My four years with The Daily Aztec have been all about the people, the life-changing friends I met growing up together in the hustle and bustle of our living room — I mean, our newsroom.
We became friends through common experiences, all the peaks and gut-wrenching valleys of life as a reporter — let alone the highs and lows of our actual lives (which we had very little of — thus the valleys).
Yes, the basement of the Education and Business Administration building is a dungeon, but it’s our dungeon/newsroom/office thing. Every week I’d dance down the stairs to the basement and smile at peers noticing for the first time there’s actually a door in the basement hallway.
Then, once inside, I’d take at least a few seconds to stand there and listen. Fingers hurriedly thwacking away at keyboards, the slow dribble of an almost-empty water tank filling someone’s coffee mug, the piercingly glorious laugh of sports editor Ryan Posner.
I’m going to miss that sound. I know I’ll hear that uniquely “newsroom” sound at jobs in the future, but there’s something special about your first newsroom, and there’s definitely something special about sharing it with people you literally grew up with.
I’m going to stop being sappy now. Abrupt, yes. Necessary? Also yes, because it’s time for shout-outs.
First, a monumental shout-out to my family: Mom, Dad and Andrew. Remember in high school when I wanted to be an astrophysicist? Yeah, I’m laughing too. I just want to thank you for always being my support system. There was a lot of doubt involved in what I’ve been doing these past four years, and you managed to erase all of it.
A special shout-out to my SDSU mothers, Lanie Lockwood and Nicole Vargas. You two have groomed me into what I hope is a talented journalist and I can’t wait to take you out to lunch next week and come see you in the future.
Major shouts go out to my second family: my roommates Rebekah, Malcolm and Daniel. It’s rare to stick together for three years in a college apartment and love each other more and more every year, but we did it.
Of course a shout-out to my sports journalism mates, especially Ryan Posner and Patrick Carr (who graduated in the fall). We pushed each other, supported each other and laughed with each other on our way to getting great gigs fresh out of college. Love you guys.
I can’t forget all the wonderful editors who taught me along the way. Thanks to my former Daily Aztec sports editors, Adriana Bush and Kristian Ibarra. To Ed Guzman up in Seattle and Jess Kearney at The San Diego Union-Tribune for the opportunities. To my current editor at the Orange County Register who I absolutely love writing for, Brian Patterson, along with Todd Harmonson, who brought me on at the Register.
A huge shout-out to my editors from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution — Ray Cox, Thomas Stinson and David Wellham — and David O’Brien, the beat writer I worked with while covering the Braves. Guys, I learned more in my 10 weeks with you than I could even fathom. I still can’t fathom it.
Now to Jamie Ballard. You’ll make an incredible managing editor next year and I wish you all the best this summer in Dallas. Jacob Sisneros, they couldn’t have found a better editor in chief than you. Push sports hard, man.
I have to stop writing now, but it’s so hard to stop.
As long as I keep writing here in my office, I don’t have to say bye to my friends.