By Denali Drake
Alright ‘Cats, it’s time for your favorite coffee reviewer, rugby specialist, features fan, news dabbler, copy editing extraordinaire to turn in her trusty red pen and graduate. I would firstly like to thank the entire North Wind staff, there is truly no other group of people I would stay up to 6 a.m. on a weeknight with. Your constant faith in my ability to write pushed me to aim higher, dig deeper and grow as a novice journalist and for that, I am forever indebted.
I was given the chance to experience events on campus that I otherwise would have never been drawn too, and in turn, I learned so much more about this school and its people. I became observant, small facets of this campus became loud to me, and with that, I found hidden heroes who work through kindness to bring radical joy to this school. My favorite pieces were the ones that I found through witnessing small acts done by people who had no intention of being noticed.
The North Wind taught me how to persevere through the woes of print media and be proud of what I had done. As a team, we fought through red tape to print the truth for the students of NMU. Copy editing taught me how to be sharp, and work methodically to search for errors (even if a few slipped through), and my reading, writing and comprehension skills are better for it. Mary, you are the funniest, most compassionate, hardworking co-copy editor I know. I would want to share a desk with no one else, and I am proud of everything we have accomplished this year.
My sweet family—Mom and Alie—I would not be where I am without you. Thank you for being my biggest fans, regardless of what I am pursuing. Being a Drake Girl has taught me perseverance, tenacity and a whole bunch of resiliency. I hope every day that I am making you proud. Thompson family, without your encouragement to get me up here to climb I would not be at NMU. I am grateful to you for teaching me to love the place that my dad adored, you made me an honorary Yooper and I promise to return soon.
I would like to give special thanks to our faculty advisor, James McCommons. He pushed me to become the best journalist I could be, even if it took seven re-writes. The advice you gave to me is invaluable and I hope I am able to have half the career you’ve had. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge Jaspal Singh who through her constant encouragement of my work became my mentor. Your courses, book recommendations and words changed my life and the affirmation of my ideas that you offered to me is the reason that I am pursuing my career.
To my beloved fans, readers and secret admirers I owe you the world. Thank you for reading what I write. This eternal journey of pouring whatever I have left from the week into this paper has been the biggest gift and by far my life’s most significant accomplishment.
Wherever I go, know that you have changed my life. I owe everything that I am to this school, these people, this city. And with that, I say farewell.
By Jackie Jahfetson
The North Wind was my second home upon returning to college after taking a year off from school back in January 2015, and completing my generals at Gogebic Community College in Houghton.
I remember walking into the front door and smelling the newspapers stacked in the corner of our old office in the former University Center, and just feeling a sense of home and belonging in a campus filled with various lines of study. My first story assignment prompted my ambitions as a 21-year-old aspiring journalist, and it opened up avenues to more stories, opportunities and long-lasting friendships.
From day one, there have been so many people who have shaped my writing, my professionalism and my creativity as a watchdog for our society.
First and foremost, I must thank James McCommons for encouraging me back in the summer of 2017 to transfer back to NMU and sign up for his grueling, difficult News Writing and Reporting course. Your strict grading on AP assignments and constructive criticism have made me a much tougher, wiser writer and your many years of expertise helped me freelance for The Daily Mining Gazette and intern for The Mining Journal. Your guidance as our advisor at The North Wind has been nothing short of amazing during my last semester at Northern. You’ve kept us on our toes as editors and made us laugh during the dead hours of production night when our eyes were exhausted from InDesign and copy editors need a good chuckle to keep eagle-spotting those AP and grammar mistakes.
Secondly, I want to thank Jackie Stark. Your advisement during your tenure at The North Wind was something to witness and I learned so many things from you, there are not enough words to explain my gratitude. Thank you for your continued support and for always willing to answer my questions, even if they fall last minute on production day. Your spunky personality and hilarious stories will stay with me as I venture on with life.
I want to thank my previous editors for your continued support, the skills and knowledge you passed on to me. Jon Billman and Dwight Brady, thank you for instilling me with different tools to use as a journalist. Brady, you’ve enlightened me to pursue broadcast avenues when I thought I was never qualified to be anything more than a writer.
Billman, thank you for motivating my creativity back in Feature Writing, inspiring me to cover stories out of my comfort zone and broadening my journalism intellect.
Mom and Dad, thank you for telling me to go back to school and chase after my dreams as a creative individual. You taught me how to be strong in a world that is ready to tear people down.
Also, a huge shoutout to my brother David who persuaded me to become a journalist when I was 19 years old after reading one of my English papers.
Thank you to my Radio X family for letting me take over the air on Fridays with The North Wind News Hour, it was an amazing opportunity.
Last but certainly not least, thank you to my current staff members. Akasha, you’ve surprised me the most with your ability to take on an overwhelming role and succeed without hardly any training at all. Denali, you’re one of the most intelligent people I know and I’m thankful I was able to get you to become a copy editor before graduating. Sam, thank you for sharing your creativity with the staff. Maggie, your gifted knowledge of layout has intrigued me throughout the semester. Travis, you persevered through the roughest weeks and always followed through. Mary, you’ve become one of my dearest friends and you’ve sparked my ambitions as a writer. Jessica, your writing skills and ability to take on anything in the opinion section was an inspiration to watch.
To my predecessor, Isabelle, you have everything to give to this office and I know you will execute the role of EIC with dignity and professionalism. To my family of Wildcats, thank you for allowing me to report the truth, shine light on stories that matter and being a part of an asset to NMU.