By Claire Stalhuth
At the venerable age of 17 I have been featured in the local paper a total of three times. I remember each of them, and each “accomplishment” brought me closer to the realization that I could have indeed peaked too soon.
My first 15 minutes of fame occurred after a trip to the Library with my beloved babysitter Matt, and I was wading knee deep into the Boulder Creek, valiantly proving my honor as the only girl able to stand the shock of glacial melt off. This all took place, of course, before the creek became the stomping grounds of the seemingly skunk-sprayed stoners we Coloradans know so well. Having unlocked my inner power to withstand the chilly streams of water, I did what a local reporter and her photographer found to be ground-breaking: I picked up rocks. If you were unable to detect my sarcasm in the previous statement, please allow me to inform you I am in no way the proud victim of a fluff piece. The pigtails were probable, the just-lost-a-front-tooth lisp definite. I’m not exactly saying I was taken advantage of to fill in space in a newspaper on the brink of facing the crippling reality of cyber news, but even as a kindergartener, it did feel a little degrading being placed in a column alongside the new penguin at the zoo. Now, had four year-old me responded to the reporter’s questions with “well you thee here Cathy, we have the sthedimentary layer of rock, and judging by the amount of sthand sthone, I think sthese thsamples have come here from Lyons,” it would have made complete sense to further investigate this geologist prodigy. Interview this generation’s Mozart of earth science? Yes! Interview your average kid whose sole talent is standing in water and picking up the nearest tangible item near them? Not so much.
I will spare you the hyperbolic prose required to tell the tales of the other times I was senselessly featured in a newspaper– when I used an icicle to cool down my chicken noodle soup and when I was misquoted in the Boulder Weekly at the farmers market about fava beans (Silence of the Lambs reference and all). I am telling you this not as a published pat on the back, but to explain why I wanted to start a paper in the first place. I am sick of the fluff pieces. I am tired of being only considered a fun feature in a column. I, like all our fellow high schoolers, have a voice and have things so say. So it’s about damn time we had a venue in which to do so.
I’m not saying The Boulder High Times will be be entirely devoid of light/feel good stories, in fact those human interest stories can be the most genuine and fun to produce. But we also are going to feature editorials in which students articulate their own thoughts and opinions on their own terms. I have become near-infamous for explaining the premise of such pieces as “so what burns your biscuits?” And in recent meetings the answers have been underfunding of the arts, classicism, the persistent underrepresentation of girls in STEM fields, the oxford comma, the mind games of college applications, cultural appropriation, and yes, even literal scalded baked goods.
We are here to inform, entertain, and debate. We have resurrected the paper to give students a platform to do so. So if you see Ruth and I hunched over laptops in the library or cafeteria, debating on an editing choice or cursing out our free, janky website service, come on over and tell us what you want to hear. Or even better: Write it.