Letter from the Editor 03.22.2022
On St. Patty’s Day, the art of interviewing, and (re)finding the things you love
It's the Saturday of St. Patrick’s Day weekend, but instead of going out, I woke up early to trek across campus and conduct an interview. A man in clover–shaped sunglasses and a green sarong is verbally accosting me, and it’s the happiest I’ve been all week.
That might sound silly to say, but I had genuinely forgotten how much I loved this. Managing all the big picture stuff at this magazine has meant that I miss out on doing the thing that made me fall in love with it: interviewing. Doing background research on a source feels like a more socially acceptable version of Instagram stalking your ex, and being able to profile someone you’d never otherwise encounter is like opening a book and stepping into a character’s world for a day.
I’ve never been much for writing about myself—and that hasn’t changed, despite having to write this letter every week. But I’ve always loved writing about other people, and I didn’t realize just how much until I went months without doing it.
My first interview ever was when I profiled Urban Exchange Project in Fishtown, and I remember spending the days leading up to my call with Jenna trying to calm the nervous pit that had formed in my stomach—which evaporated the second I heard a kind voice on the other end of the line say, “Hi Emily, it’s so nice to meet you!”
Despite it being more work than all the other articles I wrote that semester, or perhaps because of it, that profile was the most fulfilling thing I did during my first semester at Street. And the profile I wrote of Angelina Moles (also known as @fiercefatfemme on Instagram) early in my second semester cemented that I’d found my niche: shining a light on the stories of queer and trans people who are so often ignored by journalists.
I don’t think this letter has some grand takeaway other than that sometimes, you need to take a break from what you love to remind yourself why you love it.
This week’s issue, unsurprisingly, contains a lot of interviews. But more importantly, it contains the stories of so many individual people—each of whom have dug into their own passions. Our feature is a deep dive into Penn Student Government—what all the people in it hope for it to become, why they spend so many hours a week talking about the minutiae of University policy. We talked with Jon M. Chu about telling stories that are underrepresented in Hollywood, and we interviewed two University administrators about a gargoyle Instagram account they run, even constructing a Y2K–style quiz you can take to find out which campus gargoyle you are.
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