Thanks, Oracle. It Was Pho(n): A Contributors Goodbye

Another semester done, another Oracle writer on their way out. This particular one was terrible with deadlines, wrote long ledes and barely attended production nights. Basically, I had all the makings of an editor’s worst nightmare — And it was great. 

I’ve only written for The Oracle for two semesters and when it’s all said and done, I will have less than 10 stories under my belt. Despite that, I feel like being a part of The Oracle has left an incredible impact on me. 

When I first attended the general interest meeting last fall, I knew zero people who worked for the paper. I had zero experience working for a newspaper of any sort too. Nine months later, I can safely say that’s changed. 

I’m by no means the most popular person on the staff, and in all honesty, I’m sure if you asked everyone their opinion on me, there might be a few “Who’s that?” answers. As I mentioned, I wasn’t the most present (I’m a commuter).

But when there was work asked of me, I was more than happy to help out. And I had a lot of fun doing so. I had initially signed on to be a writer and part time editor, but I enjoyed helping out with other tasks, like tabling for events or picking up the papers that were literally hot off the press in Wappingers. 

I learned a lot as a writer and a journalist because of The Oracle, and I’m grateful. Whether I was seeking out Alli as the upteenth person who wanted to write an entertainment story, attending mundane events to cover news stories or writing about clubs — I had a blast. All my experiences taught me something, like pitching stories versus topics or how to meet and connect with total strangers. 

As a flexible writer, the stories I covered were pretty varying, which meant there was never really a dull story. Everything was new and fresh, so I had to approach my stories with an open mind. In doing so, I was able to meet some really cool people and clubs. Shoutout to Girl Gains, my first feature and the New Paltz Drag Collective, whose show was one of my favorites to cover. 

Being able to make new connections was by far the best part of writing for The Oracle.

I’m not the most extroverted person and I was often a silent observer at any production meeting or tabling event. And in an organization full of intelligent, outspoken individuals, I was fine with that. I never felt unwelcome and for that I’m grateful. 

The Oracle is chock-full of really great people and I’d be remiss to not address them. I owe a lot of thanks to Zoe and Kyra who were always extremely patient and kind to me. Probably the best bosses I’ve ever had and I’m sure many others would agree. If it was covering a last minute story or picking up the papers, I was always glad to help because I respected the heck out of them.

Alli and Jeremy: I mostly wrote under your pages and once again, thanks for being patient. I imagine my tardiness was less than convenient at times. But of course, you guys were super chill about it. To the rest of the staff, I wish I had been able to connect with you all more. The introvert inside of me is to blame, unfortunately. The life of a journalist isn’t easy and certainly not flashy, as my professors constantly remind me. Writing for The Oracle, I wasn’t paid, nor did I receive course credits. And that’s okay. Whenever someone complimented me on my stories, I’d feel validated; I knew I was in the right field. I had the pleasure of working with and for some of the most driven and passionate people I’ve met at New Paltz. In layman’s terms ­— they’re really cool goofballs. It’s been a privilege and I wish the best for the rest of The Oracle staff.