Senior Farewell: Kelly Smiley

by Kelly Smiley, Photo Editor

“I looked through your photos and while the composition is fine, they are all low quality. I bet that we can chalk that up due to not having the right equipment, which I can’t blame you for. 300 lenses don’t grow on trees,” Photo Editor Monica Linzmeier replied to me via email after sending her my photo application in 2013.

And here we are, finishing my second year as Photo Editor.

To Monica Linzmeier, thank you for having faith in me and bringing me onto the team with my low quality photography. I especially want to thank you for keeping me on the team when I gave you my blurry ass sports photos. 

To Cristian Rangel and Sarah Smith,  thank you for pushing me to apply for the Photo Editor position and continuously showing me support. 

The Daily Aztec has become my home away from home. Surprisingly, a home with no windows, no bathrooms, small cubicles and located in the basement of the Education and Business Administration Building. 

The people I had the chance to surround myself with are really what make The Daily Aztec home. 

To everyone who has come into the office, thank you for letting me grace your ears with my random spurts of opera. Those basement walls really give me a satisfying echo. Special shoutout to Emely Navarro for joining in on the chorus and Alex Piscatelli for always cheering us on. And to Cami “Camelia” Buckman who would always scream, “Shut up!!!” You shut up. 

To all the editors, thank you for twisting my arm and convincing me to cover more events than I could handle. Without your push and encouragements, I would not be the photographer I am today. I covered more sports events than I thought possible, and my blurry ass sports photos started to become clear. 

To the many, many hours I spent in the basement on production days, I wouldn’t trade those for the world. The front covers and pages we designed will be shoved into a random drawer for many years to come. 

To my coworkers who have become some of my closest friends, you have all made me incredibly proud, and I know you will continue to make me proud. I can’t wait to read your stories and hear you complain about how underpaid you are. #Journalism.

To Will Fritz and Jocelyn Moran, I am excited to see all the hard work you and your team will put in next year, and to see all the people you “Fritz’d.”

Farewell, The Daily Aztec. I will only be a “click” away.

P.S. If anyone would like to donate a 300 mm lens to me, that would be greatly appreciated. 300 lenses still don’t grow on trees.

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