by Micah Wilkins, web editor
One of our first Echo meetings together, Christian sat at our table in the Cowpie sunroom wearing a black t-shirt with several large, neon-colored plastic bugs glued to it. He introduced them to us by pointing at them individually, listing off their names without looking down. He had named each bug, and had memorized where each one was on his shirt.
After that meeting, I had decided that I had to be friends with him.
Last year, we were in the same boat together, as staff writers for the Echo, guided by the steady hands of vets like Elizabeth Bonham, Gabriel Sistare, and Rachel Rudi. This year, we both took on leadership positions. He as the Editor-in-Chief of the paper, and me as web editor, and, on good days, his little helper.
Often Christian can be found in the Echo office, taking breaks from work to look at GIFs and message boards about his idol, Christina Aguilera. One question you have about the story you’re working on, or the source you’re trying to get in touch with, usually turns into 20 minutes of gossiping, or four new story ideas, or an emotional check-in.
Christian is the best editor the Echo could have asked for this year. Since we started off this year with the new crew structure, he has taken to this leadership position really well. He is so personable, understanding, and respects each of us and our opinions equally. I still feel so honored every time he turns to me in meetings and says, “I don’t know, Micah, what do you think?”
He is so smart, so level-headed, and yet he is constantly checking himself, because he wants to make sure that what he is doing is always the right thing. Deliberate with his words and in his decision-making, he is always looking for a second, third, fourth opinion, and takes what we have to say to heart.
Christian doesn’t just care about us getting in our stories on time. He cares about our emotional well-being, and our stress-level, both with work and with school. He is so intuitive that he can usually tell I’m not feeling well even before I can.
Several times this year, a simple “Hey, are you OK? You seem sad lately” is met with a “Now that you mention it,” followed by long-winded explanation. I’ve disclosed things to him that I don’t even tell my best friends. He is just that good at getting the scoop, I guess.
Christian, I am still unsure about what we will do without you next year, and how in the world I am going to fill your stylish shoes. But we will manage. Stay in touch, and we hope to make you proud!
With your ambition, your worldview and your sense of humor, you will go far in this world.
The Echo crew will miss you tremendously. And like the bugs glued to your shirt that you know so well, we will always be with you.