I did not want to write this.
The first draft was a rant, an unmitigated calling out of the administrators of various organizations in the University of Manitoba community.
The second was a cold, exacting news-like piece. A tally of jigsawed happenings, a picture of a university in turmoil.
The third was a simpering love letter, an overstated acknowledgement of the ever-shifting beauty of the educational landscape.
Each draft left me feeling nauseous. Though maybe that’s the all-coffee diet. I feel nauseous right now.
The fact is that I did not want to write this editorial because it is the last piece I will publish as an employee of the Manitoban.
I’m a distance education student from B.C. Circumstance brought be me to Manitoba.
I was looking for a community. I found the Manitoban.
The first article I wrote was about poker; it was titled “5 reasons to fold your poker ambitions.” By print the title read “5 reasons to fold to your poker ambitions.” These are very different things, and I will never let the perpetrator live it down.
From volunteer to editor-in-chief, learning has been the only constant in my career at the Manitoban. There’s been no light to chase, I have no far-reaching accomplishment to hang my hat on. Each article came at the expense of another, unwritten. Each task was completed on time that was due to three others. There is infinitely more to do, to understand.
I’ve learned to let (most) errors go. There’s not time.
I’ve learned that the common wisdom, that politicians are not to be trusted, is understated. Cliffs are not to be trusted, politicians are earthquakes.
I’ve learned that I’m not a reporter. A reporter writes the exacting story, then moves on to another, because that is how they write.
We need reporters. Goddamn it, they deserve our appreciation. Try writing an in-depth piece, each line a revelation, with as little bias as you can manage. Just try it once.
I’ve come to more thoroughly appreciate art (though, please, do not tell the design team, they thrive on being underappreciated). Not the fancy stuff, the mural-sized paintings or sculptures of obscure dimensions. Rather the commercial sort, the bang-on interpretations and additions – comics and cleverness shining a light.
I’ve learned that a workplace can be a good place.
I’ve learned to edit, to write.
I didn’t want to write this.
I hope the people I’ve worked alongside know they have helped to make my years here happy.
I hope my child and partner can forgive my late nights away.
I want to tell the University of Manitoba community: Thank you for this place.