Letter from the (Community) Editor – Saraluz Hager
June 1, 2023
I grew up shy. I tended to try and get away from social interaction of any sort; I won’t lie, I still do that sometimes now. I’m not sure where that stemmed from; I know it stopped me from making genuine connections with people for the longest time. It wasn’t until a few years ago, my sophomore year, when I decided to try out for Mrs. Lehrmann’s journalism class, that I realized people weren’t what I made them out to be. It was the middle of the pandemic, everything was online, and I was losing my mind every day I was stuck at home. But the writing got me through – the curiosity and the research. I started out pitching stories that only I would be interested in, stuff that wasn’t really news. But through our numerous pitch meetings, I learned what kind of stories I can write that can appeal to more than just me. I’ve lived in San Dimas for the last 3 years and I realize that the community around me is something I care for. So when it came time to request editor positions, I felt that the Community section would be my best bet. And so it was.
My writing skills grew, my communication improved, and I developed a passion for journalism, so much so that it’s what I plan to major in. This year we wanted to really up our game regarding content besides stories, and I thought I would try and pick up photography. My camera sat in a dusty closet, the lens having never seen daylight probably since my AYSO days in 2016. Between going to games and other events and figuring out what ISO would be best for the atrocious gym lighting, I again found something I love. A few friends and teachers have told me quite a few times to have fun and put the camera down, and don’t get me wrong, I can if I want to, but what goes misunderstood sometimes is that capturing those memories, looking back through the pictures and seeing real smiles, that’s my fun. There are those secret moments between friends where only they can hear their conversation, but I can see the levity they bring to each other.
The time I’ve spent with The Saint Scroll has been invaluable. I have learned so much about people through being a part of it: how we talk, how we make friends, how we keep and lose them, what makes up a good support system. Writing and interviewing can open you up to a vulnerability that few people want to experience. I recently sat down with a few senior citizens for interviews, and I came with my phone to record and an index card full of handwritten questions. The goal was to find advice for seniors in high school, and I thought, who better than actual seniors? As I said, there’s a vulnerability to being a writer, especially when talking to other people about their lives. I interviewed three wonderful women, all of whom had such different lives that when I first shook their hand, I wouldn’t have thought their stories to be what they were.
Through years of experiences in vastly different lives that I’ve been told about, I learned that there is no picture-perfect idea of what we should become. We’re ever-evolving, always-changing works of art. Roll your eyes, I know it’s cheesy, but don’t disregard the truth in it. I’ve had highs and lows in my time here, and I know we’ll always have them. I’ve done some thinking, and I think that if our purpose was to be just “happy”, then we’d end up in the perpetual cycle of not knowing if what we found is our right kind of happy. You’ve got to appreciate the here and now,
Through the last three years of writing and the last one with my camera, I’ve realized how much I learned that I think a lot of others should know. There’s something special about us, as people. There’s a delicacy we have that we need to accept.