Blake Catlett: Shine On, You Crazy Central Digest

DIGEST+NAMED+NATIONAL+WEBSITE+OF+DISTINCTION+--+The+Central+Digest+staff+pictured+with+their+awards.+Blake+Catlett%2C+a+4-year+staff+member%2C+is+holding+the+plaque+in+front.+

Katheron Latham

DIGEST NAMED NATIONAL WEBSITE OF DISTINCTION — The Central Digest staff pictured with their awards. Blake Catlett, a 4-year staff member, is holding the plaque in front.

Blake Catlett, Editor

Since my sophomore year, I knew that I would have to eventually write this, but I’m still far from prepared. What do you say when an era of your life is coming to a close? How do you send it off? I could write a million words and still not do it justice, but I’ll try nonetheless.

Before I entered high school, I despised writing. I thought it was my weakest point, and I dreaded every “graded as a rough draft” part of standardized tests. Entering the newsroom and Digest staff made me realize how wrong I was, and I have never been more happier to be proven wrong. The halls of Central, especially the Journalism classroom, B-109, have been part of the best years of my life so far.

To class of 2021: we really thought last year’s seniors had it rough, huh? They really showed us. In all seriousness, we made it through, and I couldn’t be more proud of us. We’ve grappled with COVID-19 since the backend of our junior year, and it is staying with us even beyond our graduation. It has yet to stop us and it never will. Go out and do great things. Godspeed and glory to you all.

Bailey Brantingham: we made it through four years on the Digest in one piece, but that means no more sneaking into the green cabinet (which is upsetting). You did so much work behind the scenes this year, and it helped tremendously. Good luck with your future, “Betsy.”

Zoey Greene: you are one of the most hardworking people I know. You are impressively dependable, and you were an amazing addition to the staff this year. I think I’ll enjoy some Chic-Fil-A in your honor.

Grayson Catlett: for starters, I should’ve been born first (yes I’m still mad about that). There’s too much to say right here as we’ve spent 18 years together instead of four, and now, we are finally going separate ways following graduation. Go out and do great things, produce boy.

The halls of Central, especially the Journalism classroom, B-109, have been part of the best years of my life so far.”

— Blake Catlett, 4-year staff member of The Central Digest

To Karleigh, Luke, and Sarah Katheron: the torch has now been officially passed. I have no doubts that you all will take the Digest to even newer heights — and I was even starting to see it before I left. Next year will hopeful bring a return to normalcy, and I cannot wait to see what you all accomplish without the obstacles of the past year. Karleigh: stop talking to boys. It wastes too much of your time. Luke: please revive the Bass Pounders. Cantrell and you are the last hopes that pro-anglers can return to the halls of Central. Sarah: stay neat and tidy because Karleigh and Luke are going need it. Good luck guys! (We better become back-to-back THSPA best in the state winners!).

To the staff: thank you for a wonderful year amid the struggles. Without you all, this publication would be only a shadow of what it is now (we editors can’t do EVERYTHING, c’mon now). All of you were newcomers this year, and it was probably the worst situation to be entering. The pandemic cut out news, made it harder to interview, and was an overall pain in the rear. I have seen an abundance of perseverance and work ethic from you all. I know for a fact that you all will be even better come the 2021-22 news cycle. I’m excited to see you all become the best writers you can be.

Cantrell: thank you for a great four years. Sudoku, Dominique, Buffalo Wild Wings, the list could go on forever, you ensured that there was never a boring day inside the newsroom. Even though I never took your English class, you still helped me grow into the writer that I am now. I needed someone to push me to my limits, and you did just that. I will never be able to thank you enough.

To editors of past, thank you for paving the road. I have had the best examples to watch and learn from, and they deserve credit for the Digest’s success this year, even if they weren’t directly involved. There is so much I need to say to you all, but I can’t find the way to say it. So, I’ll leave it at this: thank you so much. Without you all, I wouldn’t be half the editor I was.

There are countless more thanks to be given out and stories to tell, but I won’t keep you all forever. It’s impossible to compile an article that would correctly capture the last four years, but I still tried (and failed). There’s so much I’m leaving out, and it feels like I’m doing this piece an injustice doing so.

Now I have walked the halls of Chattanooga Central High School for the final time as a student. Writing that sentence out brings along a strange feeling, a concoction of emotions of reminiscence.

My writing is slowly turning to rambling, and that’s the sign that I should throw in the towel and submit this. I just don’t want to. I don’t want to say goodbye to my time on the Digest. I don’t want this journey to end, but I know that it must. There are countless other journeys I have to embark upon. I’m looking forward to them all, yet I will always be looking back at this one because it has been one of the most impactful. So, with that, I bring my journey with the Central Digest to a close and enter my next journey. Madison, Wisconsin, here I come!

Shine on, you crazy Central Digest. I bid you the best of farewells.