Here’s to Paper

Raeesa Ashique - 2A Electrical
Posted on: March 30, 2016

Hello readers! I can’t believe I’m already writing my last editorial. I feel like it was a yesterday when Cameron congratulated me on running my first meeting, and distinctly remember the excitement of flipping through my first issue.

I have to start with thanking everyone who gave me this opportunity, which has definitely made me come out of my shell, be more expressive, and explore my own opinions. I used to be the kid who sat quietly in the corner of meetings, but I have definitely gotten to know all of our staff this semester.

I could thank Cameron every other sentence, so I might as well do it all in one go. Cameron was my assistant Editor-in-Chief, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one. More like, I couldn’t possibly have found a better one if I tried. He has two columns, makes the crossword and Sudokus, and writes a minimum of one extra article per issue. He taught me layout – since, being the responsible person that I am, I never bothered to learn it last semester – and was around to answer questions, copy edit, write last minute space fillers, layout Distractions, and just generally was the support I needed. Also, when Cameron says he loves the newspaper, trust me: he loves the newspaper.

I would also like to thank Leah, who was my first link to the paper. She was EIC when I was in 1A, and interestingly enough, she also moved me into residence in 1A! Now, in my term, she basically did whatever I asked her to do. We get along really well (maybe too well…we chat for way too long when we run into each other on campus, and say several times, “Okay, we should really get back to work now” before finally parting ways) which is why I will be very sad to see her graduate. All the best in all future endeavors, when you become “a real person”!

Nina was also EIC (before I was in university) and she will also be graduating this year. We only met this semester, so I didn’t get to know her as well as I would have liked, but she has been awesome to work with, and I wish her all the best as well!

Basically, I’ve been super lucky to have three past EICs on staff this term to show me the ropes, and just fill in wherever I needed. That doesn’t even take into account the rest of the IW staff!

Thank you, staff, for all the articles which made this term possible, and thank you for copy editing! Waking up on Sunday morning was always a pleasant experience when I saw that copy editing was pretty much done. Also, you guys are just generally awesome. I feel like we’re all kindred spirits. My roommate came to one of my meetings, and said afterwards, “You guys are so chill, I don’t understand how you get anything done.” It’s true: we sit around and chat most of the time, but crack down when it comes to crunch time.

Finally, it is my great pleasure to introduce Caitlin, the next A-Soc EIC! We’ve been off-stream as long as I’ve been in school, but I met her for the first time two weeks ago when she came in for production. Despite not knowing her in person, I had intended for a while to ask Caitlin if she wanted to be EIC, and was willing to give her the position in a heartbeat. I know she’ll do an awesome job. She often covers important global stories, isn’t afraid to address controversial topics, and is very open-minded. Also, if you haven’t read her column “5 Things You Really Don’t Want to Know”, you definitely should. You’ll realize that despite cultural differences now, we all had strange ancestors.

Caitlin will be on campus in the fall for her 4A term, and I am so happy that she will get this opportunity before she graduates. I’m excited to work together; I feel like we’ll have good times and interesting conversations. I’ll see you in the fall!

Now onto the editorial of my editorial (because, as usual, I actually have something to say)!

I remember one meeting when Meagan (who was EIC last fall) was ranting about receipts, and how in this digital age, we should only print receipts for cash transactions since with debit or credit there exists electronic proof of sale. Now I’m here to talk about why I love paper.

I would consider myself somewhat of a tree-hugger. I turn off lights I don’t need (and others don’t need, which my siblings generally never appreciated), I turn the tap off when I brush my teeth, I try to recycle everything, including items that aren’t strictly recyclable. But I still love paper.

Take this newspaper, for example: reading the articles online isn’t the same. Reading the PDF gives you the same visual, at least, but it’s still not the same. That’s why I was so excited to open my first printed issue, even though I had been staring at it on a screen all weekend. (Well, sometimes I do more than stare at it on the weekend…) But to me, part of the feels is holding the paper in your hands. It’s not just because, after two weeks of sweat and tears, the paper feels like my baby. It’s because I like having something physical to hold.

That’s the same reason I don’t like eBooks. I know lots of people – and “lots” is relative because most people I know don’t read – who like the Kindle or Kobo eReaders. My mom says it’s for the convenience, which I do understand. But still, I like holding a book. I love buying books and flipping through books and having a full bookshelf. I love garage sales because I can buy so many books for cheap!

Same goes for textbooks: I would much prefer a physical textbook to a PDF. This isn’t enough incentive to purchase a physical textbook, because broke student problems and also I’d rather not carry it. So yes, I’m going with the PDF. That being said, if the other issues didn’t exist, I would prefer actual textbooks.

The way we “school” is changing with technology, as is the way we organize our lives and schedules: apps are replacing calendars and agendas, tablets are replacing lined paper and notebooks.

We also had the tablet discussion in the Iron Warrior office, and whether it is necessary to purchase an additional device. Personally, I would love to have a tablet, but not for taking notes. I want to be able to pull up my assignments/slides if I’m studying on campus (although the word “if” is better replaced with “when”), or even a textbook PDF, so I don’t have to cart my laptop around. But I would never take notes on one.

I do see the convenience of taking notes on your tablet: it’s only one device to carry, compared to a bunch of notebooks. You can write on slides, easily insert pictures into your notes, send to and receive from others. Besides, the battery life is much better than a phone’s, so that isn’t a deterrent. But keeping in mind that I haven’t actually tried anything besides paper, I don’t think this would work for me. Like I said, I like paper.

Now, why exactly do I like paper? That’s a tough question to answer. I’ll come back to talking about this newspaper. In 1A, I started keeping a copy of every issue that I contributed to. I like the idea of being able to read it in the future, and the sentimental value associated with a physical version. Which is why I also still have copies of our elementary school newsletter.

Besides, just imagine fifty years in the future when our technology is so archaic that there may not be a means of accessing an electronic version.

I think I like paper because I form attachments to things like the newspaper, my notes, my collection of books. I like it when they’re pretty and organized and I can actually touch them.

I think it’s also because us 90s kids didn’t grow up on devices: little kids today have phones and tablets, but these weren’t around when we were little. “Back in my day” we got an hour of TV time, and otherwise just played. Or if you were like me, you read all day. Including at the park. And at other people’s houses. I know, I was cool.

Now elementary schools have iPads, but we didn’t have those either. This is probably why we still use paper now: it hasn’t worn off.

So, will paper go extinct? News is online, textbooks are electronic, people are choosing tablets over paper. And forget writing letters: I used to write to my cousins when I was ten (and I still have all the letters! Now there’s some sentimental value for you), but that stopped when we got email addresses, and finally Facebook and cell phones.

But I think paper will be around for a while yet. We are the generation who did not grow up on devices, and as long as some people still feel like I do, paper is safe. In the next ten to fifteen years when these younger kids grow up, it may be a different case.

So here’s to paper! Please stick around for many years to come.

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