The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Now my heart is full

In high school, I felt the wonder of writing fiction for the first time. I marveled at the way words and images came together, the way it helped me figure out my life as an Irish immigrant and a kid growing up in Queens. When my teacher suggested I read my story aloud in class, I refused. He compromised by reading it himself, anonymously. I was terrified.

My first year in college, at The Cavalier Daily for the first time, it was all so very different.

There I was, with mouth full of braces, in a basement, with dozens of caffeinated people milling about, expecting me to pound out a story (about Habitat for Humanity, no less) on a computer with a green screen and sticky keyboard. It wasn't right. Writing was supposed to be private, something for myself and no one else - something I didn't put my name on.

Nine hours later (yes, I was that good), everything was different.

I needed that.

As first year went on, I wrote dinky little stories about dinky little topics that probably no one read. Eventually, I was able to write about things that interested me - the LGBT community's mobilization, the living wage campaign, affirmative action. I became proud to call those stories mine.

Now, this is what I want to do for a living. (To any newspaper editors out there: I'm ready, willing and able.) Imagine that. Me, sharing my writing.

I would not be sharing anything I wrote were it not for a three-and-a-half-year stint in a smelly basement with fun, hard-working folks who gave me the courage and confidence to 'fess up and put my name on my damn stories.

To say that's the only thing I got out of this gig would be very wrong.

I know it's cliche, but it's true; I've spent some of my best and worst college moments with

The Cav Daily. I have sped to Littlejohn's at 3 a.m. to eat "manly" subs because of the Cav Daily. I have "stealthily" stuffed handles of final roll liquor into my purse, giddily run down U-Circle while evading cops and slipped on ice because of the Cav Daily. I have laughed till I cried at the word "candypants." I have screamed, yelled, hugged, kissed, donned blue Saran Wrap and loved because of the Cav Daily. I have cried to my mother, lost an immeasurable amount of sleep, written embarrassingly shoddy papers and burned with bitterness because of the Cav Daily. I've watched people crack. I've seen grown men cry. I've seen exhausted staffers spring to life at a big-breaking story. I've seen them love this paper again.

Working for the Cav Daily is sort of like being married. You compromise, make sacrifices, become cynical, get out of shape. But still, there's the Love. Leaving is too hard anyway.

As an Assistant Managing Editor, I sat in front of a computer a whole lot. I took a lot of crap and gave shovel-loads back. I learned so much from the scores of writers who sat beside me while I combed through their stories. I'd like to think they learned from me as well. I hope, most of all, that they learn to be proud of what they create. They impressed me every day. I didn't tell them that enough.

On to the thank yous.

To AMEs past - Dom Perella (never met you, but you are a legend), Mike Anderson, Chris Saunders, Katie Lane, D.J. Moore - you inspired me. To the AMEs present - Katie, Rachel and Erin - you have a great job. Best of luck.

To my partner in crime, Ed Hock, it's easy to be the "mean" AME in comparison to you. You kept your cool and kept me amazed.

To the Copy Dinosaurs - Alexis, Nicole and Lisa - you helped me be sane, you showed me how to boogie.

To Margaret, some may question your drinking habits, but I know better; you're a talkaholic.

To the out-going MB - Tom, Brian, Lindsay, John and Michael - bravo. To Lindsay, what do I say? I love having a friend who's so passionate about journalism. But that's just nerdy stuff. Really, I love having you as a friend. I can't imagine college without you and our late-night talks - you always know the right thing to say. We will be great little old ladies together. To the new MB, you have big shoes to fill.

To John Sullivan and David Jordan, thank you for reminding me I'm at college not just to work for the CD. I actually liked writing your papers.

To Danielle Pelfrey Duryea and Mike Millner, the best TAs at this University.

To my family at the Arts & Sciences Development Office. I didn't think working in an office could be so fun. Thank you for taking breaks to chat while I forge the dean's signature (ha ha), for worrying if I get enough sleep, for trusting me.

To my past roommates: Kia, Stefanie and Kiki. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, laughs and rooms with me.

To Kristen, you give so much. Thank you for putting up with me. Bulgaria, here we come.

To my family, to whom I owe everything. Dee, you make me proud in so many ways - more than you know. I think we're becoming better friends. I like that.

Daddy, I love you and miss you very, very much. I wish you were still here. I could share my writing with you. I know you're always looking out for me. I want to make you proud.

Mam, you are an inspiration. I can't imagine what it's been like for you these past three years. You are and always will be my hero.

Thank you, all of you. It's been an honor.


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