Justin McCarthy: Reflection

Justin McCarthy
Justin McCarthy

To my family known as the The New Paltz Oracle,

It only dawned on me recently that my experience under this fine publication is coming to an end. I’ve invested so much in this paper and leaving it is going to be absolutely heart-breaking.

I hope I don’t cry on my last night, though. I’ve got a rep to maintain.

I guess I’ve always imagined my last production night at the Oracle to be something like that scene from “The Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy hugs all her friends before she takes off in that big balloon. Hopefully, that balloon is symbolic of the rising career I’ll have after leaving Oz—I mean, the Oracle.

So, I guess if this is Oz, Pierce wins the part of the Scarecrow, solely for his body shape. And Pam would obviously get the part of the Wicked Witch of the West. No other E-board member has the sauciness to handle all that attitude. Well, except for maybe Zan.

Personally, I’d cast Max as the Lion because I think we’re all dying to see him in that adorable costume. And I think we can all agree that Julie would get the role of Glinda, since she’s always hovering over us and spreading joy.

But I could never utter the words Dorothy rudely did in front of everyone else when she tells the Scarecrow, “I’ll miss you most of all.” Because you’ve all meant so much over the past three semesters.

You guys are some of the smartest, funniest, most creative and talented friends I have. With every issue we put out, I become even more proud of you, and proud to be a member of The New Paltz Oracle. We’ve stressed and sweated together through each production night, and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. I’ve learned so much from every single one of you and I thank you for making me the journalist I’ve become.

I love you all, and I’d hire any of you in a heartbeat.

Although I may not be an employer, I’m certain there are plenty of them out there who will acknowledge you for the promising journalists you are. Don’t be afraid of the job market for a second. Sure, it’s pretty rough. But we’re a new generation of journalists, and I know we’ve got what it takes to whip this industry back in shape.

Julie, I cannot thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me and for this publication. You’re two years younger than me, but I find myself looking up to you because you’re so smart and such a hard worker. Don’t think you’re going to stop getting texts from me about A.P. style questions. You know I’m not capable of remembering the difference between “theatre” and “theater.” Thank you for reminding me what’s due in class and for keeping everything running smoothly. You’ve been such a reliable friend, and I vow to never let us lose touch. I’m going to miss you so much.

Pierce, thank you for giving the Oracle such a jolt of energy. I don’t think we’d be as enthusiastic of a group if it wasn’t for you. I’m so proud of you for surviving this semester; I know it was rough for you. But of the many things you’ve taught me (and I’ve learned quite a bit from you), the most important thing you taught me is to go full throttle with the things you love, even if it means not getting the recommended amount of sleep. Please don’t shave your face anymore. It makes me sad when you do. But for real, thank you, Pierce. I know you’ll go far in life and I hope we’ll stay friends through it all.

Max, thanks for always being by my side as we progressed through the journalism program. We’ve endured so much together and I’ll never forget what a great friend you’ve been. I’m so glad I recommended you for the Oracle because you’ve done so much to improve our paper and our amazing website. I can’t believe this is finally it. Between the loss of you and Julie, I feel like I’m going to be a hot mess once I leave New Paltz. Please visit me in Albany. Geographically, you will be my closest friend and I’m surely going to need the company. As I already said, don’t you fret about the job market. Someone is going to see how talented you are and give you the amazing job you deserve. And even if things don’t end up so great at first, just remember that everything “thrives” no matter how shitty it really is (only you, me and James will get that joke.) In all seriousness though, I’m going to miss you. A whole lot.

Zan, I wish I sat closer to you this semester. We used to play footsies all the time, but now you’re so far away. Every time I use a stick of deodorant, I will think of you. I expect a visit from you every time you go back to Albany. For real! And if you’re performing in Albany, you definitely need to invite me. I wish you all the best of luck, but I’m sure you won’t need it. You’re a very talented writer and editor, and never forget that.

Andrew, you should be proud of yourself for the huge impact you’ve made on The Oracle only two semesters into your time here. The sports section looks amazing, and I was proud to have contributed my very first sports clip to it. It’s a relief to know that I’m leaving our paper in good hands. At such a young age, you show a lot of promise. And I know you’re only going to improve during and after your time with the Oracle. You’re one of the most awesome New Jerseyans I know, so the next time I get lost in Jersey, you can bet I’ll be calling you. Keep up the good work, Andrew!

Pete, your random outbursts are going to be missed terribly. You’re the only person I know who can sit in complete silence for 45 minutes before spontaneously chiming in with the most brilliantly phrased quote of the night. Whenever you get one of your yearnings for some Hudson Valley adventure, please know that you’re always welcome to stay at my house. And if you forget your H&M hoodie, you can totally borrow mine. I’ll miss you, Pete!

Pampers! What the hell am I going to do without you?! I’ve relied on you a lot this semester and you’ve come through for me every time. You’ve survived two whole semesters of what I consider to be one of the most difficult and stressful positions on the E-board. I’m proud of all the hard work you’ve put in, and I’m so happy to be leaving our section in your hands. News is never easy, as you and I both know, but I have absolute faith and confidence that you’ll handle it like a pro and make the section awesome once again. Thank you for being such a reliable copy editor. It’s been a pleasure to work so closely with you, and I know we’ll always be friends.

Ryan, I’m passing on the torch to you because you will be the only Irish gay guy on the Oracle after I depart. It’s a role that comes with a lot of responsibilities, so make me proud. In all seriousness, though, I’ve seen so much improvement in you this semester and I’m really glad you’re part of the team. You’re pretty awesome at coming up with cartoon ideas and you’ve proven to be a really valuable member of the Oracle overall. Learn how to drive so you can come upstate, and when you do, give me a call!

Laura, I knew you’d be perfect for The Oracle the day I saw you photograph a 6’2” Danish gay guy as he posed from atop a fence and held leaves to his crotch. You are seriously one of the funniest people on the E-board and I’m really going to miss your sarcasm. Keep up the awesome job you’re doing. You filled in at a time we really needed you and you’ve done amazing. Keep up the good work, Laura! And take care!

Samantha, I never thought I’d get the opportunity to declare my love for you in print. You’re my best friend in the entire world, and I can’t tell you how inspiring you are to me. With every obstacle that comes your way, I’m amazed how you keep on chugging along so gracefully. I’m not sure I would have been able to handle all the things you’ve had to. You’re one of the smartest, strongest women I know. And for that, I’m honored to be your best friend. Throughout all our memories together, you’ve kept me laughing the entire time. Thank you for joining The Oracle. I knew everyone would appreciate you as much as I do. I love you, Samantha Huertas!

To Maeve, now that I know you live five minutes from me, we’re going to be hanging out. That isn’t an option. Thanks for exposing my eyes to that awesome mug of that bear orgy. You are the cutest little thing the Oracle has ever seen and I’m so glad you joined us. Please take care and keep in touch!

With that said, I’m glad to be leaving on such a good note. The Oracle has improved tenfold since I joined it and I’d rather leave it knowing that my good friends will take care of it. I can’t wait to read your issues next semester and I’m excited to be your state capital correspondent!

Don’t forget that you owe me a production night phone call and a visit to Albany!

I love you, Oracle bitches!