I Promise I’ll Think of a Headline By Tuesday…


Despite deliberating constantly over the past two weeks on ways to write my final From the Desk, it’s only at 11:03 p.m. the day before it’s due that I’ve decided what to put on the page. 

During my stint at the Ram, which has been a strange and wonderfully fulfilling two and a half years, I’ve determined the three most common types of goodbye From the Desk articles (FTDs). My goal here is to choose one to emulate.

Dylan Balsamo’s –– the previous managing editor and a man of startlingly-accurate Kermit the Frog impressions –– exemplifies the first. His final FTD was an epic: chronicling his rise through the paper’s ranks, the students and characters he met along the way and finished with his signature catchphrase. 

I don’t have a catchphrase, so that option’s out.

There’s the route former opinion editor Emma Lipkind took during the Ram’s Volume 103, in what she expected would be her final FTD. Emma is a radiant friend and basically the certified French correspondent for The Fordham Ram this semester; her writing is usually topical, but her final FTD was on the “Irresistibility of Crochet in the Modern Age.” It’s a fascinating article, and it has exactly nothing to do with leaving the Ram. It’s effortlessly chill and so nonchalant it’s intimidating.

But I don’t crochet, so this option’s out, too.

So far there’s the world-building option and the insouciant rebel option, and neither are a fit. 

Finally, there’s what our well-read previous production editor Vanessa DeJesús did. Before encouraging me to apply for the managing editor position in 2021, Vanessa wrote her final lovely FTD. It’s a moving portrait of the Ram and the importance of journalism. 

But writing about the importance of journalism feels awfully stressful, so I’m going to have to pass on that option too. 

Clearly, none of those options are working for me. I guess I won’t conform to the usual FTD formula. No sappy flashbacks or name-dropping from me! Instead, for my final FTD, I’m going to brainstorm activities for next year. After all, I’ve got to decide what to do with my newfound free time.

First, an explanation: See, I’m leaving the Ram to study abroad. My time here has been shorter than most who join the staff their freshman year, but I knew I wanted to join the Ram’s Volume 102 as soon as I decided to come to Fordham. I wrote for the opinion section that first semester of college and copy edited under Vanessa and then-assistant copy chief Ginny Belt, who each brought a bit of humor to a gloomy virtual freshman year.

The following semester I became the assistant culture editor. Though every meeting was conducted on Zoom, I cherished the teamwork –– that of the Ram’s, as well as my section, which for Volume 103 comprised myself, Sara Tsugranis (Sara, I still have to return your plate!) and Ava Erickson. I didn’t even meet Ava until fall 2021, but she would later become Volume 104’s Editor in Chief (EIC) and one of the most dedicated leaders I’ve ever worked with.

When the Ram finally began in-person production during the second half of Volume 103, things just got better. B-52 smells of mold and sweaty writers and it gets so hot in there. Even so, I loved it then, like I do now. Despite the climate, I was sharing pizza and absurd conversation with some of the most intelligent and hardworking people I’d ever met. Rachel, Hasna, Taylor, Michela, Abbey, Collette: You all were my first full Ram staff, and you’ve each inspired me greatly.

Volume 104 eventually rolled around, and this past year has been one of our busiest yet: The Week, the USG debacle, breaking the news of Tetlow’s presidency, the volleyball team, the 4:00 a.m. commencement issue and kicking off the new Ram video series… all memorable moments, either for the struggle or the joy or both. 

None of it would have been possible without this year’s staff (my favorite staff, though I’m biased). Seb, Amanda, Nicole, Kari, Hannah and those who I can’t name for fear of slamming into the word limit: thank you for coming together to sustain this paper with full force. 

I seem to have gotten carried away. Look at me name-dropping. I can’t let this become sentimental! Getting back to the point of this article, what am I going to do with all that free time next year? I was thinking about juggling; I’ve heard it’s difficult but I can always start out with just one or two oranges. I could also become a bike guy –– like one of those people who’s always riding, or talking about riding or fixing up bikes. Or maybe I’ll start collecting succulents. 

Whichever new thing I go for, I can only hope it’s half as fulfilling as The Fordham Ram has been. I’ll miss budget meetings and the excitement that comes from receiving a new article submission. I’ll miss seeing friends mill about B-52, comparing playlists and delivering page layouts between rooms. I’ll miss having “Managing Editor” in my email signature (I’m certain it prompts faster responses). I’ll miss the process, in its simultaneous turbulence and normalcy. 

Yet, I know this paper, which has stood the test of time for almost 105 years now, will continue to flourish. And I guess this article just goes to show the power of the Ram. I might as well lean into the mushy goodbye. So: Thank you Michael, for being a great production editor and a better friend. I hope your pizzas are always warm, and that you mention me in your FTD next year. Thank you Ava, for being a continuously calm and collected leader in the face of B-52 shenanigans and the Fordham Parents Facebook group. May your inbox be devoid of “and more” and other pointless phraseologies. To the Ram’s new EIC Isabel, I know you will lead with poise. To the returning staff of Volume 105, I know you’ll all continue to serve the Ram and the Fordham community with perspicacity and wit. 

It has been a pleasure managing you editors. But there are bikes to fix and oranges that need juggling.