Parting Shots

Outgoing FM leaders pass the torch.

Laura E. Hatt '18, Chair

FM execs 2017

It’s morning again at 14 Plympton Street. (Laura and I are taking a class on America in the 1980’s together. Will I be able to make Reagan references for 200 words straight? Let’s find out.) Tuesday’s raucous production night has trickled down to an early Wednesday deadlock. (Yeah, this bit is already exhausting.)

Sitting across from me in the News Conference Room, Laura asks, quite reasonably, if I have finally finished the mammoth article that was supposed to be done days ago. I respond, “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” My cursor agonizes on the same paragraph for what seems like hours. Around us, the Newsroom empties, as do the moral faculties of our nation’s children.

On a more sincere note, I would like to thank Laura for her unsinkable patience and boundless wit. The magazine has thrived under her leadership. (This is how you know the Reagan conceit is over.) For the last year, Laura has edited scrupulously, cheered on cranky execs, and wrangled together a delightful magazine week after week. And isn’t that what the American (Laura is from Canada) dream is all about?

--Marella A. Gayla ’19

Emma K. Talkoff ’18, Chair

Emma K. Talkoff is the kind of person your parents warn you about. She has an edgy haircut, and works it. She edited my (singular) scrut in the Quad because the FM office was too conventional.

Many things are similar about us. We both live in the Quad, both study History and Literature, and both have killer fashion sense. She complimented my glasses the one time I wore them, further cementing our unbreakable bond.

Over the course of our whirlwind friendship, I’ve gotten the sense that she has sound judgment. Aside from that one time she advised Marella and I to walk home in torrential downpour, she makes the tough calls, and makes them well.

Most importantly, she’s incredibly welcoming. I had an unconventional route to FM, but Emma embraced the new kid on the block with open arms. I only wish I’d joined the board sooner, so I could have experienced more of her fearsome leadership.

--Leah S. Yared '19

Marella A. Gayla ’19, Chair

On January 21, 2017, I messaged the FM GroupMe. “Happy birthday, Marella!” I wrote. “May you grow ever more powerful.” The messages earned a measly six and four likes, respectively.

They were ahead of their time. In the year that followed, you wrote two more solid scrutinies and many thorough, well-reported stories. You led two comp classes of smart, passionate writers. You may have grown taller. Also, you worked at the Marshall Project, which is v. cool.

I’ll leave FM with many anxieties. Will I ever touch another glossy issue? Will our effervescent comp children stick around? Did I leave the oven on? One thing I won’t have to worry about, though, is the quality of this magazine. For real, you and LSY are going to shake this building to its core. And if Fifteen Minutes Magazine becomes a stormy hand-drawn commie zine, then so be it. I can’t wait to pick it up in a dining hall near me.

--Laura E. Hatt '18

Leah S. Yared '19, Chair

LSY has spent the last three years roving the mean streets of Harvard, searching out leads and tracking down shadowy sources, all in the pursuit of that elusive high: the truth. She wears a low-slung hat, a conspicuous card reading PRESS tucked into the brim. She talks in a kind of rapid, 1940s-esque radio voice, ending every sentence with “y’see?”

Ok, so the realities of the news board may be something of a mystery to me, but I do know that Leah is as intrepid as any scrappy cartoon journalist (and she has better taste in hats, probably). I know that she’s a talented writer and a dedicated reporter, and that she knocked it out of the park on her scrut this semester. I also know that she’s kind, and funny, and slightly mean at certain appropriate moments.

Luckily, all of these things are excellent and necessary qualities for FM chair-dom and all the messy, stressful, awesome, rewarding, ridiculous tasks that come with it. She may be an interloper, but she’s just about the best interloper we could have hoped for. As I ride off into my own crimson sunset, I leave with the knowledge that you’ll be here kicking ass and helping make this mag the very best it can be. Good luck out there—but I don’t think you need it.

--Emma K. Talkoff '18

Andrew W. Badinelli ’18, Editor-at-Large

Andrew was the first person I met in FM. He was wearing that Olaf sweater that he’s so fond of—you know the one—and for some reason that impressed me at the time. I went home that night and told my roommates that there’s this really nice guy who writes for the magazine, he has really cool hair, and his name is Andy! (Readers: His name is not Andy.)

My first impression wasn’t wrong. Andrew is fearsome in his dedication: Whether to causes (our endpapers) or to celebrities (word on the street is Scarlett Johansson is obsessed with him), he gives his all to the things he cares about. These have included our professor from last spring, which was weird, and my family, which is weirder—but I’m willing to overlook these quirks, because the truth is, I need Andrew like Andrew needs Sam Smith. That is to say: ardently, all-consumingly, unhealthily.

But Andrew’s so much more than just a pretty face and an addictive personality. He writes some of the liveliest prose, schedules some of the least-attended dinners (that’s our fault, Andrew, not yours), and has some of the best headbands around. He’s the heart, soul, and amazing hair of the magazine. He’s leaving me to fill some—well, the shoes are decently big, but more importantly, they were purchased at the Lucky Brand store in Somerville when he should have been at champagne showers. Hypothetically speaking, that is.

Thanks for being the best EAL we could have asked for, ABadz, and for opening all those champagne bottles. May your GroupMe presence always be so hilarious and your lands always so wet. (NOT an innuendo.)

--Katie C. Berry '19

Katie C. Berry ’19, Editor-at-Large

When I first realized I’d have to write a parting shot without BGC due to his illness, my first thought was “Wow, I finally have to be solely responsible for a piece of FM levity?” My second thought was “Katie who?”

I kid, I kid. I know who Katie is: She’s a remarkably-talented writer (her prose is breath-taking), a show-stopping fashion icon (I wish her shoes fit me), and dedicated berry enthusiast (she once handed me a plastic lemon in the Yard, which isn’t a berry, but still). And despite my frequent mistreatment of Katie, I can always count on her as a hilarious production night presence.

But before I really knew Katie, she was tasked with writing a roast of me as part of an annual FM tradition. The night before she delivered it, I contacted her over Facebook, partly for friendly encouragement and partly for friendly intimidation. Just now, I looked back through our message history to that very first one, which read, fittingly:

“Expectations are high, Ms. Berry.”

As I think about the next year of FM, I have no doubt Katie will meet them. She’s poised to be three times the EAL that the 144s were.

--Andrew W. Badinelli '18

Drew C. Pendergrass ’20 and Norah M. Murphy ’20, Co-Comp Directors

Drew and Norah: your names have become synonymous with strong writing, unwavering optimism, and dedication to our magazine. You consistently produce quality content and share ideas in writers’ meeting that are so ingenious they end up writing themselves.

As you prepare to lead our second group of compers through your first Grand Elections, keep in mind that this experience is meant to be both rewarding and challenging. You’ll encounter problems you never could have imagined and feel gratified in ways you didn’t know were possible. I have the utmost faith that you will embrace it all with humor, poise, and tact each and every time.

All of your peers on the magazine already look up to you (because of your height), but nothing quite compares to the admiration of your own group of compers. I can’t wait to see where your journey (as Jack Kerouac on the late night shuttle) takes you!

All of our love (and worksheets),

-- Katie A. Cronin '19 and Marella A. Gayla ’19