A creative writing major and member of SpeakEasy, Jonathan Tignor ’19 is skillful at many forms of expression. However, The Catalyst staff will always appreciate one of his forms of expression most of all: his skill in journalism. For his final week as Editor-in-Chief, Tignor sat down with The Catalyst to discuss his time at CC, music and literature, and what the future may hold.
The Catalyst: What have you learned throughout your time at Colorado College?
Jonathan tignor: I think one of the things that has been the biggest lesson for me at CC is learning who I am as a person. I think I’ve changed so much since my freshman year — just in my personal interests, my plans for the future, and how I go about my day-to-day life. I think if I had stayed back home or gone somewhere, like, to a college that all of my friends went to, I wouldn’t have grown as a person. But I think CC has really afforded me the ability to look at who I am and become the person that I want to be. And part of that goes to being on a really intense schedule and part of that goes to being with really fascinating people that I like being with and just the free and accepting nature of this campus.
TC: Create a metaphor for how you feel about CC. What is it?
JT: Oh my God. I feel so put on the spot because I’m a creative writing major, too. A metaphor; CC is like standing in a kiddie pool on a hot day. And at first the water feels great and it’s amazing. But then after four years of standing in the water it gets a little dirty and your toes get a little wrinkly and you’re kind of just ready to step out of that kiddie pool.
TC: What is something you wish everyone knew about you
JT: I have two things for this and one of them is serious and the other one is not, because that’s just the kind of person I am. My not-so-serious one is it’d kind of be funny if more people on this campus knew that I was a second-degree black belt and I did martial arts for over 10 years of my life. So that way everyone knows to watch out for Jonathan Tignor. The more serious one: I think a fundamental part of my identity that not a lot of people know is that I have a sister with Down syndrome. And growing up with her just really impacted the way I view the world and how I interact with others. I don’t think I would be as kind of a person if I hadn’t had my sister — Her name is Kendall — I don’t think I’d be as understanding or empathetic. I just think I would’ve gone down a much darker path.
TC: Why do you think people should read The Catalyst?
JT: People should read The Catalyst because it’s student journalism and student journalism is so important. And we are so lucky, especially at Colorado College, to have a completely student-run publication. There’s a big trend across universities in the U.S. today of colleges taking control of their newsrooms. But at CC and with The Catalyst, that’s not happening. And it’s important to engage with student journalism because these are your peers. And everyone has the opportunity to be a part of it and you’re missing out on that opportunity by not engaging with it. Whether that’s as a reader or as a writer, you sort of have this open opportunity to have a say and an open voice on your campus and to share things that you’re passionate about, to share things that you think other people are passionate about. And also, it’s just fun. It’s fun to do and a lot of people are involved with The Catalyst. And I think if you have friends on the staff you should support their work. I think, really, I would just circle back to how important student-run journalism is, especially in this sort of strange era we’re living in, media-wise.
TC: What are you listening to these days?
JT: Well, my Spotify 2018 stats just came out and I listened to nearly 70,000 minutes worth of music this year, which has me disappointed because that’s 10,000 less than last year. Just the other week I saw Childish Gambino in concert, and that was amazing. I would say that it was like going to church because it was such a spiritual experience. Lately though, if I had to pick out songs that have been stuck in my head, I would probably point toward Earl Sweatshirt’s new album. Bahamas has also just been on my mind, and I’ve got to give a shout out to Rainbow Kitten Surprise, just because they’re an incredible band that I’ve been listening to for a while now.
TC: If you could live in any book, which one would you choose?
JT: I have to think about this. I am terrible with questions about books because I feel like after I start a new book I forget the last one I read. ‘1984’ because what’s different than the current world? Not really. This is a hard question actually. There’s this book called ‘Invisible Cities’ by Italo Calvino. It’s really just these vignettes of different cities described to, I want to say, ‘Kublai Khan,’ by Marco Polo. I think that would be a really cool world to live in, to be able to be this explorer who sees all these fantastical cities and talks about them in ways that are very poetic and easy to read.
TC: What is your favorite memory from working at The Catalyst?
JT: Oh my God. Well, working on The Catalyst has always been great. I’m excited to have my Thursdays back, but it really is fun every Thursday to get to go in and hang out with everyone and do something that we all care about. But when I think of a favorite memory, the first thing that comes to mind is not at all journalistically-related. My second block as an editor at The Catalyst, we had an end of the block party and I ended up doing a keg stand in what was the Photo Room, and then proceeded to go through so much more debauchery throughout the night. But that was definitely a very memorable moment, just being with everyone on the staff and seeing the camaraderie there.
TC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
JT: This is the question I was terrified of being asked because every time I asked someone this question, they don’t know the answer and I have to sit there as if I know the answer, but I don’t. In 10 years, I don’t know. There are so many things I would like to have done in 10 years. I would like to have written a book by then. It’d be cool to have some poetry published. I definitely would like to have traveled much more around the world by then. I don’t know where I can see myself living. I’ve always talked about settling down in Santa Fe but I don’t know if I’ll be ready for that in 10 years. I’d like to think I could be in a committed relationship in 10 years but we’ll see about that one, yeah.
TC: What would you want for your last meal on earth?
JT: This is a really thought-provoking question for me because I have such a strenuous and tedious relationship with food as someone who’s had some dietary restriction for my entire life. So if I could just ball-out and eat whatever I wanted, part of me wants to be really lame and just say 10 pizzas. But, you know, it’s not just the eating of the pizza. It’d be like, since it’s my last meal, I just wouldn’t stop eating the pizza. So I would get to that point, you know, where you feel really full like you could explode and I would keep going until I do explode.
TC: What is something you think everyone should do while attending CC?
JT: I feel like I have a lot of sage, senior wisdom on this because the past few weeks have been me thinking about or regretting everything that I didn’t do in my past four years at CC. So just to name a couple things, everyone should write for The Catalyst. Everyone should try the arts and crafts adjuncts; they’re really fun. Everyone should take classes outside of their comfort zone. And I think the biggest thing that I would tell everyone to do is really, really cherish the friendships that you make here because you will meet some really incredible people. And for a lot of people here, college is your first time away from home and living on your own, so this is like the family you choose. And I think nurturing and respecting and enjoying those friendships is just one of the most important things you can do at CC.