The Passing of the FM Torch

CORDELIA F. MENDEZ ’16 , Chair I’m not going to say Cordelia F. Mendez ’16 could run the world, but I’m confident that she could at least run the country. That’s because Cordelia is easily one of the most competent people you will ever meet. And if you haven’t met her yet, then you should, because she is as smiley and friendly as she is capable.
By Lena K. Felton, Joshua A. Goldstein, Cordelia F Mendez, Olivia M. Munk, Maia R. Silber, Bailey M. Trela, and Molly E. Wharton


I’m not going to say Cordelia F. Mendez ’16 could run the world, but I’m confident that she could at least run the country. That’s because Cordelia is easily one of the most competent people you will ever meet. And if you haven’t met her yet, then you should, because she is as smiley and friendly as she is capable.

Over the past year, I’ve watched Cordelia rally sleepy execs every Tuesday, solve FM disasters, and organize a Crimson-wide Secret Santa. In other words, she gets shit done. Which begs the question: Who would be getting all that shit done in her absence? If Cordelia hadn’t been born on that 18th of June in 1993, would this magazine even exist today? (I dare say I doubt it.)

Other things that make Cordelia great: She wears circle scarves very well and is much better at spin than your average Harvard student (hello, Flywheel). She is the queen of “cool, cool, cool”; she brings gummies to scrutiny editing; she takes on extra work so that we can all go home early on production nights.

We will miss you terribly, Cordelia, mostly because who will be on top of everything once you’re gone? Oh… I guess that’s Maia’s and my job now, huh? Gulp.

- Lena K. Felton ’17

BAILEY M. TRELA ’16, Chair

On Friday night, I saw Bailey at a party. I waved, and he approached me. He placed a pinecone in my hand, and then he walked away.

I stood there, clutching the pinecone in my palm, as Bailey disappeared into the crowd.

I showed the pinecone to my friends, and they were confused. Then I told them that Bailey gave it to me, and they were less confused.

What did the pinecone mean? Was it a passing of the torch? A gesture of trust? A token of friendship? Or was it just a weird Bailey sort of thing to do?

I often find myself asking such questions after interacting with Bailey. On occasion, Bailey has given me the invaluable guidance of a talented writer, an experienced editor, and a caring friend. On other occasions, he has given me pinecones. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference.

Bailey, I hope that you’ll never stop writing, and never stop doing strange things at parties. And I hope that, next semester, you’ll stop by the FM office for a prickly exchange or two.

-Maia R. Silber ’17

OLIVIA M. MUNK ’16, Editor at Large

Olivia was asked last minute to be Editor-at-Large,and we should all thank god that she said yes. Though brought into the role totally unaware of what it entailed, she’s been an indispensable part of FM this past year. Her weekly pitch emails make everyone’s Monday nights just a little more bearable and keep the compers coming back each week, even those that have long wanted to unsubscribe from our Google group. Her slotting skills are surpassed by none, and she’s undoubtedly a caring, careful editor.

But beyond her weekly responsibilities, Olivia’s been the glue that has held us together. She leads the charge in making fun of stupid pitches with us during Exec meeting, while simultaneously helping to move the process along. On Tuesday nights when everyone is starting to get cranky, she’s there with a smile on her face. She’s the queen of fuzzy clothes, which she sometimes lets me pet.

When shoot came around this year, I was unsure of the path to take. Exec? Chair? Keyon? And then I realized that there’s no one whose footsteps I’d rather follow than Olivia’s. I can only hope that Josh and I together can do even close to as well the job that Olivia did solo. She’s made FM feel like family, and will be greatly missed.

-Molly E. Wharton ‘17

LENA K. FELTON ’17, Chair

Here’s what you all should know about Lena. She’s super calm and she often wears really cool pants. Tonight, Lena's wearing a really hip dip-dye jean jacket, whereas I look straight out of an Eileen Fisher catalog in a very un-ironic way. I think that my obsession with her stylish production get-ups and overall persona has become incredibly clear over the year I've spent working with her as an exec.

