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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor 09.09.2020

Presenting the second–annual letter from the editor's mom


Photo of the editor and her younger brother courtesy of Marilyn Brann

A year ago, former editor–in–chief Annabelle Williams published a “letter from the editor from a different editor” in the first issue of Street. I’ve decided that such a tradition ought to continue (despite differing circumstances and a lack of a physical magazine to print this in); so, without further ado, here is the second annual letter from the editor’s mother.

Hey—unfair! This was supposed to be my chance to tell funny Tamsyn stories and rhapsodize about college. Instead, this Mom is remembering another senior year, when hugging a sick friend was either an individual act of courage or foolish bravado. When you had to carry a test result in your wallet and thought you had to interrogate your friends before they kissed you. This cannot be the Letter from the Editor’s Mom I was supposed to write, because this year is not the year it was supposed to be. What can any mom tell you—except how very much you mean to us? And how we salute your tenacity, your activism, and your bravery.

I have no doubts about Tamsyn’s bravery. When the kindergarten school nurse called about the 14 stitches she would need in her chin, when the summer camp called about the eight staples in her head, when the ER triage nurse knew us by name, and when the DP said we’re doing a print issue in August (editor’s note: never mind), her reaction was always the same: “I’m fine. Really.” And she skipped back to gym class, got back on those water skis, and was ready to return to the 34th Street office, even if she was (though often not) the only one there. We took her to a few doctors over those early years (why so many injuries?) and they all told us the same thing: Some kids just have no fear, and so they get hurt. 

This was a paradox to us because the words we used to describe Tamsyn were studious and shy. We should have known, though, because she wrote constantly. Chilling science fiction. Sad poetry. Dystopian stories. Scathing editorials the school newspapers wouldn’t print. She would write and cry, and write and cry, and then she would be suddenly done, having vanquished her own fears and ignited everyone else’s. Every untested phrase ended in a commitment. Tamsyn let go and her words persisted. She was fearless after all—the one quality college students need to embrace with care right now.

This is an unfair year. Too many things are missing. There are no piles of Street to grab. None to save. There are no crazy all–nighters putting out the print edition. No giddy moment when you hold an issue in your hand for the first time. For some of you, this is your last year of school. Looking for advice? I will tell you what Tamsyn has told me: “It may not be in print but the url will last forever.” So while your senior year memories may not be what you expected, they will last forever and you are in it together. You can still be creative. You can still effect change. You can still learn. You can still find jobs—and love. So prepare to be your bravest. Vote. And wear a mask.


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