By Hannah Daniel
I just want to start off by saying, thanks for having me back!! I loved creating SLAM with my co-workers, and I feel fortunate to be able to be a part of it again…even if it’s just for 800 words!
So how did SLAM become a real, tangible magazine? I’ll tell ya.
I’d like to claim SLAM as my brain child. But that would be a lie. The idea of a magazine came from other students who came before me, but were unable (for whatever reason) to see it to fruition. When Dr. Burkett came to my cubicle to ask if I could see if I could get the ball rolling again, I was immediately thrilled. I adopted past student’s brain child as my own, and I was committed to watching it grow and come to life.
But it wasn’t just me.
Erin O’Neal instantly joined me and we began dreaming things up, writing ideas down, and sending emails. We probably didn’t even make it to the end of the week before Sara Talladira, Ashley Burchett, and Micah Goodman joined in. Later that semester, Vivian Spencer joined us and we were a complete and perfect team. We were all dedicated to the magazine and refused to watch it fail. I think that’s why the magazine succeeded: because I knew creativity could not thrive if it was isolated, and I needed people who were much more creative than I was to stand alongside me to see the magazine through.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t all peaches and cream; the magazine saw its rough spots: we ran into budgeting problems, printing and paper issues, and I felt consumed writing and responding to a thousand emails and doing all those little things that needed to be done so that the magazine could be published in Spring 2015. At times, I seriously would have died if it had not been for crispy M&Ms and the support from my team (especially, Dr. Burkett!!).
It took the entire fall semester for me to create the website for the magazine. This website became the source for getting the word out, creating traffic, and getting other students excited about the publication in the spring. When the website was finally (FINALLY!!!!) published, I realized SLAM was my legacy.
I was proud to be able to give back to the school in such an important and profound way. SLAM’s necessity became more obvious with every day. Students needed an outlet to use all that we have learned and craft it in an enjoyable way. I envisioned SLAM being an oasis for students during midterms and finals. Something that they reach for when they need a break…because that’s what I did. In the Fall, when school got overwhelming, I could hunker down in my cubicle and create the website. In the Spring, I could hide away from my research for a while and situate stories and poems next to pictures on a page. I guess in a way, I want SLAM to be for you what it is for me—a place to escape to, if only for a few minutes, and be immersed into the world of visual art and literature.
Once we had all the submissions, I threw a dinner party at my house and we read everything out loud and picked the best pieces for the magazine. It was one of my favorite parts of creating SLAM. In the spring when the magazine was printed, I was over-the-top excited. We printed 300 copies and I was literally carrying them out of the Locker in my laundry basket. There were THAT many. We put them anywhere we could get them. And you took them. A LOT of them. It was such a satisfying feeling to walk into the Ledford center and see our pile of magazines gone. COMPLETELY gone. But don’t worry, we saved some for you to grab this fall. 😉
When I graduated from SEBTS, leaving SLAM was one of the hardest things I had to do. Really!! I was over the classes and the paper writing, but I felt cheated by only having one year with my beloved magazine. It was such an extraordinary thing to be a part of, nonetheless, become the very first Editor-in-Chief. Besides getting my degree, SLAM is my biggest academic accomplishment. And I can’t wait to watch it grow! Sara, Ashley, Vivian, and Micah have a wonderful bunch of readers. They are taking SLAM to the next level and I am so proud of them. So, friends, won’t you all do me a favor and join them? Read, write, or apply to be a Reader because I promise you won’t be sorry. The spring edition is going to be brilliant. I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on it!
Until next time.
Hannah Daniel graduated from the College at Southeastern in the spring of 2015. She spent her senior year as Editor-in-Chief and creator of SLAM.