Taylor

Taylor Wooten stands in front a window decoration advertising the NCAA tournament on Monument Circle during a The Statehouse File group outing following the end of the legislative session. PHOTO PROVIDED

Franklin College has always felt like home.

I’ve always been sentimental. Growing up, my family moved apartments and houses a lot, and every time I would cry in a corner. Now I’m anticipating the end of my time at Franklin.

Choosing this place was easy. On an overnight visit, I sat at the Saga table by the TV and talked with peers that would become my teammates. It was comfortable. I sat there, at the cross country and track table, consistently for four years.

I like to joke about my freshman self. She skipped a few classes. Hank Nuwer had to get stern with her about how frequently she’d be falling asleep during his lessons. She rarely made it to The Franklin meetings. I think I forgive her now.

It feels stupid to try to describe what has happened since then. You probably know the deal: president arrested, pandemic, sent home, came back. I think I grew in that time. With the help of my co-executive editor Hope Shrum and a staff full of great student journalists, I co-led The Franklin staff through the 2020-21 school year.

In May 2021, I learned that empty Johnson-Dietz sections echo terribly. After getting a last-minute slot in an internship program that placed me at the local paper, I stayed on campus alone all summer. Shockingly, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. I think the experience helped me become more independent, but conversely just makes me hold onto this place tighter.

I’m one of those weird people that likes it here. There’s always been an undeniable feeling for me that this sometimes-dingy campus is home. The newsroom, which was once infested with winged ants. The always-available Saga food.  The staff, which recently gave me the honor of “second most chaotic” member. The fact that it’s exactly a mile from the front doors of Spurlock, around the campus back to the gate of the track. I’ve learned it all intricately.

So here I am. Clinging tightly to the door of my Dietz single like a child, holding on to the way things have been, the place that’s comfortable. I know it’ll be fine. I know it’ll be fine. 

To John, Joel, Colleen, Ryan, Ann, Ray, and Hank (who I hope isn’t still upset with me for falling asleep in his class). Thank you for all you’ve done. Can I take you all with me wherever I end up?

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