Lena is one of two people who have routinely arrived at FM production before me or, more realistically, actually on time. She works a hell of a lot faster than I do, so hopefully she will be instrumental in vanquishing the old 3:30 a.m. CTP. Already an adept editor, she's got an eye for design and actually understands what is and is not aesthetically pleasing on a page. Next year's guard is in for a treat.

I've met few people as gracious, poised, and thoughtful as Lena. Those qualities will probably be gone in a year, after 12 months of running this godforsaken magazine. I'm excited to see what sizeable scrut-edits, libelous levity, and empty-headed execs do to her collected demeanor. Ha.

-Cordelia F. Mendez ’16

MAIA R. SILBER 17, Chair

When I was first told I'd be writing the parting shot about Maia, I thought to myself: What's a parting shot? Why would Cordelia resurrect this tradition? And is it something I can make Josh ghostwrite?

Honestly, I've been mean to Maia. I've denigrated her editing skills. I've suggested that her typical hair color is not in fact her actual hair color. I've used words that she didn't know when addressing her, sometimes three at a time.

And yet, for all the times I've asked her to exculpate the alluvial conurbation, she has never once made up an excuse to get out of doing it. Sure, this is partly because guile will never come naturally to her—in that sense it's a lot like what she claims is her hair color. But it's also because she's a hard worker or something.

Strong, confident, aggressive, well-heeled—these are all words that describe my old dog, Ozzie, but now that I think about it, each of them would also apply to Maia, which just goes to show that if you're fundamentally uncomfortable with being sincere, you can always make jokes for four paragraphs and then use a dead pet to get out of it.

-Bailey M. Trela ’16

JOSH A. GOLDSTEIN ’17, Editor at Large

Remember that first-year we called “Josh” (because his name is Josh) who asked FM how to be cool? Well, for all the future “Josh’s” out there, you’ll soon be asking this Josh (he’s outgrown the quotation marks) for the knowledge he has accrued in his two and a half years on FM. Now that he is one of two incoming Editors-at-Large, here’s some advice from someone who has given advice to Josh on how to be the best me he can be.

How can I be a good Editor-at-Large?

Good question, Josh. Being an Editor at Large is all about the emails, and as we know, emails at Harvard are all about the gifs. I recommend cat ones.

How can I make FM a fun, social environment?

I’m glad you asked, Josh. Organize only pregames, and never look beyond.

How do I remove the indent from the first paragraph of each section when working in InDesign?

There are no stupid questions, Josh. You go to “Paragraph,” and change the little indent box from “1p0” to “0p0.” You know what I mean.

Did Olivia M. Munk actually enjoy my profile, published this week?

She did, Josh! Incoming Comp Director Laura E. Hatt can confirm.

Have I done a good job as a writer, exec, and comp director for FM so far?

Absolutely, Josh. We all know we can count on you, and can look forward to seeing more fantastic writing and editing from you online and in print in the future (every dining hall, every Thursday). In the center of a Venn Diagram between “CS50” and “50 Cent,” besides “cult following” and “lots of swag,” is our friendship.

-Olivia M. Munk ’16

MOLLY E. WHARTON ’17, Editor at Large

It’s a little known fact around these parts is that Molly and I go way back. We’re from the same town, so naturally we grew up together. And by grew up together, I mean we occasionally ran into each other on the little league soccer fields in middle school. And I vaguely remember a small party at her house one time (and leaving through the back door when we thought her parents were pulling into the driveway).

In high school, our relationship blossomed. We took the bus together a dozen times. It was always quite eventful. Since we went to different schools, we got off at different stops. She also slept most of the time.

Who would have known that we’d end up co-comp directing, let alone that I would make it to Harvard. We all knew she’d make it to Harvard. She went to Horace Mann, after all.

Molly and I have an interesting relationship. It’s predicated on her printing the comp forms, and me supplying the Kong. She never fails to do her job, as I often do.

In all honesty, for the last year, Molly single-handed ran the comp. She prepared lesson plans, came up with icebreakers, and dealt with compers when they were being ridiculous. Somehow I duped her into letting me be good cop and taking all the credit. I’m going to miss Mondays with Molly, but hopefully I’ll see her around Kirkland on Sunday mornings.

-Josh A. Goldstein ’17

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