NickEaton.net


Vicarious sadness, nostalgia
April 28, 2008, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Journalism, Sea Change

Reading everyone’s senior columns in the Evergreen today made me nostalgic. Lisa was right — her column was somewhat depressing. In fact, all of them were bittersweet. And they made me think about all the great times I had at the Evergreen and with all the Evergreeners.

The columns also prompted me to look through my archive volumes and find the column I wrote last year at this time. Its full text is after the jump.

Pullman and the Evergreen became my second homes

I already miss Pullman.

When I came to WSU as a freshman in 2003, I never expected to like this community so much. It’s small, it’s relatively remote, it’s far from home. I’m from Seattle, and I’ve always considered myself a city boy, but Pullman will always feel like another home.

I love how everywhere I go, I run into people I know. I love living on the outskirts of town — next to a wheat field — but still having campus a five-minute drive away. And I think it’s cool that this community is so friendly, I have the mayor’s cell number programmed into my phone.

Well, maybe that’s because I work for the Evergreen.

The newspaper has shown me just how intimate this community is. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone helps everyone. Sure, the powers that be are headstrong and determined, but just getting to know them made me feel comfortable here.

I’ll miss covering WSU and Pullman for the Evergreen.

I’ll miss my friends. I’ll miss my mentors.

To me, the Evergreen is an integral part of the community. Of course, I might be biased. But being editor-in-chief has shown me how important community news and commentary are to this area. Pullman is largely academic, so it seems appropriate that students run its largest media outlet.

Sure, the Evergreen makes mistakes, but not any more frequently than any other newspaper. It’s a learning environment, just like Pullman.

I spent my first two years here on the WSU men’s rowing team. It took me through the rolling wheat fields every day down to the Snake River canyon. I represented the Cougars at dozens of races throughout the West Cost. And that instilled in me a sense of Cougar and Palouse pride that carried over into journalism.

When I started at the Evergreen my junior year, I loved meeting new people and learning about issues in Pullman. I loved working on a team that stroke to serve the community.

And I learned a hell of a lot about journalism.

College isn’t just about classes, it’s about the experience of learning independence and finding your passion. Yes, I enjoyed my classes, and I think WSU is an excellent school. But what makes it one of a kind is the community — one that fosters education not just in the classroom, but out in the field.

There are so many opportunities here. To those of you who are not yet graduating, I have one piece of advice: Take advantage of them.

OK, apparently my column rambled a little. It was a bit disorganized. And, frankly, I forgot I talked so much about the community. It should be noted that the subtext of that column was about the Evergreen community.

Anyway, I’m proud of all of you graduating Evergreeners. You have done exceedingly well. Don’t let anyone ever take that from you. And remember what it was like — the real journalism world is surprisingly different.

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