Letter from the editor: Finishing up as photo editor

Mason Maron faces a new chapter of his life



Photo editor Mason Maron and a hawk, March 2021, Benge, Wash.


About four years ago now, I made the decision to attend WSU.

It was a strange time, leaving behind my home, family and many of the friends I had made since moving to Washington nine years prior.

There were lots of heartfelt goodbyes and let’s-stay-in-touches that were never followed up on as I entered this new chapter of my life. I was nervous and unsure of what the future held, but I knew I had to keep moving forward.

Originally I had planned on majoring in mechanical engineering like many of my friends, but decided at the last minute to take some sage advice from the great Uncle Iroh from “Avatar: The Last Airbender”: “It’s time for you to look inward, and start asking yourself the big questions. Who are you? And what do you want?”

I knew I would rather spend my time learning about, documenting and exploring the natural world than churning out 3D models of machine parts from behind a desk all day, so I ultimately chose to major in wildlife ecology and conservation.

With this, I also grew my love for and interest in wildlife photography, building up a sizable and, if I may say so myself, impressive portfolio. When my sophomore year rolled around during the peak of the pandemic in late 2020, I had unfortunately locked myself into paying rent for an apartment in Pullman, so I found myself stuck in town and in need of a job.

When searching for one, I stumbled across something interesting: the role of photo editor at the Daily Evergreen, a campus newspaper I had vaguely remembered seeing around Pullman when we actually went to classes in person. I decided to give it a shot and apply, but unfortunately, the photo editor position was already taken.

Then, unexpectedly, I got a strange email saying something along the lines of, “We’d still love to have you on as a photographer, so we’re hiring you. Here’s all the paperwork to fill out.”

I had never actually said I wanted to be a photographer here, but I was not about to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I quickly accepted.

I worked as one of the only photographers on campus during quarantine and, once things went back to being in-person, I was promoted to deputy photo editor.

One semester later, I stepped up another level and finally took the position of photo editor I had aimed for all those semesters ago.

Though I hardly like to say that “such-and-such had a lasting impact on my life,” I cannot deny that working at the Evergreen has changed a lot for me. I have made some great friendships and worked with some great people for sure, but there is more to it than that.

I used to write a lot for fun as a kid, but I sort of fell out of it in high school when I was already being forced to write regularly for unenjoyable homework. However, I think working here reinvigorated that joy for me.

It was not long after I started working at the newspaper that I began writing again and, after a year or so, I was regularly producing my own work for publication. It was exciting and, more than that, it was satisfying to know that I was actually writing because I wanted to, not because I had to for a grade.

Now, as graduation looms over my head like an anvil on a rope, I once again say “let’s keep in touch” to people I probably will not keep in touch with and prepare for another brand-new chapter of my life.

It is scary, sure, but so was this chapter, and despite early fears and anxieties, I think it turned out pretty damn good.