. We have always supported one another through strife, and this occasion was no exception. Shortly after the incident, students rushed to Facebook and other forms of social media to check in with their friends and ensure that all members of the community were safe. We comforted those peers whose families were directly affected by the bombing, and banded together as a community to support a fellow ISL student who was injured. While we were all shaken by violence so close to home, we applaud our community’s effort to counter this act of hate not with vengeance but with empathy and courage.
What aided this Board’s cohesion was our overarching sense of responsibility. We all realized that, even if our only contribution during a given week was a well-conceived humor page or a much-needed editorial, Milton as an institution expects and deserves a quality official newspaper. Achieving that goal was easier some weeks than others, but it was always rewarding and always presented new challenges. With the ever-valuable wisdom and (occasionally) necessary censorship of Mr. Pollans, and the continued interest of the Milton community, we feel that we have acquitted ourselves well as a Board, and had fun along the way. We believe in full confidence that the CXIX Board can carry on The Measure’s legacy in these, our turbulent times.
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