One man’s love for The Poly

Saying goodbye not always the easiest

Well, it’s that time in my career at RPI to say goodbye. RPI has been very good to me during my four years here. When I came here as a freshman in the fall of 2011, the first thing I started with was The Poly Press Pass during Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond. At that point, I was hooked on The Poly and have been an editor on the paper for every issue since. During my time here, I have been associate copy editor, photography editor, copy editor, contributing editor, web director, and systems director, often at the same time (currently I’m contributing editor, copy editor, web director, and systems director).

During my freshman year, I started out by taking a large portion of the photos for The Poly, along with then-current photo editor, Ryan Baltazar ’14. My weeks usually involved shooting miscellaneous events on campus: sports, Student Senate meetings, Experimental Media and Performing Arts events, headshots of random people being interviewed, etc. Notably, I can still remember my first EMPAC event because of how bad it was (my ears may still be bleeding). It was EARBRAINS, an event covering a wide stretch of experimental music, music I will never hear again. I still remember the opening “band,” Fat Worm of Error. If you’d like to get a bit more into a story, look them up on YouTube, you will have a good picture of what this event was like. One of the major perks of taking photos for The Poly was the free entry I received to every event I went to. Just like EARBRAINS, there were many things I would have never gone to if I had not been asked to go to cover it for The Poly. It was an amazing experience, even though I didn’t necessarily enjoy every event.

When I wasn’t out shooting photos or doing classwork, I would be at the production night at The Poly, where my main job, after editing photos, was copyreading. The legendary Kevin Ly ’11, or “Chairman Mao” as we all fondly called him, taught me to copy read and eventually gave me The Poly’s “third-read approved” status, allowing me to make the final read on anything right before his December graduation. You can still find hints of his dictatorship in the copy corner as various Chairman Mao quotes and examples can be found within The Poly’s style guide.

After I became third-read approved, I spent my next few semesters focusing on The Poly’s photography. I became the photo editor, taking over most of Ryan’s roles on the paper. This section of my time on The Poly is when I probably did the least work on production night, usually going home before the official “Poly sunrise” as I finished all work with photos by 10 pm at the latest. After my time in the photo department, I became copy editor, and have functioned as copy editor on The Poly since. After a few semesters as copy editor, I decided that since the contributing editor position was essentially a glorified copy editor with senior board responsibilities, I decided to run for the position. This would be my last change in roles at The Poly. As a contributing editor and copy editor, I have stayed at nearly every single Poly closing with an average closing time being between 5–7 am on Wednesday morning.

With that being said, I will miss every single fun night with the editorial staff, but I will not miss being awake at the wee hours of the morning every Wednesday while at college. As I write this (at the wee morning hours on Tuesday), I hope to finalize my third-read training on my replacement-to-be Evan Barr ’16, who I hope to see bring The Poly to the best it has ever been.

There is one thing I’d like to remind everyone: You will only be an undergraduate at RPI once. Make the most of your time here; there are many amazing things RPI has to offer in, and outside of academics. Poly is only one of the many things I have done at RPI. Now that I am graduating, and moving to the beautiful Carlsbad, Calif., I can tell you the thing I will miss the most is the people at RPI, and the things we all do when we put our heads together. I won’t miss the cold a single bit, however. That said, have a great summer everyone!