June 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm

The Last Minute

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ce6bce625894845c18b5d4aae8004913_XLThe very first issue of the Procrastinator was released on May 4, 2011.  It featured a vintage piece of Drew Cleveland portraiture- a magnificent yet very unflattering depiction of then-headmaster Bags Brokaw holding what appears to be a tiny popsicle.  It also featured this mission statement from Lucy Jakub:

The whole point of a student-run newspaper is that it is made by students, for other students. We hope that with your help this piece of paper can become a tool to connect, inform, and entertain the student body here at GSA.

I like to think that, despite our disorganization, inefficiency, glacial productivity, erroneous reporting, and general slipshod management, The Procrastinator lives up to this standard.  At the very least, we provide you with nice pictures of capybaras.

Like most things, The Procrastinator is a product of conversations at lunch.  And, also like most things, it was pretty much Lucy Jakub’s idea.  In the spring of my sophomore year, my friends and I started talking about a school newspaper, and before we really knew what we were doing, our first issue was in print.  It wasn’t the product of a journalism class.  We had very little in the way of consent or guidance from the GSA administration, and that was how we liked it.  It was just my friends and me playing around with the very dangerous instrument of journalism.  We were figuring out a new way to put off doing our real schoolwork (we masochistically enjoyed having too much to do).  It was a way to be part of the school (to my great surprise, I found that I was actually interested in what happens at GSA.) It was all the news that’s fit to write at two in the morning the night before.

Lucy, Abe, and I started the paper together.  William Navarre joined us soon after.  Some of my all-time favorite people.  The four of us ate lunch together anyway, so we thought we might as well write a newspaper while we were there.  We’ve had more than a few lunch power struggles, Facebook comment wars, frenzied printing fiascos, and impassioned battles of Will.  The Procrastinator has angered everyone from the Student Council to the Boy’s Basketball Team.  The caffeinated tension of the newspaper kept us all awake and amused through the boring parts of school.

Since the end of my sophomore year, we’ve printed 23 issues.  My reporting has taken me to the Harbor School, Mr. Perkinson’s office, the school bell tower, and even into the darkness of last year’s Semi-Formal dance.  We’ve documented the schedule change, the GSA Meme page, and the AP Statistics cheating scandal (Stat-gate).  Thus far, The Procrastinator has been largely a product of this year’s graduating class, and we’ve printed articles from a variety of different voices, including Zak Vogel, Mickaela Connelly, Devon Coleman, and Tim Allen.  We’ve seen Alex Turanski do parkour on the school roof, and we’ve heard Mr. Perkinson say a lot of really weird stuff.  There was a story about us in the Ellsworth American (right next to a story about a guy who stole pool cues).  Senators Snowe and Collins signed copies of The Procrastiantor.  We recently won some awards at a bizarre student journalism convention.  We even have a website now.  The best feeling in the world is distributing a hot new issue to the GSA student body, watching you all read it.  I’m still amazed that my awkward friends and I made this thing.

Johnny Xue’s language box, which is the only feature to appear in every single Procrastinator to date, has taught me how to say cute, thunder, and Batman in six different languages.  Drew Cleveland has instilled some healthy sanity in The Drewth (a name which came about due to a typo on an attendance list).  And William Navarre, aside from writing his column Great Matters of Grey Matter, has done so much extra work for the paper.  Because here’s the secret to The Procrastinator: Eventually, you actually have to get stuff done.  There’s no teacher to make you do it; you just do it.  Git ‘er done.

For posterity, here’s some of our past headlines (which have been the product of whispered commentaries during assembly, epic Facebook brainstorms, and inscrutable references to meme-like GSA-isms): “Friday’s a Half Day?,” “Student Hit By Glacier,” “The Buzz About Buzz: Moore Destined for More,” “Valentines Day Finally Over,” the ever-relevant “Senior Prank Goes Awry,” and the profound yet enigmatic “Perkinson to Students: ‘Whoa.’”

(By the way: Thank you so much Libby Chamberlain, Erich, Mr. Moore, Mr. Perkinson, and Beth Delong for all the help and time over the years.) (!!!!)

Next year, my friends and I will be gone, and The Procrastinator will be led by, among others, Mina Mattes, Olivia Henriquez, Abigail Jakub, Maya Sealander, and Harrison Blake.  Jerome Lawther has agreed to be the advisor.  Who could be better?  These guys are all really funny and smart, and I hope others should join them, because a large group of people putting off working on the paper is a lot better than doing it alone.  I love The Procrastinator, and I sincerely hope that GSA students will be Procrastinating for a long time to come.

 

-Nolan Ellsworth, Managing Editor, Co-Founder, Writer, and Cartoonist

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