I’ve served as news editor for The Rocket since the 2016-17 school year and experienced many things.
I’ve heard the sound of 14 kazoos play outside of a Primanti’s which broke the quiet air and reminded me that I was with family. I witnessed a staff member resurrect. I covered a strike where the staff bonded and tried to avoid a stampede of faculty and students marching to Old Main. I’ve run through the Atlanta and Pittsburgh airports faster than I wanted to, trying to keep up with a well-seasoned traveler. I begrudgingly watched Sonic X. I discovered the “Tomato Horse Theory,” which will probably be my legacy. Sadly.
I have many people to thank and if you’re not included here don’t take it to heart. My memory is not what it used to be as I’m pretty old (22).
First off is Dr. Mark Zeltner. As both a professor in class and an adviser to The Rocket, he helped to make the transition into a college journalism easy. His critique that would be posted every Friday on The Rocket Facebook tore me down sometimes but overall improved my writing, interviewing and overall reporting tremendously. Even when he wasn’t our advisor he would stop in and say hello, ask me what the news was (Dr. Zeltner, I still don’t know, but feel free to ask) and just bring character to a room. I enjoyed hearing your stories over the years and thank you for saying that one time that you think I’m good enough to get an entry-level journalism job. I have very low confidence so it meant a lot, even though my reaction probably didn’t express that. He also appreciates cats as much as I do, which is a huge bonus.
Dr. Harry, thank you for teaching the basics of writing and letting us pitch stories in Feature Journalism and Advanced Reporting. I’m sorry I didn’t go on the courthouse trip, instead interviewing President Norton. You’re a cool guy, which is high praise, I just don’t feel like looking up synonyms for “cool” to make myself sound smarter.
Dr. Li Pu you’re an awesome professor and I looked forward to all the classes I had with you. You brightened Miranda’s and my days and brought energy to even dreary Mondays.
The rest of the Communication Department is pretty cool too. If I thanked each individually this would be 5,672,456 words.
Moving on to students, in no particular order:
I was also fortunate to have the best copy/web editor in in the world with Victoria Davis on staff. Thank you for helping me decipher state trooper records (HONORABLE MENTION!!) and being someone I could rant to and complain to. XOXO GOSSIP GIRL (You wanted me to put that).
Amanda Salvia you’re cool and I like “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and so do you, so yeah. Let me know what you thought of Season 2.
Kendall Scott you’re cool and you like cats and you take nice photos. You also kept me in this dimension so I’m thankful.
Becca Dietrich you take nice photos as well but I hate you because you and Cody made me sit in the stands at the IUP game where I was melted by the sun.
Jordyn Bennett you’re the coolest person I’ve known in my time at SRU. You are as charismatic as something that’s super charismatic and I’m glad to see you succeeding through Facebook.
Ryan Barlow (who was my first editor in chief when I started) thank you for being approachable. When I came in the first night of production for my sophomore year I didn’t feel welcome, but you introduced yourself and made that stressful night better. You were a great leader and helped to avoid in-fighting and bickering with the staff. You also like musicals and Marvel movies so you’re an okay guy in my book.
Eric Davies you’re chill and you like Chance the Rapper. I also like Chance the Rapper. That is all.
Megan Bush you have a cool personality and we got to talk about Crazy-Ex Girlfriend a good bit. Thank you for watching it. Thanks for never being negative and staying pretty positive in the office.
Paris Malone you are hilarious, in a good way. You’ve said some of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. I still don’t understand the shorts brand, Chubbies. They just don’t look comfortable. I think you’re also a great photographer and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Follow your dreams. Shoot for the stars (like with a camera, get it?)
Heather we had math class together and you helped me through some tough problems. Math problems. I suck at math.
Steve you’re carrying the legacy of cool assistant sports editor. Giddy up and keep on keeping on with Fortnite. You’re better than the rest of the staff at the game. Except that one time when I used the trampoline and flew behind the team we were fighting and then flanked them perfectly and screamed into my microphone.
Adam you’re amazing. We are polar opposites in terms of outlook on life but I think we balanced each other out. You embodied everything a good assistant (and friend) should have. You’re going to do amazing things next year and in the future. You never wrote the Star Wars fan fiction piece so you owe me one. Or just give me five dollars. Please.
Cody Nespor you’re a good friend. I know sometimes we argued or disagreed but we created some dank memes while we chased our dreams and schemed. You were also a reason I got back into Overwatch so I’m not sure if that’s a positive or negative. Try to remember me in the future (the good memories, not when I was dumb) when you’re at grad school or whatever. Be nice to people. Be considerate. Be kind. Also keep your PlayStation 4 handy so you, Justin, Jack and I can maybe play games. Thank you for letting me hang out in your apartment. Sorry the first time we ever hung out I made you and Jack take the trash bags out of your apartment. Keep your apartment clean or else I’ll be around. I am the trash man.
Justin Kraus. What I can I say in only a few words? I think you’re cool. You got me back into DBZ. You and I went out for food a lot and you made me realize that I can make chicken and waffle combinations at many restaurants. You got me a nice autograph and were a good friend. I don’t think we’ve ever fought so thank you for that. The ghost memory is also the funniest thing I’ve ever experienced so thank you.
That’s pretty much all The Rocket and Communication people I think. Thank you all.
I would also like to thank all of my Building D friends (you know who you are). They made my first two years phenomenal and are great people. Other people to thank:
Logan Short thanks for seeing Marvel movies with me and getting Weisenflu. I’m sorry I dared you to eat Quaker Steak wings and you threw up because you have Celiac’s disease. Good luck in the future trying to find the cure to defeat gluten.
Evan Andrews you’re a great roommate and a great friend. You are also one of the hardest working people I know and I’m glad to see you be successful. Be nice to Lizzy she’s cool.
My girlfriend Kyra is awesome. She has helped me immensely throughout my life and made some weekends where I just wanted to cry and break down manageable with a smile and kindness. If you’re reading this I hope you smile.
That’s pretty much it. I spent a lot of my goodbye column thanking people and it’s mainly focused on The Rocket, not Slippery Rock University. So that leads me to the penultimate section of this long piece of work.
You’re cool. People here are nice. The weather stinks. My umbrella constantly was flipped around because of rain and wind. Other than the weather I enjoyed my time here. If people are looking for a university I would go here. I made good memories and met amazing people.
That’s it I’m stepping off my soapbox. Thanks again.
I’m reminded of leaving high school where different friends were going different places for different reasons. I wish everyone the best and hopefully you think of me now and then and I made a positive impact on your life and made memories that make you smile.
I’m not sure exactly what my future holds but I know my past holds lifelong memories due to SRU and the people I met.
I feel like I should end this with a great quote from some esteemed person. But I’m not going to.
I apologize for the clickbait title. I won’t burn bridges because they all led me to the end of my undergraduate career.