Senior Spotlight: Saying goodbye to The Mac Weekly’s class of 2019


Back left to right: Julia Fritz-Endres ’19, Alta Connors ’19, Barbara Kuzma ’19, Jen Katz ’19, Will Milch ’19, Evan Meerscheidt ’19 and Ellie Rudner ’19. Bottom: Carrigan Miller ’19. Photo by Rebecca Edwards ’21.

Hannah Catlin

We sat down with The Mac Weekly’s 2019 graduating seniors to talk about their time working for the paper, their favorite memories and each other.

Back left to right: Julia Fritz-Endres ’19, Alta Connors ’19, Barbara Kuzma ’19, Jen Katz ’19, Will Milch ’19, Evan Meerscheidt ’19 and Ellie Rudner ’19. Bottom: Carrigan Miller ’19. Photo by Rebecca Edwards ’21.

TMW: Why did you decide to join The Mac Weekly and what made you stay?

Will Milch: I had a weird entry into The Mac Weekly. I get there my first night, and I stay until one a.m. and this first year who had written an article pulled [it] at like one a.m. And the editor at the time was like, ‘We don’t know what to do. We have no content. So let’s do a crossword.’

Jen Katz: Will to the rescue!

WM: And the diversion section was born.

JK: And Will was its king.

Carrigan Miller: I joined The Mac Weekly because I got an email from Chance Carnahan ’18… I think I mostly stuck around at first because of the parties. Those parties! They were fantastic, they were great!

Alta Connors: It’s been a decline.

CM: I’m in it for these people, for the people in the room, for the people who are there at three in the morning, and you don’t want to let those people down. You gotta keep chugging along. Then somewhere along the line, I fell in love with journalism.

Henry Nieberg: I weaseled my way in and I’m staying now because I honestly have fallen in love with Food & Drink. I think it’s really fun exploring and finding new restaurants and seeing how the Mac community approaches food — and drink. It’s fun.

TMW: Do you all have a favorite memory or favorite memories from your time here?

Barbara Kuzma: What I have found most meaningful about working on the paper is working with writers. I have found that I really, really enjoy workshopping and really enjoy building relationships with writers, and I think it’s really helped me seriously consider going into education or some sort of teaching profession.

CM: There’s this weird, sort of slightly psychotic thing that you get, where you can kind of communicate telepathically with people after 2:00 a.m. — where you just beam a thought across the room and they’re like, ‘Oh my god! 2-7 is in print, we gotta edit that.’ You know? There were these weird moments where the reality sheet kind of fell down and we were like, ‘Are we really editing a paper or are we doing something much greater?’

WM: Woah.

TMW: Who is most likely to survive in an apocalypse situation?

Almost everyone: Carrigan.

CM: Really? I’m so impractical.

WM: Julia might also do well.

CM: Julia seems very resourceful.

Julia Fritz-Endres: I don’t know if I could actually take people down. I would run away.

JK: Julia loves the earth, guys. She knows how to make it in nature.

HN: I feel like you guys would just kill me for some reason. Whether it’s for food or for —

WM: Drink!

HN: Or for sport. I would go. I wouldn’t make it very far, I don’t think.

WM: I nominate Evan to survive.

BK: I’ve always thought that I would do well.

Ellie Rudner: I don’t have any interest in surviving an apocalypse.

JK: I’m with you, Ellie Rudner.

HN: If Target’s open, I would have a vested interest in surviving. I would camp out at Target.

WM: Why would Target be open?

HN: I would go to Costco, but that’s in Chanhassen. I’m not going to Chanhassen.

TMW: Who’s the most likely to be elected President of the United States?

WM: My honest answer’s Henry. I think he can inspire some broad swath of people to vote for him.

HN: I definitely can see myself being very adamant at a city council meeting, but I don’t see it any larger than that. Being in charge of three neighborhoods and being like, ‘I own the world.’

BK: I think I could see Jen as the President of the United States.

CM: Jen, you’d be a total Abraham Lincoln, I think.

JK: What does that mean, Carrigan?

CM: You would hate being president but you’d do a great job. You’d wake up every day and be like, ‘I have to go in front of these f***ing people.’ But you’d kill it. You’d be very qualified.

BK: Yeah, I think that you’d be qualified, you’d have really well thought-out policy, you’d be a very compassionate leader and you wouldn’t like it, which I think is another really good quality in someone with that much power. Like, people with that much power shouldn’t want that much power. And I think that you fit the bill.

