BY Sam Goodman


She is a self-described wandering, wondering, wistful young artist  in desperate need of a place to call ‘home’. She is the journal-wielding, poetry-loving, barrette-wearing beatnik looking for a place to express to the extremes. Wide-eyed yet jaded, short yet formidable, gentle yet fervent, The Standard (her school’s newspaper) and Rambler (her school’s literary magazine) Editor in Chief Anna Harberger (‘19) has considered the Publications department a space for artists of every kind to call ‘home’.

As an 8th grader, Harberger found there to be a lack of space for expression for middle schoolers. In response, she and a small group of peers created the Inkslinger, the school’s first middle school lit-mag. Harberger at the helm, this DIY, ribbon-bound book marked an important moment in Harberger’s time with Publications.

“Middle School is a very tumultuous time for a lot of kids and at that time, the Inkslinger was what I and a lot of people who were close to me needed. Although it is a lot of angst and a lot of sappy stuff, I’m glad there is a space for that now and I’m glad that there are still people working on it. Even though [the staff is] small, they exist and I really don’t want them to lose sight of the importance of the work they are doing,” Harberger said.

Since then, Harberger has dedicated her time to both the upper school newspaper and lit-mag in a variety of positions. Describing her first day on The Standard staff as ‘terrifying’, Harberger has since gained great confidence through her training and subsequent leadership on the paper.

“The publications department has simultaneously been a grounding force and a force of chaos. I need to be stimulated and feel productive and Publications has really given that to me. I'm always under deadline and I love that stress,” Harberger said.

While deeply studying the process of creating books, choosing fonts, colors, themes, and styles, Harberger has cultivated a deep understanding of the importance of self-expression.

“It’s very easy to get bogged down in the [real world]...Self-expression not only sheds light on your own experiences but also gives people a unique and cathartic way to have release. It’s the feeling of dealing with a difficult moment in an artistic way. You can feel proud of that work when you’re down and then allow yourself to move on,” Harberger said.

In the fall, Harberger will be attending Oberlin College, hopefully majoring in English and philosophy with a focus in comparative literature. She also hopes to continue her work in Publications.

“The times in which we’ve used the newspaper to make some feeble attempt to explore something important has reminded me that I want to be here even if I'm screaming or crying or having a breakdown in the [publications] room...You need to fully believe that no matter who sees what you’ve created, the work and the time you put into what you’re doing are valuable and your words and expression are so important,” Harberger said.