Editor-in-Chief Farewell: Saamya Mungamuru

Saamya Mungamuru

Anyone who passes by Room 177 can hear the frantic click-clacking of keys as words escape fingertips, the whir of the printer, the constant shuffle of footsteps, waves of endless conversation and laughter. Over the last few years, this room, more commonly known as the Bark room, became home to the most defining moments of my high school experience, and the ones dearest to my heart.  

I could tell you about Bark’s impact on my intellectual growth, making me think about my education not as something simply imposed on me, but rather a boat I can sail myself; its impact on my leadership, teaching me to balance authority and empathy while directing a class of my peers; or its influence on my work ethic, with every sleep-deprived tear shed while transcribing 40-minute interviews or editing story after story, making me stronger as a writer and as a person. But I won’t.

Because as much as I value the skills I acquired through Bark, it is the little moments that I shared with my Bark family, the people I have grown to know and love over the past couple of years, that have made Bark so crazy and special.

I’ll miss some of our notable adventures together, like the time we walked down the streets of Chicago to Navy Pier, freezing our California butts off, and enjoyed mediocre Chicago-style deep dish pizza after a long day of journalism workshops. And like the time we made Jiffy Pop around a bonfire on the camping trip, starting off the night telling scary stories but quickly transitioning to recount the most embarrassing experiences from our childhood, laughing until our stomachs hurt.

While finals week may mean taking tests in silence for most classes, I’ll miss how for Bark it’s time to celebrate and reflect on the work we produced that semester, feasting on waffles and homemade coffee cake and sharing gifts with each other. I’ll miss the fiercely encouraged, loosely followed PJs-only dress code for paste-up and the countless dinners spent reading Barks and Bites together while chowing down on Stefano’s pizza.

But most of all, I’ll miss the simple, everyday activities. Passing Oreos around class on Fridays, singing on people’s birthdays, sharing memes on GroupMe. Debating everything, from the nuances of freedom of speech to the ethics of dubbing Ted Bundy “hot.” Despite ripping apart each others’ writing, sometimes a little too harshly, I know that at the end of the day Barkies will always be family.

And so, it is to this family, and the meals, the trips, the laughs and the memories we shared together over the years, that I say goodbye. I will miss you.