I’m not sure what to start with here. I don’t really write opinion pieces. I do have a lot of opinions, but that is for a different time. If you told me that I’d be writing this 16 days before graduation, I’d say “that sounds about right.” I am a procrastinator 100% and honestly, I think that college helped me realize that I still can get things done but not procrastinate them as much, because eventually, I’ll hit a wall. But enough about that, this is supposed to be a goodbye column, I have to leave Slippery Rock with this “document” that shows I took 120 credit hours and that I’ve achieved something. Well, I for one am pretty damn proud of that accomplishment.
Also side note, the title “I’m so 4chinit” is based on a car license plate that I saw, “4chinit” sounds like “fortunate” and I’ve been incredibly fortunate during my time at SRU. If you know me, I’m also a jokester so this title fits.
Since graduating from Sharpsville Area High School in 2017, I knew that I could follow my dream towards becoming a sports broadcaster here at The Rock, and with a push from Dr. Peiritsch, I did just that. She introduced me to Dr. Fleming who at the time I didn’t know was going to change my life. I went to my first WSRU-TV meeting after Dr. Fleming invited me to, and that’s when it all changed. I met London Fabian, the president at the time, and Matt Carlson, the co-producer to “Around the Rock.” We talked about what I was interested in and what WSRU-TV was. This led me to meet Logan Synder and Austin Agosti, where we then worked on the “Around The Rocks Sports” segment together.
I eventually met somebody who became my best friend. Hannah Shumsky joined WSRU-TV in the fall of 2018, helping out editing the scripts. Ms. Shumsky and I became friends and eventually became partners, and for the past 872 days, there hasn’t been a day that she and I have not talked. If you told me that I’d walk away meeting the love of my life in college, I’m not sure I would have believed you, but after I met Hannah, I knew, without a doubt, that she’s the one. Okay, sorry, I know, I’m tearing up too.
In addition to WSRU-TV, I started to write for The Rocket, which would end up becoming another wonderful part of my time at The Rock. I started writing for Steve Cukovich, followed by Oscar Matous, and was trying to join the staff as the asst. sports editor. Although that did not work out, becoming the multimedia editor has lol, I’ve done a lot of cool things and even won a few awards!
Being hired in 2019 was so exciting and hard. I think about Adam a lot, and although I did not know him as some did, I still miss him, but I know he’s proud of everyone and what they’ve done during their time with The Rocket.
With this new position, I was able to work with Karl Ludwig, Zack Bonnette, Hope Hoehler, Ally Downs, Nina Cipriani, Brendan Howe, Nicole Tolliver, Emily Heyn, Keegan Beard, Hannah Slope, Lesa Bressanelli, Sam Shiel and Hannah Shumsky. Our staff was extremely professional, winning 3rd place Best in Show at the CMA conference in D.C., where there were some world champions. This staff was extremely creative and ran well under Hannah’s leadership. I know that Zack, Ally, Nicole, and Emily are doing great things!
In the fall of 2020, I became the president of WSRU-TV, as well as still being a part of The Rocket, and I had also started interning at 21-WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio. You can ask anybody I know, but I’ve probably told them multiple times how amazing my internship was and just how much I learned, and how it reassured me I was following my dream. I met some of the most amazing people there, and a huge thank you goes to Dana Balash, Joshua Fitch, Corey McCrae, Dan Pushcar and Erin Simonek. During my time there, I went to countless amounts of football, soccer, volleyball, and basketball games. I learned so much about the industry in my seven months there and I can not wait to get back into the media world.
This past fall at The Rocket, I continued to work with Editor-in-Chief, my partner in crime, Hannah Shumsky. Shumsky’s the most talented person I’ve ever met, hands down. I’m not saying that just because we are dating either, I can brag about all of her awards, accomplishments, etc., but how about you just look her up instead!
Jokes aside, I could not be happier to graduate with my best friend as I know we are both going to have successful futures together.
In the fall, Karl, Hope (it was a goodbye column), Keegan and Sam all graduated. Just a few more Rocket legends to add to the list of people I got to work with. I hope you are all doing well! This crew also won Best in Show at the virtual CMA 2020 conference, something The Rocket has never done before.
