A grateful grad’s goodbye

Saying goodbye is never easy.

Well, I guess it’s easy if you hate the people or place you’re leaving, but that’s not the case for me today. Today I say goodbye to you, my beloved reader. We’ve had our ups and downs throughout our two short years together, but I’m really going to miss you. Aw, get over here, ya big lug!

I’ve learned a lot in my time as a writer and editor for The Lorian’s sports section, and I’m damn grateful for the opportunities the job has afforded me. My phony-baloney, homemade media credential has taken me places I would have never gone otherwise. That little scrap of laminated cardstock made me legit. It got me backstage for a one-on-one interview with Mick Foley, and onto the field at Camp Randall Stadium with Brett Favre. Hell, it even got me into the boosters’ hospitality suite across town at Chalmers one time. You want to talk about decadent and depraved? Look, I’m not saying there were dozens of hookers and huge piles of cocaine in there, but I’m not not saying it, either.

But one event stands out above the rest; a moment of true epiphany for me. This past Oct., while I was covering the IIAC Women’s Golf Championship, I came to realize anything was possible. The tournament was played at Thunder Hills Country Club in Peosta, and it was an entirely alien environment to me. Everybody was wearing a shirt, and the bartender refused my tip; it was like no golf course I’d ever seen. The men’s room was cleaner than a baby food factory, and it smelled like fresh flowers (because of the fresh flowers in there). The counter below the mirror in there was cluttered with a wide array of male grooming aides and personal hygiene products. As I filled my messenger bag with aftershave lotion, mouthwash, pomade, deodorant, and a Norelco PowerTouch cordless electric razor, I took a moment to reflect in the spotless mirror. I looked at the homemade press pass dangling from my neck and thought, “Sports writing can take you anywhere.”

Memories make us rich, and the few I’ve listed above are only a small portion of the nest egg I’ve hoarded in my time here.
There are a lot of people I need to thank before the band plays me off, so I’m just going to get right to it.

I want to thank Cassie, the executive editor of this fine publication. You’ve done an incredible job in the big seat this year, and it’s been a pleasure crossing paths with you. To Tim Manning, The Lorian’s moderator, thank you for everything you’ve done for me. You’re the reason I wear a real media credential now.

I want to thank my staff of sports writers, and especially Megan and Natalie, my assistant sports editors. The two of you fluttered into my life like winged cherubim from Heaven and prevented me from having a stress-induced stroke this year. I cannot thank you enough for all your hard work. I know I’m leaving this section in capable hands.

I want to thank all of the student-athletes and coaches at Loras — Randy Steward and Steve Helminiak, in particular. You guys always made time for me, and I really appreciated it. I’m deeply grateful to have had a hand in documenting the twilight of one hall-of-fame career and the dawning of another. I can’t think of a better time to be a sports writer at Loras College.

It’s not likely they’ll read this, but I have to thank my professors, too. I thank Professor Jablonsky for teaching me to tell better lies, and Dr. Pollock for teaching me to use those lies to tell the truth. I thank Dr. Auge for changing the way I read. I can’t even look at the text on a stop sign anymore without considering the binary oppositions and underlying power structures at play. So I’ve got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

Lastly, but most importantly, I want to thank YOU. You didn’t really think I’d forget, did you? Never. Whoever you are, holding this newspaper and reading these words, you have my sincerest gratitude.

Thank you for reading.


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