Nathan Dent and Fiffy Donahoe

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Ella McNamee

Fiffy Donahoe (left) and Nathan Dent (right)

By Nathan Dent

Staff Reporter

“See, I don’t really think I’m that interesting of a person when you get down to it,” said Fiffy Donahoe, a new staff writer joining the ranks of The Sentry this year. Born in Michigan, raised in Kosovo, Montenegro, Kenya and Bosnia (all before she turned eight years old), and now living in Arlington, Donahoe is a senior with a passion for sandwiches, film, and writing – the latter she discovered in perhaps an unconventional way.

“I wrote a thank-you note when I was like eight or nine to my aunt, who [had given] me a Christmas gift. I can’t remember what it was, but I wrote this really in-depth thank-you note and then she framed it,” Donahoe said.

From there, Donahoe discovered that her note was not a fluke in its success, and that she was, in fact, quite talented not only at writing thank-you notes, but at writing in general. This aptitude would eventually compel her to join The Sentry. She is articulate, and says that if she could do anything in life, she would combine her passions for film and language arts to become a screenplay writer. On top of all of that, her capabilities in the language arts are not only limited to English: when living in Bosnia, she recalls, she could also speak both Bosnian and French, languages that she has now, unfortunately, forgotten.

Donahoe was also driven to join The Sentry based on what she sees as a decline in the overall quality of journalism and its consumption. In a world inundated by “fake news” where people are increasingly particular about the sources from which they get their information, it seems as if the principles of journalism are now more important than ever.

“It was initially just about telling the truth and informing the people – that’s how this government was supposed to work,” she said. “we can’t work without the free press.  . . . I just wanted to be a part of it and get in there.”

Talking to Donahoe shows that she is ambitious, a unique thinker and – most of all – certainly an interesting person. She is sure to contribute valuable, interesting articles as the year goes on, and bring a valuable perspective to The Sentry’s staff. If one thing is certain, it is that Donahoe is a force to be reckoned with; her platform on The Sentry will help make that clear.

 

By Fiffy Donahoe

Staff Reporter

Junior Nathan Dent is wearing a white Brockhampton shirt as he leans back in his seat, completely at ease. Settling in for his third year on The Sentry staff, he admits his drive for applying was originally a burning need to prove himself. 

“I kinda wanted to try something new…so I told my counselor I wanted to apply for newspaper, and that was the only elective I marked…and they said ‘Oh, you know, that’s great. But maybe you want to choose a backup, just because that’s a hard class to get into and it rarely ever happens for the people who choose it in eighth grade,’…So I put down Theater as a second choice, but like something had been ignited in me, to the point where I just really wanted to prove my guidance counselor wrong,” Dent said. 

Clearly, the fates worked in his favor. As for this coming year, Dent is looking forward to delving further into the world of opinion based writing. When asked about the first opinion piece he would write, Dent delivered a poignant commentary on the controversy surrounding the e-cigarette industry. 

“Our whole idea of it has transformed from something that was designed to, you know, help people quit smoking [to]…something that we now sort of demonize…I think there’s certainly a middle ground people are hesitant to come to,” Dent said. 

When it comes to music, he likes to keep an open mind—aside from the twangs of country. 

“I do like Kacey Musgraves, I think she’s the one exception to my whole anti-country agenda.”

Otherwise, his taste in music covers a wide range. 

“It’s a broad category, I kind of listen to a little bit of everything…I listen to a lot of hip hop. I’m a big Brockhampton fan. I love Tyler the Creator, A$AP Rocky…Tupac, Biggie…I’ve gotten progressively more and more into alternative music over the last few years,” Dent said. 

For Dent, music extends past the limits of Spotify. The summer before his freshman year, his Soundcloud persona, Drippy Nate, came to life.

“I was at the county fair, I was on the ferris wheel with my friend and we were talking about life, and how probably nothing we ever do will be permanent or really matter…and one day there will be no trace of anything you ever did…we both decided that making a mediocre SoundCloud mixtape was the one exception.”

As Dent evolved through the years, Drippy Nate evolved with him. What started as a summer project thrown together as a joke (or a meme, as the youth would say), quickly unearthed a new passion. 

“Lately I’ve just been like, getting better at producing, learning how to make stuff that has its own sort of authentic style and that just sounds more like something I could and should be making…this is just something I would kind of do for myself and if other people enjoy that, then that’s great, but I wouldn’t say that would be my intention going into it.”

Faced with the proposition of saving three things from his burning house, Dent would go for his laptop–the home of several unseen and unheard music projects–first. The other two required some more consideration.

“There’s a stuffed animal on top of my dresser that I was very attached to throughout my entire childhood. Her name is Orange Kitty. She has no whiskers ‘cause I accidentally pulled them out when I was four.”

His final go-to is a Bible handed down through generations of Dents, tracing all the way back to his family members running an opioid house in China. The book carries the inscriptions made by his ancestors as they passed it on, finally making its way into Dent’s hands. 

Dent enjoys spiraling down Wikipedia rabbit holes, his favorite book to date is Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and one of his major irrational fears involves jumping into water. 

“I hate how it feels, and the anticipation of it just terrifies me. I have never gone off a diving board in my life.” 

As for his death row meal, Dent would put his faith into some bottomless fries. 

“You just can keep eating for the rest of your life and never get executed.”

Dent’s magnetic personality makes him an integral part of The Sentry. He has a thoughtful and creative presence, and is never afraid to travel to new heights in both his writing and his life.