Editor-in-Chief Farewell: Kelly Chuang

Kelly Chuang

This year has been a long effort of recalibration, of searching for a peace I’d long misplaced after the pandemic. In the chaos of a newsroom, the complete opposite of what I’d expected, I found a whole family too.

It’s an odd family — five parents, 30-something kids and 30-something aunts and uncles (not to mention 90-something grandkids) — but it’s home. We wear matching outfits to the airport, have monthly movie days and bicker and banter. A lot. This family has found new pieces of me, ones revised and refreshing; burdens I’d only experienced on my own were suddenly lifted by more arms than I could count. I walked into room 177 with myself, and I’m walking out with more love than I can carry in my body.

Photo by Lauren Poulin

It’s been a year of deadlines, crises, meetings on meetings, access to the coolest furniture in the main building, arguments, agreements, nicknames, unsolicited coffee runs, impromptu birthday celebrations, crying, piñatas, embarrassing photos immortalized on the walls and some of the best pizza of my life. Saying goodbye makes this one of the hardest pieces I have ever written.

It’s not only difficult because I’m in denial, but because there are no metaphors great enough to paint the love running through 177. There is no other room like it in my life. I’ve unlearned old, unforgiving habits of building up walls and burning myself out; this program has saved me in that way, by showing me how to trust and rely on others.

One of the individuals that has saved me the most is Sam Kimball, my 5th period Editor-in-Chief counterpart. I’ve been trained my whole life to do everything myself, to shoulder the burden of a thousand bodies. Sam has been one of few who have worked by my side through it all, willingly and with a smile always brighter than mine. He’s given me his 150 percent love, the unconditional kind, the kind I’m not used to; it was intimidating to embrace, but now I’ve come to call it a home. He’s on my team, and I’m on his, always.

Franz Wright writes of how walking home, “for a moment/you almost believe you could start again.” If I could start Bark again, I would walk the same steps, trip on the same potholes, laugh at the same jokes and call the same friends. There’s nothing I would change about this home, this team, this family. I’ve lived beautifully these past three years, and as reluctant as I am to admit it’s over, there is no better way I would like to finish out my years as a Barkie.


With love,

Kelly Chuang