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Tallying thanks

I'VE FIGURED it out. Finally. The answer's in the genes. Thanks mom and dad.

When your father's the type of guy who spends a good part of his free time with a newspaper in hand, another one waiting to be read, and the voices of Katie, Matt and Dan in the background on a daily basis, it's not easy to escape the news - even when you've left for college.

Add my mom's gift of gab, keen eye for detail, and perceptive nature to the mix and you've got a future journalist - sort of.

While I'm still not sure if I have a future as a professional journalist, thanks are in order for the people who got me down to the basement of Newcomb Hall and the ones who made me stay.

To my family: Thanks for encouraging me to pursue an activity and major that don't often have the most lucrative outcomes. Thanks for recognizing that I'd be better off at art camp than soccer camp.

To the ones that came before: Thank you Lindsay, Nicola and Ed for setting a high standard and being a tough act to follow. Thanks Doug for being an on-the-ball co-editor and warm presence around the office. Thank you James for your enthusiasm. Thanks Teeny and Katie for giving me some of my most memorable and fun times in and out of the office. Thanks Mary Beth for your support. It meant a lot. Thanks Kate for staying along with her. Bryan Kasik, thanks for being the only person to ever call me "chief." Thanks Emily and Dave for making the paper seem just weird enough for me to join the fun. Thanks Ben, Brian and Michael for quirkiness, film snobbery and Oscar trivia. I didn't want that last hamburger anyway ...

To the senior board: Thanks Katie and Erin for being fellow guinea pigs. Thanks Sean and Eric for joining in on the five-vote fun.

To the future of A&E: Thanks Megan, Suzannah and Christie for doing great things with the page. You really took the reins and then some.

To those who deserve categories of their own: Ginny Lee, my 3 a.m. ride and the person I could count on to be awake (or asleep with the lights on) when I got home. Thanks for the laughs. Jed Williams, a fellow Texan with a fellow affinity for 80s music. I want my CDs back. I'm not kidding. Phil Wickizer, have fun with the Hoosiers. Let me know if you need a salsa partner.

To those who livened up the basement: Tina, life's always a little more colorful with you around. Thanks for the constant flattery. Amy, thanks for fun times in the rumpus room. Emily, I've enjoyed your company and your concerts. Maria, I can't wait to live with you. Good times lie ahead.

To my sorority sisters: Thanks for letting me miss meetings to edit and listening to my incessant chatter about the paper.

To the 112 big shots: John, thanks for putting up with the Austin talk. I hope I've convinced you. Jen, I admire your humility and writing talent. Adam, thanks for exceeding my own level of hyperness. Jon, thanks for "Summer Lovin.'"

To the 113th MB and senior board: Thanks for welcoming the has-been around the office. Best of luck.

Some final thank-yous go to one of the most dedicated and genuine person I know. You know who you are.

Thanks for challenging me to do a better job. Thanks for being a best friend. Thanks for giving me positive encouragement when you needed it yourself. Thanks for those late-night e-mails. Thanks for almost two years. Finally, thanks for sticking around.

(Rachel Alberico was a 2001-2002 assistant managing editor and a 2000-2001 arts & entertainment editor.)