A final farewell from a reluctant (former) editor

Josh Godinez, Editor-in-chief

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Hello, newspaper staff. We have shined. We have prospered. We have procrastinated. We have written stories. We have had fun. I hope you all can testify to this as well. Sadly, much like the other seniors in the building, no amount of phone calls to Room 39 could keep me from soon venturing off to explore the world on my own. Before I embark on this journey, I figured a few farewells are in order.

Valeria– My Chilean friend. Though I somehow always found a way to mistakenly overlook you and ask, “Where’s Valeria,” I definitely noticed your absence when you did leave the classroom. Your march with the newspaper class was cut short during the second semester when you decided to go on a solo expedition, but I’m sure you had your hands full carving a path through the jungles of Calculus and Mormonism. I hope that at the very least, you did find the skills you were looking for in this class, because selfishly, I’d love to know that I at least had a moderate influence helping someone who is going to be as successful as you undeniably will be. Believe it or not, you are a great writer and a quick learner, and I’m sure those traits will serve you well on future excursions into the world past Memorial High School.

Stacy– I do not know how you do it. You just take this world by storm and seem to inspire fear and confidence alike into it with your thunder-persona. Smart, savvy people like you are hard to come by. I will not soon forget your aptitude for being the NHS secretary or your uncanny ability to tell a joke that goes completely over my head. You have been a great journalist, NHS officer, team member, and friend to me all while maintaining a great sense of humor. Like Val, your journey on staff was cut short, but not without first turning in some great stories with some great journalistic flair. I wish every other incoming freshman the best of luck at Baylor, because having you to compare themselves to you will always serve to curb their self-confidence. I know you’ll do great things, mainly because you’re a great person.

Gladys– You soft-spoken angel, you! Amidst the slew of insults and fiery conversations about picas and white-space that can sometimes characterize the “yearbook” room, I do feel that because of your 55 minute presence in our newspaper class, the world was left a little nicer, and our hearts a little warmer. I will never understand how that relentless smile remained without wavering, even after being hit in the face with a ball of yarn. Who would have ever thought that same smile belonged to a secret genius who also happens to eat cereal on most weekdays? I know I wouldn’t have. Stay strong and look forward, soldier; I’m anxious to see what kind of awesome accolades your senior year will have in store for you.

Claudia– I will always relish  the incredible opportunity I had this year to FaceTime with your lovingly-labeled relatives on your iPad. Your readiness to share berries or those dried-banana-chip-things will not soon be forgotten, either. You were a pleasure to have on staff, and I cherished vicariously getting let into the going-ons of the choir-world through your stories. All the same, don’t be afraid next year to venture into topics and worlds further than your own. The best stories are those with the names, faces and places you’ve never seen before. I’m looking forward to see what kind of work you’ll produce, and I wish you the best of luck next year in choir and on staff.

Cameron– I met you for the first time this year, and it makes me wish I had gotten to know you sooner. Our mutual love of dinosaurs created a bond between us that really makes you stand out in your own way from the rest of the staff. Your costume-creating endeavours are exciting as they are interesting; I’m sure your animatronic raptor will not disappoint this October. I’m sure the staff will miss you next year, but sometimes the best stories are better left unwritten, as I’m also sure was probably your rationale for most of the past two semesters. Best of luck in your senior year, in soccer and in your pursuit of one day inhaling sulfur hexafluoride.

Teresa– So quiet but oh-so-present! I know you don’t have to talk to feel a part of the action, but do know that the heart of Room 39 smiles when you do. For lack of any better way to put it: you rock! I enjoyed your column on introverts and stories pertaining to life in the band. I know the only voices heard on the battlefield are loud ones, but you’ve helped me realize how on that same token, sometimes the actions that resonate the loudest are those committed by a quiet worker. I know the future has a great deal ahead for you, and I’m excited to hear how an introvert like you took it all on headstrong.

Vianney- Your work ethic is unquestionable. You, by every sense of the term, are a “doer.” I’ve always found your dedication to being successful at standardized tests very admirable, whether it be by pilfering through every SAT or ACT book looking to know the perfect word or writing extravagant columns lending practical advice to others. You really have surprised me time and time again with the quality of your writing, and I have no doubt in my mind that if you set your sights on becoming a writer or English professor, you could do it. It’s been a pleasure getting reminded to edit your stories by a gentle tap on the shoulder every time you did submit. You have a lot of talent as an academic. I know you will spend your time getting the most of everything UT has to offer you. Thanks for always putting up with my shenanigans for two years. I will miss you, but I know you are moving on to a grander and greater horizon.

Diana– You did it! You’re going to Emerson! I can’t tell you enough times that I’m so proud of you for that, just as I could never explain exactly how I knew college would still work out after your initial moment of despair. If it was appropriate (and in good taste with respect to everyone else), I would type pages on how great I think you are. You’re a prime example for me of that perennial friend it’s hard to part with after your senior year. Your pale-skinned roots will serve you well in Boston, and I’m sure that even whilst reading this you are currently in pursuit of the most elderly-looking coat or grandmotherly scarf. I wish you the best of luck in that undertaking. I’m going to miss our hour-long rambling conversations followed by weeks of silence. I’m saddened that  I never did get to see your last performance, but I sleep easier assured that you have many more theatrical productions in the road ahead. I don’t know how to sum up years worth of admiration and respect for who you are, but if I could leave you with one piece of advice, it would be this: don’t knock yourself down–jokingly, out of nervousness, or in conversation. Ever. You are VERY talented, as your entire inner circle is well-aware, but your biggest potential detriment is how you perceive yourself. Remember, the birds with the best songs are typically never the ones who were afraid to sing. You are my friend, and I’m invested in your success as a person. As we gallop away from our stables in this final dusk of senior year, I can only hope that our trails will cross again soon. I’ll be anxiously waiting to trot across greener pastures with you alongside.

Natalie– The reigns are yours, my friend! You will soon take up the helm of this publication to sail the high seas. Keep your life rafts and diving flags, because I’m sure you’ll be taking the staff on journalistic excursions unlike anything they’ve ever experienced before. I will keep an interested eye from the port as I get my land legs used to university life. I’ve been honored to have you as my co-editor. I’ve been blessed to have you as my friend. I will miss you, but I have confidence the editorial torch is being passed to a steadfast hand. You’re time to make the changes you feel this publication needs has come. I expect to see nothing less than explosions and crashes and copious amounts of sloth memes, and as the smokes rises, a new and shiny version of the site will emerge. Though I am taking my leave of absence, do not think that in the future my mind will not wander to how masterfully you conquered the school during your senior year. You have great things ahead of you, and just know that the world is a much better and more redheaded place because you are in it.

Well, that’s it guys. My retirement has come much sooner than I ever imagined. It’s been a privilege to have had the trust of this publication given to me for the past two years, and I hope that, somehow, I’m leaving it in a better place than when I found it already as a gem. None of what I have done would be possible without a truehearted staff like yourselves. Other credit is largely due to our terrific advisor, Mrs. Martin. Mrs. Martin, I will miss you and your monogrammed ways. I’m largely the person I am today because of your influence over the past four years. This won’t be the last you hear from me. Alas, our year has come to an end, but our stories will go on. Remember to always brainstorm counterclockwise.