WAGNER: We’re not going out of (AP) Style


Copy Editor Alex Wagner and Executive Opinions Editor Alexandra Garner accidentally twin August 2021. Photo courtesy of Alex Wagner

A story has many parts and can be told in many different ways. They can tell great epics of conquering distant lands, a forbidden love and solving centuryold crimes. They can also tell smaller stories, but these I find the most important. My story is one of these small ones. 

I’m not a journalist by trade. Or a writer. I’m just a man who joined a student newspaper and is now tasked with writing a senior column that I have no business writing. I wrote (yes, past tense) book reviews and proofread articles before they went to print. That’s it. It was nothing glamorous or sexy. I didn’t find the next Watergate or stumble onto a breaking news story. 

Maybe I’m selling myself short. Maybe I should tell you about the little things that made me love my too short time on the Marquette Wire. 

My book reviews. They are probably the only time I will write something that will go in print. Books are a somewhat new fascination for me, piqued by my good friend Nora McCaughey. I’ve read 41 books since July 2021, each with varying degrees of admiration. In the end, I do love them all, even in their fictitiousness. Telling the stories of an astronaut trying to stop an extinction-level event on Earth, the tumultuous marriage of a New York City socialite and her deadbeat husband, a braindead writer and a former Hollywood star, was something I loved doing, and something that I’ll miss. 

The back table in the Johnston Hall newsroom. I sat next to my friends and talked about nothing and everything. That is probably the thing I’ll miss the most. The sheer camaraderie and community forged there is tougher than the bonds holding atoms together. It was there that I found the “vibes” with Randi Haseman, where I discussed “Dune” by Frank Herbert with RJ Siano, and where I found the stalwart John Leuzzi in all his Philadelphian glory.

Last but not least, the thing I loved most about the Wire was Eleanor McCaughey and Alexandra Garner. I met these two lovely ladies last summer when we did the Les Aspin Program in Washington, D.C. We did everything together: walking miles to Central Park in New York City, sitting on the National Mall, eating our body weight in sushi, getting stuck at Georgetown University’s campus in a thunderstorm — everything. I wouldn’t trade these two for the world.

It is because of them that I joined the Wire. It was late June or early July, we were sprawled out in our friend Erika’s apartment trying to keep the swampy humidity of Washington at bay. We were talking about the upcoming school year, and they would reprise their roles at the Wire when the conversation shifted. After at least a half-hour of back and forth, I reluctantly submitted my application. My fate has been sealed ever since. 

I think back to that moment a lot as I write this. I think of how different my last year would have been, what paths I could have been on or what I would have done on my Monday nights instead of going to Late Night. It’s a classic example of the Butterfly Effect, how one small decision at one point in time leads to a huge difference later. 

It’s been over 1,300 days since I started at Marquette. I can’t say it’s all been sunshine and rainbows. Some of it has been hard, and incredibly dark. At points, I felt I couldn’t do it, that the finish line was so far out of reach. And now, with graduation less than one month away, I just want to say this: Take the scenic route, take risks and don’t let life pass you by.

This is Alex Wagner, signing off.

This story was written by Alex Wagner. He can be reached at [email protected]