Senior letter: Hayley Retter

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Dear Ryan Review,

“People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.”

The words of author Harper Lee from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird are what initially inspired me to write. After reading this book for the first time at age 13, I learned that art isn’t always painting for people to see or singing for people to hear. Art can be creating a story for people to read. Harper Lee taught me how to love that art; Archbishop Ryan taught me how to write it.

Performing in musicals and speaking as a Ryan Ambassador helped me realize my love for communicating with others. Yet, journalism is what truly helped me discover my path. While junior year is what initially sparked my interest in writing, I fell in love with it my senior year thanks to Mrs. Naab and Mrs. Gimpel. Both teachers taught me to do more than analysis and interpretations. They taught me to fall in love with what I’m writing, to always go deeper. Passion is not easy to teach, so I’m forever thankful they gave me something to care so deeply about.

In addition to the teachers, I’d like to thank anyone who has been a part of my articles, and the senior writers who are all so amazing (especially Jettaka McWilliams). The Ryan Review has given me a unique way to express my opinions, learn about students, and get involved in school. It’s humbling to know that, every time an article was published with my name on it, a small part of me was being fused into Ryan’s legacy. With that being said, I would really like to thank anyone who took the time to read my articles. I know that the Ryan Review is not the most popular tab on the Ryan website, but there is so much hard work behind it, and it really means a lot to me.

While I do not look back at my high school years with regret, I am very ready to move on. Next year, I will be attending Temple University as a communications major for journalism and broadcasting. Although I’ll dearly miss my fifth period journalism class, I’m eager to learn more about the art of reporting. I’m not the best, but I’ve learned the most valuable lesson any writer can learn: the lesson that writing is not necessarily about being intelligent; it’s about being able to make someone feel something. That what makes writing art, and a true artist does not create for people to see, hear, or read; they create for people to feel.

-Hayley Retter, Managing Editor

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