Pierce Lydon: Reflection

I walked into the Student Union very slowly on Wednesday night. I took the stairs up to the fourth floor instead of the elevator. I may never need to do this ever again. After 76 issues at my beloved newspaper, it was all going to end in just a few short hours.

I feel like I could have a baseball card with all of my Oracle stats on it.

Three and a half years.

Seven semesters.

Five different editors-in-chief.

Five different positions.

Four volumes.

Seventy-seven issues.

So many long hours.

Never enough dollars.

Too many good memories.

It’s a really interesting thing ending something that defined you for so long. Basically my entire college career has been consumed by this publication. I have spent more time in the Oracle office than I  have in class. I can say that for certain. I’ve probably spent more time there than I did at Hasbrouck or in my dorm. It’s weird to leave when we’re just starting to get somewhere. It’s weird to know that you’ll never be more than a catalyst. It’s weird to know that at this time two years from now, I probably won’t even recognize the Oracle.

We get older.

We grow up.

We move apart.

After my first two years, I hated being on the Oracle. I was ready to quit but Julie Mansmann dragged me back. Now we have achieved more than all of my past E-boards combined. We have a dynamic website, the respect of the New Paltz community, the school administration and other publications.

I can never regret what I have done here. I may have been taught some things about journalism in a classroom but I didn’t actually know anything about it until I actually started to do it.

Now the Oracle faces a time of transition and the people that I have worked with over the past two semesters and the people I am entrusting it to moving forward I could not be more proud of.

My beautiful, wonderful E-board, I love you. I have forged deeper relationships with you than others with whom I have lived because of our strength of will and the expectation that with great reporting comes great change. I have said it before and I will say it again, I would work with any of you again in a second. You have taught me what it means to be a leader, the value of hard work and how to have fun here again.

I don’t think it’s hit me that this is over yet. It feels like we’re going to have a few weeks off and then I’ll be back, writing articles, not writing articles, talking about pop culture, falling out my chair. It probably will around 3 a.m. Or next Wednesday. Or the first Wednesday everyone starts putting the next Oracle together. Without me.

Regardless of my wallowing, there are some things I’d like to see for the future of this paper.

1. Up the ante on the web. I know we already have a good web site and good content. Now let’s have a web presence to match. This isn’t easy. It will take time. It will take work. And remember there is no competition on campus so let’s start competing with the local media. Our reporting is every bit as good as the Record and the Freeman. Don’t forget that it can be better.

2. Get Zan to start wearing shoes in the office. Enough is enough already.

3. Try to bottle Pam’s sauciness and sell it. Might be good enough on pasta to cover our budget for a bit.

4. Make the Oracle more of a presence on campus. We are not just 12 students in a orange room. We are the main source of information for all of the students on this campus. Increase this paper’s visibility! Dare them to ignore us.

5. Make Maeve’s handwriting a font. I know you can do this Max. I better get a free copy.

6. 40 pages. ‘Nuff said.

7. Remember why you do this. If you ever get to the point where this becomes too much, exit gracefully. Do not become embittered and angry. You do not owe anything to anyone on the Oracle as much as it may seem like you do.

8. Have fun. This is almost more important than the last one.

9. Don’t forget me by never breaking stares, creeping up on Max, hatching hair-brained schemes that Julie shakes  her head at, telling Andrew the Mets are bad, using my catchphrases, making up your own catchphrases(!), using journalism as a verb and closing adhering to the Pierce A&E style guide.

This is the end of the longest relationship of my life. It’s really disheartening to know that next semester I’ll be sitting at home waiting to go work at a job that I don’t really care about with nothing marking my existence. I will miss you all dearly. If you ever need anything, I’m only an hour and a half away, ya bimbos.