A love letter to the Silhouette

Lauren O'Donnell
April 3, 2020
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes
Illustration by Elisabetta Paiano / Production Editor

I never actually applied to be the Arts and Culture Reporter, I got here mostly by accident. I applied to a few other positions on staff, but when I got a phone call from our Editor-in-Chief on a windy summer day to offer me a job, it was for A&C Reporter. I didn’t even know it was a paid position for another month. 

McMaster isn’t my first school, I went to Western for two and a half years before coming here. In my first year at Mac I didn’t know very much about the school, and to be honest I still don’t know where Thode is and at this point I’m too afraid to ask. But the Silhouette gave me a home on campus (our little office in the dungeons of the MUSC basement, untouched by natural light), and a group of friends that I didn’t have before. It made me feel like I was a part of a family, and a part of campus. 

As Uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.” 

One of the best parts of working at the Silhouette is being able to give a platform to community events and organizations that matter to me. I’ve had the privilege to write about sustainable fashion, body positivity, local businesses and charitable organizations in addition to exciting arts initiatives. I was gone from Hamilton for a few years, and the Sil helped me to see my hometown in a fresh light. My magnum opus is my article on a local meme page The Hammer Memer. Don’t let your memes be dreams, folks. If there’s something happening in the arts community in Hamilton, don’t hesitate to contribute something to the Sil. It’s worth it. 

I’ve also had the opportunity to write for other sections of the Silhouette. Being able to give voice to my thoughts about the Yellow Vests outside of City Hall was something vitally important to me, and the Sil let me do that. If I hadn’t been a part of the team I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to submit something, but I’m so glad I did.

As I sit at my desk at home, I feel a deep sense of loss. This is my final year at Mac, and I don’t think I’ve entirely processed that it’s over now. I can’t chill on the couches in the office and ask Hannah when the desks for the reporters are going to be built (spoiler alert folks: it didn’t happen). I can’t warm up my lunch in the microwave that can’t be used at the same time as the kettle without blowing a fuse. I can’t chat with my friends about the latest tea while munching on the chicken strips from La Piazza. It feels like just as I was settling in everything ended.

In grade 12 English I read the book Stone Angel, which ends mid-way through a sentence. That’s how these past few weeks have felt for me; like an unfinished ending. It’s unsettling and unsatisfying, and I think we’re all feeling that way. Zoom calls are fine, but they’re not the same as sitting in your final few lectures and talking to your friends over coffee. 

It feels wrong to mourn for this when there are people who have it much worse than me right now, but undergrad has been a long and complicated process for me, and I can’t help but feel sad that our end of year festivities have been postponed or cancelled. This is it, this is our last issue for the year, and we can’t have a last hurrah. Oh jeez, I’m crying a bit just thinking about it.

So here it is, my love letter to the Sil. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this wild ride. Maybe this isn’t an ending, but a beginning. At least I can use the Oxford Comma again, thank the lord. Thank you to everyone on the team for being so kind, and thank you to everyone reading this for getting through to the end of my sentimental ramble. This isn’t a goodbye, just an until next time.


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  • Lauren O'Donnell

    Lauren is in her fourth and final year of English and Cultural Studies. She is a big fan of sustainable fashion, body positivity, and 80s pop music. In her spare time, Lauren can be found hanging out with her cat, Lyric.

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