Love Letter to The Liberator: Max’s 30

Max Domel, Lead Editor

Before I came to LASA, I had only attended small, private schools, so I was nervous about what to expect in a much larger environment. On my first day of high school, the first place I went was Mr. Garcia’s portable back on the LBJ campus. I didn’t know it then, but at that moment, I’d be stepping into my future home: The Liberator.

From my experience, The Liberator has meant many different things. Psychologically, being a staff writer, entertainment editor, or Lead Ed, and physically, being in that portable on the old campus, my bedroom at home, or room 701 at our new campus. Across all of these different spaces and changes, though, The Liberator has given me so many wonderful opportunities that I’m incredibly grateful for. 

Journalism-wise, I’ve been able to interview people like Mayor Adler and one of my personal heroes, Roger Bennett, an English-American soccer journalist and co-host of “The Men in Blazers Show.” I’ve gotten to write articles on topics from the local Blues on the Green music festival and researching racism in European soccer to LASA students organizing their own TEDx event, and reviews on everything from the movie “Booksmart” and TV show “Ramy” to the music video for “Compensating” by Aminé and documentary “Too Funny to Fail.” 

On a personal level, newspaper has truly helped me discover multiple new sides of myself that I don’t think would have developed in other settings. It has unleashed hidden forms of my creativity and given me purpose and confidence. I started out as a kid who sat off in the corner to do work and got anxious before phone calls, but thanks to The Liberator, I’m leaving as a much more collaborative, vocal, and mature young man who strives to positively impact the lives of those around him and connect people through storytelling.

I feel at peace at The Liberator (when we’re not cramming for an issue). It’s been the place that’s warmly embraced me in a way nothing else quite could. It’s where I’ve felt the strongest sense of belonging throughout high school, and most importantly, where I’ve found some of the coolest, smartest, most creative, and most supportive people I’ve ever met. People who debate both seriously and for fun with the same passion and allow each other to openly share their life stories. People who (mostly) put up with my stupid, unneccesarily complicated jokes and puns, can always make dull days entertaining, and uplift one another under stress and exhaustion. The atmosphere in the newspaper room is one of a kind, and one I’ll greatly miss. 

Coming to LASA has been one of the best decisions of my life, and joining newspaper even more so. The Liberator will always have a special place in my heart. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to go on this fulfilling path with everyone over these past four years, and I wish all future staffers and editors the best of luck. Thank you all so much. Max out.