JF: Also you just know a lot of random facts about things, which I think would come in handy.

TMW: Any specification on which broad swath of people [Henry would inspire]?

Evan Meerscheidt: The loyal readers of the Food & Drink section are his broad swath.

BK: Jen! You would be our first president who had been on Jeopardy!

JK: Oh my God. I’d be the second president from Georgia, so the next Jimmy Carter.

TMW: If you had to get a wall quote tattooed on your body, which would you choose and where would you get it tattooed?

EM: I would get George’s quote about the control of Tibet by China right now, ‘free them folk,” and I would wanna get it over my heart.

JF: I think I’d get “a starched bonnet means you want the D” on my lower back.

TMW: If you could take one administrator, faculty member or staff member with you after graduation, who would it be?

CM: [English Department coordinator] Jan Beebe! Jan is now my administrator, personally. She responds to my emails, plans my Gcal, makes me lunch. And I repay her with love.

JK: The English department would collapse without her. That’s an awfully selfish choice.

CM: But my life would be so much better.

TMW: Do you have any suggestions for facilities when they’re renovating the office over summer?

WM: Tear down all of the walls.

AC: Where would that leave us?

WM: A floor.

EM: A modern office space.

WM: Open concept.

BK: I disagree. I think we all need cubicles.

JF: I think we should go back to the Gutenberg press. That’d be so fun.

TMW: Is there anything left on your Macalester bucket list?

CM: I have to unmask Mac the Scot! We’ll make it happen, we’ll make it happen. Let me contact my sources.

HN: Who’s Mike the Scot?

BK: Mac the Scot? Our Mascot?

CM: What?

WM: Oh, you know! Mac the Scot! You’ve met Mac.

TMW: What will you miss about working for TMW?

BK: I’m gonna miss the people. But I also think it’s really cool having something tangible that you made or had a role in making every week. I think it’s really cool every Friday even when there are typos and issues with it ­— which there usually are. It’s still a really cool tactile thing.

JK: Yeah, I’ve been thinking about it over the past week or so, this being our last issue, and I’m gonna really miss being able to walk into the office and talk with the news staff and pitch an idea and be able to see it in print the next week. Like, just that power to help bring those stories into the world is really powerful. I remember as a first year the first time I saw my byline I was so excited I took a picture and sent it to my mom. That excitement about making something, like Barbara said, is really special and I’m going to miss it a lot.

CM: Not to kiss my own ass here, but part of it is this incredible legacy, right? This paper is what, a hundred years old? And it’s cool to be part of that unbroken chain. It’s cool to do that for the people who came a hundred years ago and who’ll come a hundred years from now.

AC: I’ll miss you guys, I’ll miss this community and I’ll miss the process of making the paper. In like a week, I’ll miss it.

EM: It’s very fun to witness a bunch of people do something they have fun doing and that they do a great job at.

TMW: What do you hope TMW will look like in 10 years?

CM: I wouldn’t want to see it go full digital. I think having a print paper is a great tradition and I think there’s a unique tactile pleasure in hearing the pages crinkle and getting ink on your fingers. I’d like to see it expand in some of the areas we’ve been working on. I’d like to see a more diverse newsroom.

JK: I agree with all the serious stuff people said, but I hope in 10 years the Mock is still funny as hell.

AC: Or funnier.

JK: Or even funnier. Thanks, Alta.

TMW: Do you have any advice or warnings for future TMW staff?

CM: Don’t be afraid to talk to people. I think a lot of journalists are people who like to write but don’t really like stepping outside of their comfort zone, especially at a place like Macalester. But the best thing you can learn as a journalist is to be curious and go out and speak to people and poke and prod them and ask hard questions.

JK: I find in terms of community on the paper, what’s been so important to me has been having mentors. Listen to what they tell you and their advice, and reach out and ask what you could be doing better. Ask that kind of stuff, because having that support has been really valuable to me.

WM: If you’re a first year and you don’t really feel like what you’re interested in is what The Mac Weekly is doing right now, don’t be afraid to be creative and come to people with new ideas and inspiration and take it where you wanna see it go, because I think a lot of the great content we have has been from people who come to us and said, “Can I do this?”

TMW: When do you think Macalester will officially go out of business, and will TMW persist after its death?

JF: I think Mac’s got a good six years left, and The Mac Weekly has a good 300 years left.