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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor 03.22.2022

On St. Patty’s Day, the art of interviewing, and (re)finding the things you love

Photo: Eva Ingber

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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