Farewell column: Bringing the world closer

Max Correa, Photojournalist

Max Correa is of the Jewish faith and does not spell out his deity’s name out of respect. 

My time with The Appalachian, although short-lived, taught me many lessons. Two of them stand out to me after my time on staff: to enjoy the laughter and to bring the world closer.

Being a photojournalist never came naturally to me. I started, and will finish, my time at App State as a chemistry student — medicine was my first life plan, but as an old Yiddish adage goes, “der mentsh trakht, un Got lakht.” Man plans, and G-d laughs. 

G-d’s laughter, for me, came in the form of a Luke Combs concert I had wanted to photograph before I’d even heard of The Appalachian. It also came in the form of that concert’s subsequent 18-month delay. During that delay, I taught myself and others to stand up for their work, to ask questions and to bring the world closer to themselves. In bringing the world closer to myself, I found myself closer to the now-former Vice President of the United States, a celebrating tight end in his hometown SEC stadium and journalists with whom I argued, laughed and challenged, all in the pursuit of adapting to G-d’s laughter and bringing the world closer.

As I go on to graduate school for photojournalism, I’m reminded that the drive to bring the world closer to oneself and others is at the core of any good journalist or person. So, if you ever feel like you need a change in perspective, go try what I did: revel in G-d’s laughter, adjust course and bring the world closer to you. 

P.S. to the photo desk: keep asking questions, shoot RAW and know your value as journalists.