Finding the words to say goodbye

Finding the words to say goodbye

IUS Horizon

Senior Editor’s war of words comes to a close with final column

Words.

Every week for the last three years I have tried to come up with the right words to put on these pages.

As I open this Microsoft Word document to put my final words into this paper, I am met with the same challenge.

The cursor blinks at the top of page, illuminating the white page ahead, almost menacing me to write.

To write something important, to write something entertaining, to write something funny; most importantly to write something I’m proud of.

And I think I have.

I have written dozens of stories for The Horizon, taken thousands of photos to potentially fill these pages, and with every single one I have been proud to put my name in the byline.

There are weeks I’ve struggled, trying to find stories on a pretty uneventful campus.

I’ve written about numerous campus “events” where less than 10 students came, including two of which were covering it for the paper.

I’ve gone to countless Student Government Association meetings, sat through hours of pointless talks about proposed bulletin boards and walking paths.

By the way guys—are you ever going to make that bulletin board that was talked about in every single meeting in the 2011-2012 session?

How about that culture path? I’ve been dying to take the extended scenic route from Crestview Hall to Knobview Hall, and I only have a couple weeks left; time is ticking for me.

But hey—at least you did add those two extra microwaves in The Commons. Thanks guys, my Hot Pockets would have taken an extra 10 minutes of waiting without those.

I know, I’m being a little rough on our buddies in the SGA—but I challenge any student to sit through as many hours of meetings as I have and be happy about the way they allocate funds for students.

I believe within the organization there are senators who take their role seriously and genuinely care about the students of this university.

For those senators I wish you all the best in the future, but if I have to hear one more word about how every student on this campus needs to carry a gun, I just might lose it.

Even through all the boring meetings and seminars I still feel very privileged to write for this school’s paper.

I am happy to be a Grenadier – whatever that may be—and I have enjoyed the time I’ve spent on this campus.

I have been able to cover plenty of events and written so many stories that have meant so much to me.  What I will take from working for this publication goes beyond what can be bound together in a portfolio.

Most students come to college with a plan—I was the opposite. I was more of a scholarly nomad trying to find a place to settle down. I always loved writing and had written for publications in the past, but never saw a future in it.

Being at IU Southeast gave me a direction for my life.

The professors in the journalism department made me fall in love with writing again, and none more than the man, the legend, The Great Jim St. Clair.

Jim restored my faith in journalism when I was ready to change paths. He made me believe this industry was not dying, but being reborn. And most importantly, that I had a place in the rebirth.

Everything I love about journalism, Jim taught me.

Without people like Jim, Ron Allman, associate professor of journalism, and even that pain-in-the-ass adviser, Adam Maksl, I would not be graduating in a few short weeks.

There is no better group of rag-tag misfits who believe in their students like the guys we have over here in the journalism department.

They have challenged me to be a better student, writer, photographer and, maybe, even a better person.

When I was ready to put down my pen and change career paths, I always had so many people in the journalism department who believed in me and my words. In turn, I believed in myself.

All right, it’s getting a little cheeseball here, so let’s move on.

My Friday nights will be a little less eventful without the shenanigans that transpire as we put this paper together.

I will forever miss the Friday nights in the newsroom, powered by Qdoba and slap-happy jokes.

I am happy to leave knowing I have —hopefully–– made a positive impact on this publication, and I know it will only continue to get better.

So let’s queue up some Vitamin C and celebrate, because I made it through this crazy little journey called college.

So here I am—at the end. The words fill the screen composing this final story. As I hit save on the Word document, I look back at this story that has taken me five years to write, and it just might be my best yet.

As the page fills with words the cursor still blinks, as a constant reminder that no story is ever finished—including mine.

There will always be more stories to write, and more pages to fill with my words.

As I come to the close of this document, I look forward to all of the words that will fill the pages ahead.

—30—

 

 

 

 

 

 

By HANNA WOODS

Senior Editor

hrwoods@umail.iu.edu