When I was in university, studying my Bachelor of Arts in English, I was constantly pestered by my family (Dad in particular) about the possibility of moving home after school and working for a newspaper indefinitely. Every time, I adamantly refused that as a possibility. No way was I going to be a reporter.
Now, that may seem like an odd intro for an editorial written by a staff reporter, but please, allow me to explain myself. I’ll start at the beginning (sort of).
For as long as I can remember, I have loved to read. I love the English language and the fact that within the pages of a book or the phrases of a sentence there are no limits, only possibilities. So very rarely will you find me without a book in my purse, a magazine in my glove compartment or a novel beside my bed.
But then when I went to university, my English courses altered my passions. Instead of the simple escapism I was used to, my professors forced me to read between the lines and pay attention [how dare they?!]. They made me read what I (naively) believed to be lacklustre books and write tedious essays that they marked up with so much red pen that my papers practically bled.
So, as you can imagine, the idea of being a reporter—essentially writing several mini essays to publish for the public to scrutinize—was not something I relished.
Nevertheless, I moved home after graduation and when the opportunity to actually utilize the degree I’d just paid dearly for arose, I took it without hesitation, figuring it would be nothing if not an awesome addition to my resume.
That was in October 2010. And now, dang it but if I don’t genuinely love my job.
I am sincerely grateful for the people I have met and the stories that I have been granted to tell. I am and will forever be appreciative of the praises and the constructive criticism (and even some scrutiny) I have received from the public and the opportunities I have been afforded because I carry a camera and a pen. I have covered meetings and concerts, exhibits and accidents, the planned and the unexpected, and I can honestly say that this position has blown new life into my old love. So much so that I will be leaving the Empire-Advance to return to school to pursue a Master in Publishing at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver [in the summer of 2012].
This may or may not come as a shock to you, depending on who you’ve talked to lately, but I wanted to make it abundantly clear that the Empire-Advance will always be the job that propelled me to decide which path I want my life to take, and I will forever be thankful for that. It goes without saying that the community, which has supported me and allowed me to be the voice of their stories, has also played a large role in how much I have enjoyed my time here.
So, I want to make good use of some of the last words I will write for you to thank the Empire-Advance and our entire readership for what you have done for me. In the words of the Von Trapp family singers, “so long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, good bye.”
This was my final story written for the Virden Empire-Advance. Published in May of 2012.