This semester, along with Hannah and I, Lesa and Brendan will be graduating. Lesa is crazy and is going to grad school, just kidding, I’m super happy for her, and I know she’s going to be fine! Brendan is an extremely talented writer who I’m sure will end up writing for a sports program someday.
To the staff that is returning: Let’s start with the twins, Brooke and Morgan, I was really excited when we hired twins. I think the best part was that even though you look alike, you both have your own goals, and I’m extremely confident both of you will reach them. I know leaving the lacrosse team probably wasn’t easy, but I think you found a wonderful home joining The Rocket.
Photo’s team, because of COVID-19, there are a few people I didn’t get to meet in person, so I unfortunately never got to meet Rayni, however, seeing her graphic work and pictures, I know she’s destined to be great, and I think being on campus will help her even more. Hannah Slope, it really impossible to say your name without including your first and last name isn’t it, but you have this crazy passion that we are seeing first hand. Not only are you a great photographer, but your a freaking double major who is set to graduate a year early, that’s scary, nevertheless, keep up the wonderful work!
In addition to Rayni, I never got to meet Elizabeth in person, and I wish you the best with your internship and in the future, I’m confident that you’ll be successful!
Tyler, I know that you are going to do just fine next semester, continuing along writing incredible sports stories. I hope another Roland Rivers-like QB shows up for you to report on.
Ryanne, I actually did meet you lol! I’m super excited to see you lead the copy/web section, as I’ve only seen Lesa in the spot, I’m eager to see how you grow in the position.
Joe and Sarah, I think that we’ve both grown into pretty good friends in this short amount of time and I’m very grateful for that. Joe, I know that if it’s news-related, you’ll have it covered, and Sarah, I always loved thinking of crazy Multimedia ideas for print weeks, and I think that you and Brandon will be able to do the same!
Then there is Nina, I didn’t think Hannah would ever give up the keys, but there is nobody that is more prepared than you. Hannah and I will always be there if you need us, but you already have that leadership quality that people (including myself) search for. You will be an amazing Editor-in-Chief.
Congratulations to the returning staff, and for all the new staff members, Brandon, Sara, Emma, Madison, Kaitlyn you are not just joined a newspaper organization but a Family, these people will become your family, trust me on that.
Brandon, I’m really excited to see what you bring to the table as just the fourth multimedia editor for The Rocket. I’ve seen your skills and passion and know you are going to do great things in the position. If you ever need help, you can always reach out to me!
Closing out I’d like to say thank you, thank you to a lot of people. To my professors in the Comm. Department, I thank you all so much. The Comm. Department team has led tons of students to victory in chasing dreams and that was true for me, I am forever grateful.
To my friends and family, most of those people up there are my friends and have become family, I thank you for always believing in me and allowing us to grow together in college. To my biological family, I’m super excited that I’ve been able to grow so much in your eyes. I love you all and I’m excited to see what’s next.
To Dr. Fleming, I don’t know how to thank you enough. You have single-handedly changed my life. I know you are going to say “you did that on your own,” but without your help and guidance (and being dragged into your office), I wouldn’t be where I am today. You’ve gone above and beyond daily to help students and you are an incredible inspiration to so many, including me. I’m so happy to not only call you my professor, but a friend.
To Hannah, hey bro, if you are reading this, I love you. I’m so proud of us, we did it. Slippery Rock will always hold a special place in our hearts and I so thankful to have met you here.
To my parents, mom and dad, jeez, 22 years flew didn’t it? I can’t believe I’ve done so much in this short amount of time and I’m so grateful that you’ve always had my back. I was never forced to become a doctor or lawyer, but to follow my dreams and you always believed in me. I love you both and I’m so thankful for having you in my life.
On that note, thank you Slippery Rock for giving me an education, thank you to The Rocket and WSRU-TV for giving me new families and allowing me to achieve so much.
Adios, bye bye bestie,
Aaron Bradley Marrie
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