Letter from the Editor: To the future

Jennifer Zhan, Monthly Editor


The Monthly


Back when I lived on campus, I noticed that the display screen for the elevator in Allison Hall sometimes behaved oddly, showing letters instead of a floor number. The last time I remember it happening was March 2020, on the day I moved out of the dorm. When I pressed the down button, “OK” flashed on the screen. At that moment, while I was wondering when I’d be coming back and how long this pandemic was going to last, it felt like a promise. Things were going to be OK.

A year later, and I’m still at home, over a thousand miles away. It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching so many anniversaries — this issue is coming out exactly twelve months after Northwestern announced that Spring Break would be extended and at least three weeks of Spring Quarter would move online.

I don’t know if it’s actually possible to neatly summarize everything that has happened since lockdown began. Suffice to say that we as a society will probably still be processing this period for many years to come. But in the arts and entertainment world, as in many other areas of society, people found ways to adapt and continue to create.

So, in a time when the coming days seem nothing if not uncertain, the theme of the March edition of The Monthly is the future. Our stories in this issue spotlight people who are working toward what they want to see in the world, whether that’s queer narratives in children’s media or increased representation of people with disabilities in art. We highlight alums who are crafting jewelry, writing comics and doing research. And we celebrate shows, music, movies and more from around the world (because the future is international).

It’s bittersweet that this will be my last issue as Monthly Editor. I’m grateful to too many people to list for bringing excitement and energy to our magazine, for helping me be thoughtful and intentional about our coverage and for being so open to asking and answering questions throughout the quarter. This has been a constant learning process for me, and I’m so excited for The Monthly to continue to evolve and improve in the future as other editors take the helm.

Here’s to spring, growth and the days to come!

Read more from the March edition of The Monthly here.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @jenniferzhann

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