Life has eventualities. You must accept this at one point or another. When I graduate, someone will replace me as lead writer — someone possibly superior to me. The same follows anywhere.
Work distracts you enough to where you rarely think about this. Neither does it occur that others were crazy enough to report in between about a dozen credit hours in years past.
I’ll never forget the State Press experience and all the people working there. I got to meet an assortment of people whom I wouldn’t have otherwise. It was the best on-the-job experience imaginable. And I’ll never forget my very first job interview for them in winter 2011, wandering down Tyler Mall, trying to determine just where the hell was the basement of the Matthew’s Center.
Here’s a free tip to all future job applicants: Go down the pathway next to Arizona State Univerisity sign overlooking University Drive until you reach the building to the north of the big green lawn with the circular landmark in the middle of the green. You’re welcome.
I will miss attending Friday budget meetings at 4 p.m., as everyone else scrambled home, and being comforted by the common people and sights there.
I will miss Noemi Gonzalez, our multimedia editor, and her sticker-adorned MacBook Pro — especially the “I Can Move Mountains” sticker. She is a tireless worker, almost literally embodying this statement. And I will miss Luu, her hopeful successor, with her constant allusions to Soul Pancake, as well as her absurd kindness.
You need to be weary of nostalgia’s distortion powers, but I concede that I cannot imagine tiring of these friendly reminders of my old job anytime soon.
These provisional feelings remind me of when my cousin graduated from this university three years ago. I have two strong memories from the occasion. First, a performance art piece that occurred concurrently to the typical speech delivered by a dean of one of the colleges. No one got it.
The second was following the ceremony. All the new graduates loitered on the lawn outside Wells Fargo Arena, making it near impossible to pick her out of the crowd in the sea of matching maroon gowns. In essence, we’re indistinguishable from one another in this moment of jubilee and it’s our duty to prove ourselves for tomorrow.
During my two and a half years at State Press, I had 72 articles published to my name over five semesters. Some were better written than others, but all of them represented my best, informative efforts at the time. I rarely received much reader mail. Yet, if strangers enjoyed what they read, then that’s all I could ask for as the reporter.
I unofficially adopted this as a philosophical maxim after film critic Roger Ebert died last April and one of his quotes from his memoir, “Life Itself,” began circulating around the Internet:
“I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts.”
Journalism was something I appreciated the more time passed. Not many students can say that they wrote for 76,000 potential readers.
Hope I helped contribute to your happiness, as much as you contributed to mine. “I’d like to say on behalf of the group and ourselves, I hope we passed the audition!”
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @TaylorFromPhx