Parting Shots

Outgoing FM leaders pass the torch.

LENA K. FELTON ’17, Chair

I’ve always suspected that Lena K. Felton is a secret party goddess. I don’t know exactly where this theory comes from. Maybe it’s that little twinkle in her eye. Maybe it’s that little bounce in her step. Maybe it’s the eight gajillion party pics on Facebook. You look great, Lena.

But: my theory can’t be true. After all, last spring FM hosted two Bachelor wine nights, and Lena did not attend either one. That’s right: 0 for 2. Where were you on the evenings of Feb. 27 and March 5, Lena? And don’t even get me started on poker night. It’s fine, though. It’s fine.

Other things I know about Lena: She knows how to write a kickass scrut. She knows how to edit a kickass scrut (heh). She knows how to use InDesign. She knows how to guide FM with a light and well-manicured hand. Lena Felton, you have been a gift to this magazine. Thank you for your time and your love.

But don’t just take it from me:

“When I turned back to my room the place seemed much pleasanter than before. Lena had left something warm and friendly in the lamplight.”

––Willa S. Cather, “My Antonia.”

P.S. Lena’s puppet is the only one with pants. Does this mean that the other puppets are naked, or just that the puppet world is pants-optional?

––Laura E. Hatt

MAIA R. SILBER ’17, Chair

The first time I spoke to Maia, we were standing in a cavernous underground freezer full of books. I was a lowly first-year writer fresh off my first scrut; she a golden-haired FM veteran with an apparently boundless capacity for eloquence.

“I really liked your scrut,” she said, shivering in the artificial chill of the Harvard Depository.

“Thanks,” I said, internally screaming.

Maia and I have spoken many times since then, often in book-filled environments, often about scruts, rarely in temperature-controlled modular media storage units. The feelings of fangirl-y awe that I experienced in our first conversation have never really faded, and with good reason.

As Maia ascended the FM throne, I came to love this quirky, archives-obsessed human, and deeply respect her editing prowess. I’ve watched her passionately defend usage of the word “whom,” become disproportionately excited about crossword puzzles, and adorably misunderstand pop culture references. I’ve watched her marshal an army of writers and make the tough choices her job requires with grace. But I know that Maia’s best accomplishments—her most powerful writing, her boldest leadership, her most fashionable sunglasses—are all ahead of her. I can’t wait to see what they are.

—Emma K. Talkoff

LAURA E. HATT ’18, Chair

Oh, lovely, lovely Laura. She’s lovelier than the following things: drinking steamed milk in front of a roaring fire, the smell of jasmine bloom in California in the spring, and brown paper packages tied up in string. (You’re right. I didn’t make that last one up, but they are lovely, and “string” rhymes with “spring.”)

The nicest Canadian you’ll ever meet, Laura also produces some of the loveliest language in all of the land. I don’t doubt that she has the writing skills, people skills, and design skills (via her close relationship to one of our star designers (just kidding!) to make this magazine as lovely as can be next year.

In all seriousness, Laura is one of the most competent, empathetic, and gifted people I’ve seen walk through this newsroom. And, in all seriousness, I’m still wondering how she manages to keep her hair looking so darn lovely during long nights at production. Laura—before I leave, tell me your ways!

—Lena K. Felton ’17

EMMA K. TALKOFF ’18, Chair

Like me, Emma’s a worrier. She worries about the articles she writes. She worries about the articles she edits. I think sometimes she worries about trending articles on The Huffington Post, such as “A Lot of Women Are Shaving their Faces. Here’s What You Need to Know.” (Well, perhaps that’s a legitimate cause for concern.)

Here’s the not-so-secret truth: Emma worries because she cares. Whether she’s investigating Harvard’s sexual assault policies or profiling the NCAA’s first transgender swimmer, she approaches her subjects with sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and profound empathy. And whether she’s guiding a new writer through her first reported article, or chasing commas late on a Tuesday night, she employs these same qualities as an editor.

