Reflection By Ben Kindlon

ben kindlonI’m about as unaccustomed to writing a reflection piece as I am to public speaking. And as unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I’ve still been able to turn a head or two when doing so.  After a few semesters writing with The Oracle, my writing has managed to do the same. So, vale, let’s get this over with.

In fall 2011, I declared my major in journalism. I wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about my degree at the time.  I chose to pursue this particular degree because I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do, and it seemed versatile.

After going to print with The Oracle a few times as a contributing writer, some of the E-board members at the time asked if I was interested in meeting the Editor-in-Chief and possibly becoming a sports copy-editor.

I said yes.

Joining The Oracle was the most beneficial endeavor I pursued during my entire academic career. I learned the difference between “hard work” and hard work.  I gained a solid work ethic, developed helpful communication skills and have a greater appreciation for our first amendment rights.

I also had tons of fun pissing people off in an entirely respectable manner and legitimate forum — an art that is losing its merit in present times.

Most people aim to avoid confrontation.  I thrive on it. The heat doesn’t bother me like it does others. I’ll take a hit or make a block if it means scoring a touchdown later. Journalism is a good place for this kind of character.

To all those that I may have personally afflicted or upset because of my articles or columns during my time here I say: I am not sorry, not even in the slightest. In fact, I probably enjoyed it.

Journalism is designed to afflict the comforted, and to comfort the afflicted. It is the epitomized exhibition of our right to free speech.

When used correctly, our first amendment rights allow us to wield a force that is far deadlier than what we can bear under the fourth.

As much as I love afflicting the comforted, I don’t think I’ll continue writing for newspapers as I continue on with my life.  At times I’m consumed with a sense of overriding guilt, feeling sorry to the world for my apathetic attitude towards what the majority of our society sees as “more important” issues.

But shit, all I really care and want to write about is snowboarding and I’ve got to do me. Life is too short to do anything other than what makes you truly happy.

I would like to personally thank all of my current and former colleagues on The Oracle E-board.  If I were writing a novel, I would mention each of you individually.  I don’t feel that I’d be able to give justice to each of you with 1,000 pages and won’t even get myself started with only 500 words.

The fun we had, the laughs we shared and the struggles we overcame together as a team comprise an efficacious, energetic experience I won’t soon forget.  Thank you all for what you have taught me in regards to our profession, and for what you’ve helped me learn about life and myself.

I hope I was able to provide some of you with the same fun insight you shared with me.

I really do.

Despite the frustrations that came with a lack of sleep and an overloaded work schedule, I greatly appreciate and revel in my time as a sports copy editor and as the features editor on The Oracle. It was a necessary step in my maturation as a writer, and I am grateful for the experience.

Instead of making this reflection feel so much like a  “goodbye,” I’d rather leave with a sense of “see you soon.”

Or maybe… yeah that’s it.

Bon voyage.