Reflection: Ascher

Photo by Jeannette LaPointe.

I can’t believe my four years of college and my time on The New Paltz Oracle staff have come to a close. It has been an amazing journey of growth and knowledge that I don’t think I could’ve experienced anywhere else. 

I had wanted to join the paper since I was a freshman and my dad kept pestering me to pick up a story. Although I had written for my high school newspaper, I never learned any of the journalistic vocabulary or how to correctly format a story, so I felt unqualified, inexperienced and intimidated. 

For my Journalism I class, Professor Lisa Phillips required us to write a story for The New Paltz Oracle, and, once again, I felt inexperienced and not worthy enough to write for such a prestigious publication. But I picked up a story and wrote about a lecture regarding the conflicts in Ukraine. 

It wasn’t my finest writing, but it gave me a taste of how incredible it felt to see my name published in the newspaper. 

Since then, my dad continued to pester me and I would pick up stories here and there. It wasn’t until after I completed Professor Adam Bosch’s Journalism II class that I felt prepared to dedicate every week to picking up a story. 

My interests have always lied within music, so I automatically would sift through the left over A&E stories and grab something. My reputation as a music nerd flourished and A & E editor Sam Manzella would contact me if she had a story. 

Last spring, Kristen Warfield was the Editor-in-Chief and contacted me about joining staff as a copy editor. I went to elections and was rewarded with a copy editor’s position in Features. I was ecstatic. 

I got to write some of the most fun stories while in features, but my heart still wanted to write about music. I wrote my Top 10 list on the composers that I love and hate and I started to get recognition for my knowledge of music. 

A copy editor position in A & E opened up for last semester and Kristen and then Managing Editor Jack O’Brien recommended I run for the position. I was selected and couldn’t have been happier. 

I’ve had the opportunity to write about silent films, incredible concerts and become part of a music major’s project. It’s been an amazing semester!

Now for the thank you’s…

Sam Manzella, you are the most incredible writer I’ve ever met. It’s been an honor to be your copy editor and friend. I’m going to miss our coffee runs and laughs with Rob. Thank you for being so open and letting me write about anything.

Jackson Shrout, you have become one of my closest friends on this staff and never fail to make me laugh so hard. You have an amazing gift to make anything you write sound velvety and beautiful. Thank you for always helping me and being such a great friend.   

Melissa Kramer, my meme queen sister loving, Islander and Spongebob fanatic, I wouldn’t have made it through my first semester of production nights without cracking at least one Spongebob joke, turning to look at you and laugh. Thank you for always supporting me. 

Amanda Copkov, you always pushed me to write better ledes and headlines in features. I learned so much from you. Thank you so much. 

Meg Tohill, you are such a beautiful, sassy soul and your writing is impeccable. Watching you become this beautiful butterfly has been so inspiring. I cannot wait to see where you take the newspaper in the future!

Mike Rosen, your laugh is contagious, your knowledge of sports is incredible and you’re always looking spiffy. Thank you for all of the laughs. 

Jack O’Brien and Mel Zerah, you two are the most inspiring people on staff. You lead with pride, but can make everyone laugh. I’m so proud of both of you. Thank you for your kind words, pushing everyone to be better journalists and taking the paper to new heights. 

Rachael Purtell, you’re such an inspiration. Being on two sports teams, having a million majors, redesigning the newspaper layout while (currently) juggling being news editor is amazing. I’m going to miss hearing your weekend updates and complaining about boys. 

Briana Bonfiglio, Brandon Doerrer, Anthony Orza, Rob Piersall, you are all such incredible writers and bring something new to the table. It’s been an honor working with you all and reading your work. Good luck to all of you in your positions!

To my family and friends, you are my biggest supporters and fans. A special thank you and shout out to my dad for being my assistant copy editor. 

I’ve watched myself improve as a journalist by writing for this amazing publication. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do what I love.