Winged Post editors-in-chief comment on their experience

Journalism and the high school journey


Our entire experience as editors of the Winged Post can be accurately summed up in a strange trip to a decrepit Austrian salt mine.

That’s Austrian, not Australian.

As newly-minted editors partaking in the annual journalism retreat, we took a whirlwind tour of the country’s culture, history, and food, part of which included plunging into the bowels of a centuries-old mine in the little town of Hallstatt. Suited up in loosely-fitting orange visitors’ overalls and oversized shoe covers, we filed like ducklings into a dark tunnel leading into the sheer face of a mountain. As we descended into the mine, the air grew chillier, the sounds echoed off the walls, and the light from our flashlights grew eerie as it played on the underground rock walls.

That experience reminds us of our first feelings as editors – the departing upperclassmen had left us big shoes and loose trappings to fill, and both of us were apprehensive as we began adjusting to our new roles. As new leaders, we shouldered the responsibility of overseeing everything printed in our publication, guiding every issue of the Winged Post from conception to incubation and eventual release.

After a lengthy walk, we arrived at a precipitous wooden slide several meters long. The only way forward was down. We hesitated. Then, each of us held our breath, straddled the slide’s center rail, and pushed off.

It was scary and exhilarating at the same time. It was exactly like putting out our first issue of the newspaper, the product of weeks of frenzied work for both us and our staff-in-training. All of us were were uncertain and stressed as we raced against the clock to put the issue to bed, but we still enjoyed the tasks of reporting, editing and designing — so much, in fact, that at the end, we wondered why we had worried so much to begin with.

The tour continued, and we passed through miles of shaft and interminable rock walls, taking us lower and lower into the depths of the mine, just as we immersed ourselves further and further into making each issue better and better, longer and longer. We encountered two other slides — during these times, the apprehension had already melted away. Ready to face the challenge ahead, we slid in excesses of 20 kmph into the lower reaches of the mine, enjoying every second of the brief thrill-rides. In the same way, every subsequent issue of the Post was a little easier than the last, as our experience compounded and our confidence grew.

By exploring the Salzwelten, we learned much more than we could have ever expected about salt and mining. Similarly, our experience leading the Winged Post helped us understand more about our community. We didn’t know that Mr. Irvine made pottery with depleted uranium, and we learned about the incredible talent of self-taught student rappers at Harker. Our editorial experience allowed us to delve deep into the community — to see our peers in a dimension that we never would have encountered far above on the surface.

Yes, we just compared the school to a salt mine — but ASB candidates have done worse in their campaign speeches.

This journey didn’t only feature smoothly sliding into the depths of salt mine; it involved some chafing clothes and the unfortunate loss of an iPhone to an underground salt pool. At times this year, we’ve been stressed, sleepless, and anxious, but we wouldn’t have traded our jobs for anything.

So we’re not salty at all — just well-seasoned.

To our loyal readers: thank you for giving us the privilege to inform the student body, to educate our community and to represent your voice. We are confident that the new staff of the Winged Post will continue our tradition of journalistic excellence.

Vivek & Liz

The Editors-in-Chief