Graduate Column: Derby Roan

Derby Roan, Editor in Chief

Scholastic journalism has been a big part of my life for the past five years. It hasn’t been fun. Journalism requires energy, ambition, courage, passion, a strong moral compass, and a lot of time. Possibly the most important characteristic of a good journalist is the strong conviction that the importance of an informed public outweighs all personal discomfort.

I’ve come to realize that I do not have enough of those characteristics to sustain a career in journalism. Instead, I’ve decided to pursue a much simpler path: medical school. In the fall, I’m transferring to the University of Indianapolis to study pre-medicine. From there, I’ll apply to medical schools and hopefully eventually become a coroner. I think life will be easier when my sources are dead. At least they won’t be able to avoid my calls.

Though journalism isn’t my path of choice, I’ll always reflect fondly on my years with the MHS Mirror and with the Navigator. I learned so much about everything from design and photography to communication and government. Mostly, I’ll remember the people. A newspaper staff creates a unique sense of community with people one would never think to start a conversation with. It was great having those connections in high school, because I wasn’t the type to make new friends. At Lake Land, knowing those few faces made campus seem smaller.

I’d like to thank Allison Wheeler, the editor in chief when I was hired, for leading the staff through a messy year with humor and grace… and for teaching me about the history tool on Photoshop. That last part’s been a blessing. I’d also like to thank my current staff for taking this paper a step closer to what it should be (even you, Will two-sentence Starwalt). This year, we’ve created a staff with an open dialogue and a vision of what the paper should be, even if it’s still a work in progress. I am confident that this is the best the Navigator has been in years.

To our adviser, Valerie Lynch, you saw my head implode from stress over this paper nearly every month and somehow talked me down from quitting each time. I’m not sure how you do what you do, but you’re in the right place. Thank you for being mom, for me and everyone else on this staff.

And to Zoë Donovan, my successor, remember what’s important and pursue it. But don’t take it too seriously. You’ve got this.

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