You have probably passed by The Lawrence’s office at least once, peered through the door to read the quotes hanging on the wall, and wondered to yourself, “What is it they do in there?” As this publishing week marks our final issue of 2023 and in the spirit of a new year, here are a few things we would like to reflect on 143rd’s tenure thus far:
1. Let's face it—time management is hard, good time management almost impossible. Each Board member is familiar with the time crunch of the publishing schedule: providing the three rounds of edits for the writer is often done outside office hours while Wednesday and Thursday nights are devoted to InDesigning and making final edits on a page. Some like to say the contributors of The Lawrence often juggle more than they can carry, participating in everything from varsity sports and debate to musical commitments. Still, the most rewarding part of student life at Lawrenceville is the abundance of choice, and we like to think we’ve managed decently well with balance, or at least well enough to push out an eight-page issue each week.
Yet in this difficulty lies the heart of this process—it's the pulsing rhythm of dedication and passion that ultimately keeps the paper alive. From late Wednesday and Thursday nights in the office to the quick weekly turnaround, it is the physical copies that seem to miraculously spawn each Friday (or the following Monday—yes, we concede there have been some printing issues) that showcase the work and commitment of everyone contributing to the paper.
2. Writing and editing for this newspaper is like a workout on all fronts—stretching the limits of our time management, reaching new bounds in our creativity, and pushing the bar for hours of functionable sleep. But as we push our limits, we grow as well—like the aftermath of a hard workout, we emerge with the strength to do things a little more efficiently, write with a little more zeal, and function on (although not ideal) slightly less hours of sleep. Pushing limits has come to define the work of The Lawrence—ultimately, the paper not only pushes us to be better writers, but better students and members of the community.
3. Writing and editing for The Lawrence has taught us a handful of new survival skills, necessary for handling both The Lawrence and school workloads. We've learned how to collaborate—everyone has a job and functions as an interdependent unit, culminating in the incredible feat of producing eight fully-fledged pages on a weekly basis. We've learned how to talk with our writers and communicate with one another. Some of us have learned how to lead—others have learned how to function independently. We'd like to believe that all of us have learned to write a little bit better.
Though The Lawrence’s publication in the last hundred years can be attributed to consistency and an adherence to tradition, we also prioritize the ability to continuously transform. The newspaper boils down to one important idea: strengthening community. From the creation of an Outreach Editor to the implementation of “Outside the Bubble” by the News Section to the weekly online newsletter, this Board has focused on expanding our reach to the community both in terms of readership and the information shared with the student body.
4. As writers and readers, we know how much weight each article can carry; the process of reaching out, interviewing, and drafting all feel like putting a part of yourself into the work. Working for The Lawrence means aiming to prioritize writers’ opinions and viewpoints. Ultimately, we serve as an outlet for student voices, a goal difficult to accomplish but something we aspire to every day.
Within the office, weekly Board meetings encourage diversity of thought where ideas are challenged, debated, and refined, finally to be shared with the rest of the community through our Editorials. As of writing, the Board has published 16 unique editorials on topics ranging from homework and to circle-crescent divides, to the aftershocks of Covid-19, and the nature of student protest. Each Friday, editors shuffle in and out of the office to distribute dozens of issues to each building.
5. As our dear advisor Mrs. Buckles once sat us down to specifically say, nothing has to be perfect. It’s easy to get caught up in the minute details of punctuation, spacing, and formatting, but at the end of the day, most students won’t be taking a pen in hand, annotating each and every mistake in the paper (to our most dedicated readers: thank you).
Lastly, with the advent of the New Year, The Lawrence would collectively like to make a New Year's Resolution—we promise to bring you more. We promise to uphold the consistency that has defined us, and we promise to transform this paper and bring you novel, experimental ideas. We promise to learn more, to grow more, and to improve ourselves and the paper. In the meantime, we'd like to take a moment to thank you for sticking with us for the past two terms. We are nothing without our readership—and we cannot express enough how much we appreciate you. From the bottom of the Board's hearts, thank you—here's to an amazing remainder of the Board of 143.