Staff Farewell by Daniel Johnson
In my adventures as a ram, a highlander and finally an anteater, I have always tried to keep my head up or at least intact. That being said, the universities where I have held these various titles have not always made this easy.
However, that is life, and life is difficult.
Truth be told, there are probably a million issues that I have with UC Irvine. Then again, there are probably a million issues just about anyone could find with any university. Still, I have the rest of my life to mull these over as a quietly bitter old man.
As such, I would like to focus on one part of the UCI community that has played a positive role (well, mostly) in my life for the past two years, the New University. Serving as the editor-in-chief this year, I was able to work with many editors who I have no doubt will accomplish great things in the realm of journalism.
Still, even in past years in serving in less prestigious editorial positions at this newspaper and other publications, it is challenging not to notice that editors are often given too much of the credit. After all, unless an editor really screws up, their name typically appears on the masthead whether they put in their best week’s work or their worst.
Because of this, I would like to dedicate the majority of my last New University piece to the dozens of writers, photographers and Antics artists who ensure each week that we have material to edit.
Working as editor-in-chief, I have always strove to be fair and not exhibit any sort of favoritism that I have seen plague too many newsrooms. Yet, I would be a liar if I were to say that I equally enjoyed reading each and every article printed in the New University. Some writers are better than others, some photographs stand out (even to the photographically inept like me) and some comics are just funny.
In this vein, I would like to acknowledge some staff members whose work has made my job more enjoyable, whether I hung around with them socially or not. And before you read on and call me a hypocrite, yes, some of these staffers are editors too!
First off, I want to recognize Stella Cho. Although we co-wrote our last article together over a year ago, she is still the best co-writer I have ever worked with. The dedication she put into the writing process for our articles was absolutely inspiring and I only hope that I am capable of having such dedication in my work for the coming years.
As far as past writers go, I do not believe I have ever met her, but no one’s writing makes me hungrier than that displayed in Rachel Leeson’s column. I have no idea where she has gone since she graduated, but hopefully she is still making tongues salivate somewhere.
Kevin Pease and Patrick Ross’ work in the opinion section has been such a pleasure to read in such different ways. While Pease can always churn out a funny piece, Ross is simply bold. On such a liberal campus, I can only imagine the determination it must take to produce such captivating conservative pieces. Although I do not always agree with Ross’ opinion, the guy knows how to argue his point.
Erin Johnson’s work has also helped out our opinion section considerably, as she offers some of the best illustrations money can buy to compliment our editorials each week. Considering how much journalists and cartoonists are getting paid these days, that is quite an accomplishment.
On the entertainment side of the newspaper, Shapan Debnath’s reviews never let down. In a form of writing where it is really easy to just make baseless opinionated claims, Shapan can break down songs and albums in a way that could push him far in the music industry.
Umar Hussain and Mark Ratto not only edit a great section each week, they also write it. Although I have no doubt that they will work with their successors to the best of their ability, they leave big shoes to fill. At a university not always known as the biggest sports school, Umar and Mark have done as much as any two can do to get this school motivated.
Drew McCarroll, Scott Roeder, Greg Thompson and Brandon Wong’s photography has undoubtedly improved the visual quality of the newspaper this year. I was privileged enough to watch these guys explain what they do recently at their New University Exposure photography workshop. I look forward to seeing how Brandon will handle the torch that Drew is passing to him as next year’s New University photography editor.
Well, I am sure I will see this in print on Monday and remember five or six people that I left out, but hey, what am I going to do? Also, remember if I did not mention you, no matter. You can just be another person to pass by me on the street when I am a quietly bitter old man mulling things over.