Letter from the Editor – Live It Up!

Note: This article is hosted here for archival purposes only. It does not necessarily represent the values of the Iron Warrior or Waterloo Engineering Society in the present day.

Dear IW, page # 2

After realizing that floating phrases and incomplete sentences won’t take me anywhere I am going to start my editorial with this very sentence that you are reading right now. I have always been bad at starting essays/reports/letters – you name it! Sometimes it’s due to the lack of ideas, sometimes the right words or at times both. Ever since I started working on this editorial I have been having difficulty sorting out my train of thought. But right now, after putting the entire issue together, I owe a huge thanks to Mother Nature/God/whatever mysterious order of things exists out there for the ‘awesomazing’ (awesome and amazing, get it?) team of writers and editors I am working with. THANKS to all of the writers for submitting their articles by the deadline, and for being patient with my abrupt and untimely, desperate emails asking for photos, clarification on content issues. And I apologize to those whose articles could not be included in this issue due to space constraints. I’ll try my best to include them in the coming issues. Also, a huge thanks to Roy and Michelle for helping out with the layout on the weekend – this issue would not have made it without their contribution.
I have a couple of announcements that will excite you and motivate you to read the newspaper even more often. First of all, as some of you may already know The Iron Warrior started its publication in 1980 and so 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the best newspaper on campus. As a part of paying homage to the history recorded in the IW archives, there will be a special feature in every issue where article(s) from any of the past issues will be reviewed. It’s actually quite an inspiring experience to read through the old archives. It gives an opportunity to see the past through the eyes of people who lived through it. It makes me realize the importance of engineering traditions that still bind students through time. I have often stumbled upon unrecognized titles and names of buildings or clubs. Columns on world issues and opinion pieces sometimes show how much the society and mentalities have changed, while at other times gradual development of technologies talked about years ago show that we still have a long way to go. If curiosity is taking over you, don’t let it pass. Later in the term, IW staff will be organizing an official 30th anniversary event whereby students will be shown some old issues – but more on that later.
Secondly, CFES (Canadian Federation of Engineering Students) Congress 2010 took place in early January in Hamilton. UW student representatives gave a presentation on The Iron Warrior as one of the elements that performed of their school very well and won third place in the Kyle Ruttan Exposition of Science and Engineering. I encourage you all to read the front page article written by the CFES Congress participants if you haven’t already done so yet.
Thirdly, IW has a brand new super-dooper amazing, fancy website, thanks to Benjamin Shepherd who volunteered to take IW forward into the 21st century and was voluntold (more on this term later) to become the IW Web Editor. Go ahead and read Ben’s article on the additional features of the new website.
Hmmm…With this I was almost thinking that I have mentioned everything required for my first editorial and I just realize that I haven’t introduced myself! So Hi everyone! I am Amrita Yasin and I’ll be the IW Editor-in-Chief for Winter 2010. Some of you might not recognize me as an old contributor and I am not! It seems like yesterday when I emailed my first article to my TA accidently and the feeling of intense guilt took me to the IW office on the second publishing weekend to help out with the layout. Let’s just say I got corrupted and started waiting impatiently for publication weekends where intense layout editing made me feel blind. And holding a newspaper on Wednesday afternoon seemed to be the best feeling ever.
While I am at it, let me make this fact clear: I am a very LOUD person. Even if I were to put ‘loud’ in 20 point font it wouldn’t do justice to my vocal cords. So if you are talking to me and suddenly feel excessive pressure on your eardrums, please don’t think I am yelling at you – It just means I am overly excited to be talking to you! At the same time I can be very easily and meekly startled. For those of you who have dropped by the IW office to say a friendly ‘Hello’ have experienced this. A friend once diagnosed this condition and concluded it was due to an excess of sodium ions in my blood stream. I am going way off the track so let me get back!
Let me give you a heads up on what to expect in this issue and ahead in the term. Our features this term will include a review of old archives (as I have mentioned before), Brew Man Group columns, Fashion Files, movie and book reviews, a column on research at UW, gaming, much-loved-by-IW-readers Chad Sexington column and of course a PCP. In this issue, you will see the usual EngSoc stuff – Exec reports, invitations by some directorships, and articles on past events. There is a traditional ‘While You Were Out’ article for the first issue, some co-op articles, and you get to know the FOC for 2010! In addition there are some interesting reviews of the CFES Congress, Epcon conference, NCWIE, IIE National Student Conference, a column on the Canadian political scenario and a very non-typical column on global warming. And once again the credit for this variety in topics goes to the staff writers!
Now, after devoting more than 150 words of my editorial to a description of the content of this newspaper I shall say my favourite word: F-E-E-D-B-A-C-K!!! We put a lot of sincere efforts into this newspaper to provide you with news, entertainment, opinion pieces and whatever it is that you want to read. If you like something tell us and we’ll include it, if you don’t like anything come to the office and yell at me – I promise I won’t talk back!
I would use the remainder to talk about something that has been nagging me for a while. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” – I will be honest, I don’t know who said it or where I read it almost 9 years ago (maybe more) but this sentence inspired me a lot. I started asking myself this question every other day. At the age of 11, it couldn’t mean more than coming up with some weird game to be played with girlfriends or some insane idea to annoy my parents. Gradually the thrill that I often feel when confronted with something new died down. Last term, it came back to me hitting like an almost guilty feeling. A lot of us get so busy and used to our routine that we never think about doing a little something that will be different from the ordinary. Days are spent at school or work and evenings and weekends are spent gossiping and hanging out in bars or cafes. I am not saying there is something wrong with it but we often forget the sensation of racing heartbeat or the cold shiver that runs down the spine when we are about to attempt something for the first time. Or maybe it’s the fear of failure that prevents us from getting ourselves into a new experience. My last co-op was in Toronto and I decided to do stuff that I hadn’t done before. I went to a musical, a ballet performance and I went rock-climbing. A year ago I wouldn’t have ever thought of doing either of these. And honestly these were experiences that I don’t regret at all (although I made a fool of myself rock climbing). Trying different things doesn’t have to mean an endeavour requiring time and budget planning and resulting in a new album on Facebook. Sometimes stupid childish activities are good to put divert your mind off the daily worries too. Let me give you some examples: Last year I tried painting on a heap of snow with acrylic paints. Do you know if you put an empty Five-Alive juice box inverted on a flat surface and jump on it, it explodes! Trust me it’s fun. Get some pieces of cardboard and try constructing a clock by sticking some elongated structure in the middle. Put it out in the sun (if it’s there) and guess the time. It will keep you smiling for a couple of days.

With this I will conclude my editorial. Have fun with school/co-op and whatever you do!

Smile C:
Amrita Yasin

1 Comment

  1. Abhi

    Goooooo Amrita! Gooooo Iron Warrior! (yep, definitely the best newspaper on campus.. by far!)

    -Proud Mathie

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