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A Farewell to the Year, A Farewell to Lockie

by Micah Wilkins, Editor-in-Chief

I guess it didn’t really hit me until I sat in on a couple of presentations during the Capstone Carnival, and listened to the Creative Writing seniors read their work last night. But it’s less than two weeks away, so I guess I should come to terms with it.

The end of the year is upon us. This is my third May at Warren Wilson, and every year I’m here it becomes more and more difficult to say goodbye to this place and to the people who call it home.

As editor of the Echo, my job is to know what is going on on this campus and what is going on with its students. After a year of doing this, I think I have a pretty good sense of the pulse of this college, but everyday I seem to learn about some oddity, some obscure bit of Warren Wilson history, some piece of the puzzle that makes us us.

For the Echo, I get to pick a topic, anything that is happening on campus that interests me and that is newsworthy (on this campus there are few things that are not newsworthy), and learn about it by conducting interviews and getting to know this college’s characters and quirks.

I have the best job on campus.

Last Monday I spent the whole morning interviewing Natasha and Art and Ed for the story about Rick Gaukel, the alumnus killed by the avalanche (read the article on page 10). It was a sad, challenging story to write, but I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to talk to these faculty and staff members as they remembered Rick.

As a writer and an observer on this campus, I have these meaningful, enlightening interactions regularly. These moments are what keep my passion for this place alive.

For the last two years, my adventures and aspirations with the Echo have been guided by the crew supervisor Lockie Hunter, one of the “adults” I have grown close to in my time here.

Before the readings last night, Gary Hawkins listed all of the writing professors who will be leaving us. In one fail swoop, all of the writing teachers I have had at Warren Wilson will leave the college—John Crutchfield, Sebastian Matthews, Rachel Howard, and Lockie.

I have known that Lockie will leave the college for a couple weeks now, but it still has not settled in. As Gary said her name, I couldn’t help but let out a little whimper.

She has been the Echo’s supervisor for the last two years, and, like me, she sees it as her baby. She has held my hand as I have pushed through my first year as Editor-in-Chief. She has picked me up and brushed me off when I get discouraged. She reassures me when I question myself. She grounds me. She encourages me. She pushes us to go out on limbs, to try new things.

In the last month alone, I have sent her over 100 emails, and probably too many texts. Lately in my e-mails, as I plan ahead for the Echo next year, I have to stop myself from writing “Next year, we should…”

It is difficult to imagine the Echo without her. She has been my mentor and at the same time my sidekick. It will be difficult to find someone who maintains that balance, as Lockie has done with style, a sense of humor, and a cup of tea in hand.


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