Editor’s Farewell: Volume 51


Ford Legg, Editor-in-Chief

I am most grateful for the people. After constructing 158 pages of The Vanguard over the past year, my favorite part of each issue consistently remains strolling into the comforting office, propping myself into the familiar blue chair, and listening to what my peers want to create, what we want to build.

During my first meeting as a junior editor, we convened outside the NAC on the grass. Volume 50 Managing Editor Maya Benjamin ’22 handed me The Vanguard Style Sheet, and my shaking hands grasped this long-list of rules (“X said,” not “said X”) and tricks to turn a spiffy quote into a tight, paraphrased line. We were masked and unnerved, questioning the colossal world of journalism into which we sophomores stumbled. When asked in that meeting for article ideas, I drew a blank, wondering what more there was to talk about than big sports games and important assemblies.

Now, there’s nothing like the buzz of anticipation when walking into The Vanguard’s office for an “Article Ideas” meeting. Each editor arrives equipped with bullet-listed phrases that metamorphose into a 1000-word article featuring captivating headlines and vibrant photos, or an infographic of quotes and data. Those single ideas shared over a 45-minute block sent Rahdin to Nobles to discover a day in the life of a Nobles student and sparked conversation about how to best cover each departing faculty in a post-pandemic year with significant faculty departure. The meetings also allowed me to give away my homemade goods—from maple cookies to chocolate-chip pumpkin bread—fueling our expedition into curiosity.

When taking the reins last March, my fellow senior editors and I discussed how The Vanguard’s role needed to shift with a post- pandemic education. We decided to celebrate athletic wins, a lost celebration for most of 2020 and 2021. Our editorials critiqued the school, the familiar trope of TikTok ruining our generation (see… literally half of our editorials), and also examined ourselves as high schoolers in an unpredictable landscape (see “We love you frosh <3” on page 3).

Our new “Food” section replaced the “Online Campus” section as BB&N switched nearly entirely back to in person. We chose to show the joy that can sometimes be overlooked in our seemingly endless high school years through Rahdin’s diary entries and colloquial faculty conversations (see “Spanish Teachers in Conversation” on page 16).

We realized the diversity of content and multi-faceted pages were exactly how The Vanguard should operate, examining both the serious and informal parts of our lives.

What other publication allows you to drive to Shaw’s Market at 10:45 a.m. on a Thursday, buy four tubs of ice cream, scoop it for the student body during second lunch, and still pass off the adventure as productive (see “Rahdin and Ford’s ice cream extravaganza” issue 7, vol. 51)?

I am proud of summarizing and condensing broad and abstract issues, like measuring our student body’s ability to ask for help in a two-page, thoroughly constructed graphic, or quantifying rigor in comparison to other similar private schools (see “How rigorous is BB&N?” on pages 12 & 13). Volume 51 redefined the Sports pages by turning dull sports-season summaries into an Instagram- themed, photo-filled layout (see pages 22 & 23).

So, I arrive at my thanks: Madera, for being my partner and co-leader of an at- times-tumultuous ship, and my friend while we navigated this together. Anjali, for offering thoughtful remarks each meeting that overturned a stone we would have otherwise left untouched. Danielle, for writing our board’s calls in the most creative, intelligent style that often left me speechless and impressed. Rahdin, for inputting the most fun and unheard-of ideas to the paper, even the ones that did not end up in print but made us smile.

Thank you, Tess, for confidently controlling the columnists with an air of bravery, while working beyond your role during paste-up. Fatmata, for breathing life into each page you touched, amazing me with weighty designs. Sofia, for often taking the most difficult production pages in stride, breaking the mold of a traditional, dull Vanguard page. Emmy, for leading the photo department with poise and confidence. Ms. Whitney, for teaching me new skills of life and journalism weekly while steering the ship with me through waves, calming them before they reached tsunamis.

And to Alexandra, Darius, Graham, Audra, Elle, Jasper, Charlotte, and Maddie, thank you for going above and beyond the “pay grade” (we are not paid) on each assignment I threw at you. We seniors have a lot of uncertainty ahead, but the one truth I hold on to is that you all will deliver eight incredible, thoughtful issues that I look forward to reading as a mail subscriber.

Finally, thank you, reader. You’ve been constantly on my mind for the past year, and none of this work could come together without the interviews, survey results, and triumphs you brought for us to cover. So, please, turn the page, because the stories inked into this paper only come alive if you do something with them.

I have often heard that if you love what you do, you will not work a day in your life. As someone who loves what he does and still often feels suffocated by the tremendous work of bringing together this 24-page collection of stories, I confidently prove this adage false. I have learned if you love what you do, the work will be hard and challenging but never a burden, because you’re at the forefront, or, perhaps, the vanguard, of substantial problems while creating meaningful solutions.