Monday, May 30, 2011

emergence.

I not-so-secretly stalk people on Facebook. I'm pretty sure we all do it. Normally, my Facebook creeping is harmless and well-intentioned; I'm not the type to obsessively stalk (no, really). My favorite person to creep on is a former teacher of mine who is currently teaching at a high school that, by appearance, is a complete 180 from Loretto. Every time I see a status update or a new photo posted by one of her current students, it is accompanied by love and adoration for this amazing woman. Even 300 miles away, I can tell that she is inspiring and motivating others. It's something I hope I've been able to do for the few people who've leaned on me for guidance, and I hope to continue to strive to do that in the future.

She is exactly the kind of teacher I would want my children to have. In fact, all of those beautiful men and women from Loretto who guided me toward the real world and loved me into the person I am today are exactly the kinds of souls I wish upon everyone I know. At Loretto, I learned confidence and strength. "You are Loretto wherever you go," Sister Helen used to say, and I've never forgotten what that message truly means for where I am right now.

After three years ... leaving the newsroom, one final time.
As I pack to leave Irvine, my home for four years, it feels surreal. I have no real idea of what "the future" will be like, but I hope that the footprints I've left here have meant something because the footprints left in my heart by the people who've touched my life will always be special to me--from Loretto to UCI, and all of the activities I've engaged myself in in between (Shakespeare, choir, LJ, the New U, etc.).

As e. e. cummings would have it: Friends, I carry your hearts.

Friday, May 27, 2011

an open farewell, part two.

I don't know how to even begin to respond to the beautiful words written to me from tonight. I barely began reading the first message before I started to cry. I think this will all hit for sure on Sunday night when David drives me home one last time.

But for now, this group...these wonderful people...they were my reason for everything this year.

The New U 2010-11 team.


Zot zot!

Graduating seniors of the New U.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

an open farewell.

One year ago, I was really sad. I was saying goodbye to a staff I barely knew, a staff I had no say in choosing and that I didn't even want to be a part of in the first place. Being forced into managing the paper a quarter early was terrible. I hated it and was scared the whole time. I had no idea what I was doing, so I made it all up and pretended like I knew. Maybe that's why people say they admire me or are impressed, because I didn't quit or explode; in my opinion, there's no reason to be impressed. This job is 90% making-it-up-as-you-go. No one can teach you everything you "need" to know.

The New U 2009-10 team at last year's banquet.
I was sad last year because that team was the reason my perspective on UCI changed. I went from a strong dislike to a passion and admiration for the university and the newspaper because of some of those wonderful guys and gals. Losing them was heartbreaking.

I'm not as sad about the banquet this year, though I know I'll probably be sad when it's all over. I think I'm burnt out. This year has been a long one and I'm ready to hang up my journalism fedora for now.

But I've been really lucky this year to have an entire editorial team that I love and respect, no matter what they might think about me. Someone said something to me recently that has made me doubt I've been anything but a failure this year as Managing Editor and it's been on my mind ever since, so maybe that's why I'm not as sad as I "should" be. If my team is doubting me, finding me to be arrogant and disrespectful, then I've failed, and it's time to make my exit.

I've been feeling especially guilty lately because I look back on the fall and realize that I talked about the paper constantly with someone who didn't really need/want to hear it, but I had nobody else to talk to or to freak out with at the time. That contributed to a big part of the breakdown of our friendship, and I feel awful about it. In some ways, if I could go back and change anything, it would be the way I ruined things...but c'est la vie. It's time to move on.

I'm ready to bid adieu to the year and all of the highs and lows, both internally and externally, that came with it. I have loved this job, even at it's most difficult times, and I'm happy to have met so many wonderful people. They've made all of this worth it, even when I feel like I still don't know what I'm doing--especially then. I'm really lucky to have been a part of something great here at UCI, despite what some angry readers/non-readers have to say.

This year has been the cherry on top of an overall excellent four years and I will dearly miss this dysfunctional family I've come to know and love. I'm sorry I wasn't the best leader, but I am so proud of all of you and the excellent work you've produced. "Believe in yourselves. Dream. Try. Do good."