North Wind seniors say goodbye


Mary McDonough, Isabelle Tavares, and Jessica Parsons, from left to right. (NW Photo)

Mary McDonough: copy editor

To the scared 20-year-old Mary at the North Wind office: It’s Winter 2018, You don’t feel ready yet. It seems intimidating and you want to bring your best to something that means so much. Crumple that application, but don’t forget those faces. In the next six months your world will turn dark, or at least feel like it. Grandma Libby isn’t there to relate, no one to talk journalism with, but go back to them, find your way to heal.

Sophie and Kelsii will take you under their wing and it will be okay, eventually. Listen to Jim, Monica Prelle and Jackie Stark; the comments are all constructive and you’ll find yourself so much better because of it. Thank them every chance you get. Burn out is fine, but don’t turn it into fear.

Listen to Jackie Jahfetson and Isabelle when they say you’ve got potential. They care and you’ll soon find out that they’re usually always right. That pair will become some of the best guides you could ask for.

People will stare. They will be visibly uncomfortable to be near you while you’re just trying to do your job. But Denali is right there, your copy edit partner-in-crime and your rock in all of the chaos. She will let you hurt but teach you to pick your chin up anyway, never let her down.

Breathe in the Minneapolis air, appreciate what fantastic, curious people you work with. How Travis and Justin never fail to make you laugh at 2 a.m., Jess and the way she urges you to think deeper, Akasha’s eagle eye for details, Sam’s artistic eye for storytelling and Maggie’s ability to find stories you could never even think of. Each of you will come together for The North Wind. Don’t trade any of them. Hugo will push you all over that city. Isabelle will be an incredible one-woman wheelchair pit crew, remember everything. One day, your work will let you call Minneapolis home. Maybe not right away, but trust them when they tell you it’ll happen.

Look in the mirror and see all the work that’s been put in. You, your whole family, Charlotte Lothian, Janet Ralph-Warnshuis, countless teachers, doctors, friends who have put their time into making sure you go far. But stop and notice that familiar hand on your shoulder. Libby is there and she’s watching your whole movie. The world will continue to test you just as it does everyone. But never let it douse the fire in your eyes, she put it there for a reason. The foundation you stand on is solid and recognize who put it there to keep you steady.

There is an army of people who will read your every word, who will remind you that this is your path and let you ramble as long as you need to. Thank them from the bottom of your heart and keep a tight grip on that pen. You’ve got to write this next chapter on your own.

Isabelle Tavares: editor-in-chief

The North Wind caught my eye the moment I stepped foot on campus. As a bushy-tailed freshman, I poured over editions and four years later, little has changed. These journal entries and mentions only begin to suggest the profound impact the North Wind had on me.

Nov. 15, 2017: I want to be critical of institutions and society that perpetuate the belief that environmental injustice and climate change aren’t real. And I think I can probably yell about this in the North Wind.

Thanks to professor, advisor and self-proclaimed non-foamer Jim McCommons for teaching me the fundamentals of journalism. Your winding stories about covering environmental issues in the West inspired me to launch head-first into the field. To former Editor-in-chief’s Winter Keefer and Tim Eggert for being badass student journalists and holding authority accountable.

Feb. 10, 2019: It’d be great to be EIC next year but I can’t tell if the stress and responsibility is worth it. I love the North Wind but I love my mental health more.

To former Editor-in-chief, Jackie Cowgirl Jahfetson. For everything. For your heart of gold and assuring me that we’re in the good fight.

April 18, 2019: That’s all my life has been recently. Journalism. For something that’s my minor I sure do spend a lot of time and soul energy on it. I’m really not as passionate about my maps and statistics classes than I am about feature writing. To Monica Prelle, professor, spotter of heart-shaped objects and my No.1 hypewoman. For your non-sugar coated insights into the current field, being an incredible mentor as a professor, and an exemplary woman to look up to.

Nov. 14, 2019: How did I get everything I’ve ever wanted? There was a gut-wrenching knot in my stomach all day in anticipation of the phone call that defined my college career as a student journalist and solidified my endless love for journalism. I’m the next Editor-in-chief of the North Wind. I’ve never happy cried before. My life is about to get crazy demanding, really fast. But I thrive in situations that scare me the most.

To Jackie Stark and Board of Directors. For being a pillar of support of the newspaper, listening intently to my ideas on the future media landscape and backing them.

Jan. 13, 2020: My truth for EIC is to be an articulated mirror for the voices of NMU. To illuminate what makes NMU unique and a desirable place to attend college, but also it’s inner issues.

To the resilient staff of Winter 2020. Mary, Jessica, Maggie, Travis, Akasha, Sam, Hugo and Justin. I’m proud of your drive to publish impactful stories during the coronavirus pandemic and report on hard-hitting issues affecting the student body. It’s been an honor to learn and grow with you all. To future Editor-in-chief Justin—who I’m confident will implement innovative changes, spoil editors with exotic candy and lead the paper with kindness.

To journalism. For being a suit of armor, my passport to prohibited territory in pursuit of truer heights. And to The North Wind, for being a safe space to grow.

Jessica Parsons: opinion editor

From copy editor to opinion, there is so much these last two years have taught me. The education I’ve received from classes with both Jim and Monica have been invaluable. I had no idea that the people around me each Wednesday night and Friday afternoon would mean so much and be reason enough to continue my path as a journalist. And now after this pandemic, what a time it has been to be alive.

The stories I’ve picked up for other editors have led to professional relationships with much opportunity I would never have expected, kickstarting my career while still a college student. I am forever grateful for all those times.

Thank you Isabelle for pushing me to pick up stories and guiding me through during your time as features editor as well as editor-in-chief. Your energy has been a blessing to this team and I’m so happy you decided to come back and hold up that torch.

I’d be a fool to not mention the beautiful work Jackie Jahfetson has done, both as my copy editing partner, former editor-in-chief and now an amazing friend. You are such an asset to the journalism community, and wherever your future takes you I know it will be with purpose.

Mary, you were one of the first people I met coming to NMU, and you made me feel so welcomed where it all began in West Hall. So when you came to join us here, I knew it would be nothing but great. I’m glad I pushed you to new limits because the stories you wrote have touched many, and hopefully have encouraged a light in you to shine true to the fact that there’s nothing you can’t do so long as you set your mind to do it.

Justin, thank you for keeping me cultured with your interesting treats and findings. This team has definitely benefited from having you, so I wish you the best of luck next year. Sam, thanks for all the lovely comics and the hard work you’ve done in layout. Akasha, you are so strong and it’s evident you don’t give up on things that are important to you, so keep going. Travis, you have so much potential and I’m excited for your future in sports. I hope you stay the whole way through and soak up each moment so you can remember us and perhaps where it all began. Maggie, your prior knowledge in journalism helped us a ton and if there was anyone crafty enough with the right imagination to be a features editor, it sure was you. Hugo, you’ve definitely made some milestones on the business end of things that we’re all very proud of, and it was a joy to have you around.

To all of you unsure if journalism is in your future, I know your time here has left a positive dent for the future of The North Wind. To that, I say goodbye and wish you all the best. The future of journalism needs you.