Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader,

If we’re talking about destination, let’s start first with origin. I’m writing this letter from the same seat in the MAB Lab that I occupied as a freshman copy editor. There are no windows in here. It smells like plastic paper. It’s a waiting room, and copy-editing was all about waiting. In our little round-table, we were antsy in anticipation, wading in weird conversation. A big part of it for me was waiting for what came after copy—that triumph of contribution. Walking home in the empty streets of Medford at 3:00 a.m., with my heart beating to the rhythm of a dozen stoplights changing from red to green to red to green, I felt like a person. 

I graduated to the role of the poetry and prose section editor for a year after, concentrating on ridding our corner of the world of hasty notes-app lyricism. Critique and construction became the cream of my crop. Editing the creative and literary issues gave me that glowing feeling of wholeness that I’ve always felt when publishing. So, I asked for more. Why not? Call me greedy, and I’ll agree. I wanted to eat the magazine—edit it, live in it, and love it. 

To be honest, I scammed my way into this position—that’s what they call it when you don’t do it by the book. I had never written an article for the Tufts Observer or even considered one as a journalistic editor before becoming Editor in Chief. Sometimes we find ourselves at the wheel of a car and we are dying to hit the gas pedal. And let me tell you, I was doing mental donuts when I was asked to be on the managing board. Here’s what I learned was important: the need to keep going.

What I’ve always truly adored about the Observer is the emotion that threads through the magazine. The anger in editorials, joy in poetry, grief in narrative. They say that your best work contains a piece of yourself. The Observer staff and all of its contributors—this magazine has always been about them. Their conversations, their drawings, all the different ways they express their love of life, of traveling through time. Place your cheek on the cover of a fresh copy and you might hear a heartbeat.

One last note from this Editor in Chief. When we were editing in the MAB Lab first semester, Sofia Pretell and I opened a curious envelope addressed to the Observer. There appeared a little purple pocketbook containing strange and whimsical phrases. Near its end, there was a simple slogan: “There is nothing but a chance until the end.” Had I not made weird, questionable, daring decisions for myself these past few years, I might have never met Josie, Richie, or Brigid.   

It’s why destination and destiny have the same root. Take your chances, reader, and please trust yourself. 


Akbota Saudabayeva

Josie Wagner to Everyone (4:38 AM)

The last time I came here, it was by car, but i’ll be flying back. it’s all tied to what is behind me, stuck like dirt under my fingernails. i carry it with me to the next place; onwards and onwards and onwards