Emma, you’ll have plenty to worry about as Magazine Chair: writers who miss deadlines, sources who don’t call back, and printers that mysteriously malfunction. I hope that you won’t let the stress get to you, but I know that your close attention to both prose and people will serve this magazine well.

So, no worries, Emma: You’ll be great.

­­­—Maia R. Silber ’17

JOSHUA A. GOLDSTEIN ’17, Editor-at-Large

We’re pretty sure they assigned two of us to say farewell to Josh because he’s around so infrequently it’s going to take two pools of memories to stretch this to 150 words. Josh knows his fair share about stretching: We’ve never seen someone so optimistic about how far a six-pack of PBR will go towards inebriating a party of 20 people.

Josh likes to make statements. Sometimes, it’s wearing a power suit to a casual meeting. Other times, it’s naming Andrew as his favorite comper—in front of the rest of the compers.

Honestly, we can probably write whatever we want here; it’s not like Josh reads our magazine anyway. He’s much too busy quietly being one of the sweetest, smartest, and quite frankly, sexiest men that we know. So farewell Josh, we’ll miss catching you up on the pitch we discussed eight minutes ago, but hopefully our four feet will fit into the big shoes you’ve left to fill.

—Andrew W. Badinelli ’18 and Ben G. Cort ’18

MOLLY E. WHARTON ’17, Editor-at-Large

FM already has a cool factor. But Molly E. Wharton ’17 ups it considerably. Whether she is overseeing mixers, chiming in at exec meeting, or setting up shop at production, Molly brings a real spirit of coolness to just about everything she does and every place she goes. FM will remain cool next year, but its cool factor will surely suffer a little without Molly’s presence at 14P.

Molly has served as a staple of FM for as long as I can remember. She must have been a talented Comp Director because some pretty swell writers came out of her comps. And I know she was an able Editor-at-Large because some pretty swell pitches came out of this year. FM will miss her firm opinions and get-the-job-done attitude in the year ahead.

—Emily B. Zauzmer ’18

BEN G. CORT ’18 AND ANDREW W. BADINELLI ’18, Editors-at-Large

I’ve tried writing my parting piece to you, Ben & Andrew, three times now. Each time I look at the 150 words and find them inadequate. Wholly inadequate. To describe Ben & Andrew is a daunting task; no man or woman has done it well thus far.

As people, Ben and Andrew have glorious souls. As a unit, Ben & Andrew transcends all FM categories. It is a magical combination of George and Theodore.

Orwell’s language—never a dull metaphor because your brains don’t work like others. (They’re different, and that’s rad.) And never the imprecise language that riddles the classroom, because you write from the heart and not from some preconceived notion of what an article should look like. (That’s pretty swag too.)

And Roosevelt’s drive. Y’all know how to live life. Ben & Andrew is not just about FM, though it does manifest itself on our pages almost every Thursday. Ben & Andrew is about finding enjoyment in the routine, turning a meal in the dhall into wackiness on a page. If Josh has one piece of advice, it’s keep that going. Keep doing your thing. Keep the category in FM and keep the lifestyle for the rest of your days. Kumbaya, my friends: Y’all make the world a better place.

—Joshua A. Goldstein ’17

EMILY B. ZAUZMER ’18, Editor-at-Large

I always knew E. Zauz was something special. But the night I proofed her endpaper about how she makes famous paintings out of cakes, I realized she was straight legend.

The only folk-and-myth concentrator I will probably ever know, Emily has been an invaluable member of our exec team this past year. She brings an unimaginable amount if excitement and energy to production—usually more than I’m prepared for. Whereas our outgoing chair Maia would be hard-pressed to define a “Kardashian,” celeb-whiz and former “People” intern Emily keeps FM in touch with pop culture. She is also, of course, a beautiful writer and thoughtful editor.

Thus, I am honored to pass the Editor-at-Large torch to Emily. I know she has some big ideas for the job, and I’m so excited to see what she can accomplish.

—Molly E. Wharton ’17