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Senior Goodbyes 2011

Erin Kirkland and Alden Reiss/Daily
BACK ROW (From Left to Right): Deputy Magazine Editor Stephen Ostrowski, Co-Managing Sports Editor Tim Rohan, Senior Sports Editor Kevin Raftery, Senior Sports Editor Michael Florek, former Assistant Photo Editor Chris Dzombak, Daily Staff Reporter Suzanne Jacobs, Senior Arts Editor Kavi Shekhar Pandey, Daily Arts Writer David Riva MIDDLE ROW: Editorial Board Member Seth Soderborg, Editorial Board Member Erika Mayer, Daily News Editor Caitlin Huston, Deputy Magazine Editor Devon Thorsby, Deputy Magazine Editor Elyana Twiggs, former Co-Managing Design Editor Anna Lein-Zielinski, Senior Copy Editor Christine Chun, Daily Staff Reporter Claire Goscicki, Daily Arts Writer Veronica Menaldi, Daily Staff Reporter Sabira Khan FRONT ROW: Managing Arts Editor Sharon Jacobs, Magazine Editor Carolyn Klarecki, Managing Editor Nick Spar, Editor in Chief Stephanie Steinberg, Managing News Editor Nicole Aber, Co-Editorial Page Editor Emily Orley, Co-Editorial Page Editor Michelle Dewitt, Co-Managing Photo Editor Jed Moch. Buy this photo

BY DAILY STAFF

Published December 13, 2011

Nicole Aber
Managing News Editor

It’s strange to think this is the end. It’s been three and a half years, and when I think back on my college career, I can’t think of anything without the Daily in it. I’ve loved this place, and I’ve hated it just as much. But when I think about what it gave me — writing and editing skills, a place that made Ann Arbor home, a reporter’s audacity, and my best friends — I can’t be anything but thankful.

Christine Chun
Senior Copy Chief

I'm really grateful to have been a part of the Daily and definitely regret that I didn't join earlier than I did. I'm so glad to have not only learned a lot of about journalism and how it's done, but also to have met a lot of great people along the way.

For these reasons, I want to say thanks to the copy section, Adi, Melanie, Eileen and Josh, former copy chiefs I've worked with, and Hannah, my co-copy chief for next semester. It's not only been fun, but I've also learned so much from working with you guys.

And of course, I want to say thanks to the Daily, for teaching me so many things and defining my college experience. I will definitely take everything I got from the Daily with me wherever I go.

Michelle DeWitt
Co-Editorial Page Editor

I walked into the Daily my sophomore year as a wayward transfer student desperate for something other than classes to fill my time. The Daily has certainly taken up plenty of my time over the past two and a half years, but it has been an amazing experience.

Emily, I could never have done this without you, nor would I have wanted to. Thank you for all the cinna-stix, wine, trash television, online shopping, Starbucks, car rides and Harry Potter marathons.

Andrew and Ashley, thank you for your help over the past year. You will both be fabulous editorial page editors. Never get discouraged and have a wonderful time.

Steph, thank you for tolerating my Spanglish. Squire, thank you for all the plastic utensils and helping me with pretty much everything.

To all the opinion editors, you have been amazing. Thank you for putting up with my craziness and strange obsession with InDesign. To editboard, thank you for sticking with Emily and I, and for helping us carry the burden of 122 years of editorial freedom.

Thank you to my family, friends and roommates who have supported me through the past several years. The Daily has meant the world to me and it has been so humbling to be a part of something much bigger than myself. To all future Daily staffers, have fun and enjoy the experience.

Chris Dzombak
Daily Staff Photographer

The Daily has been good to me these three and a half years. I've had very cool opportunities, I can tell some great stories (running out of gas with three other staffers on I-96 was an interesting night!), and I've learned so many things they just don't teach in class. Most importantly, I've made some really amazing friends here, and I can't imagine having gone through college without them.

To everyone at the Daily: I'll miss you. You've made my experience a truly great and memorable one, and I know each of you will go on to do something awesome!

Michael Florek
Senior Sports Editor

If you’re reading this, there is a high probability that you already know me in some way. So I won’t waste anybody’s time with a boring story about walking into the Daily for the first time, seeing the ugly carpeting and the colossal mess on all the desks and feeling like I belonged.

Instead, I’ll just say thanks.

Thanks to my parents for thinking I was good, and to the rest of my family for not having the heart to tell them I wasn’t.

Thanks to any player, coach, SID, fellow journalist or anyone else I’ve come across that didn’t scream in my face (which, thankfully is all of them). You didn’t have to talk to me and be so nice.

Thanks to anybody who has ever read one of my stories, joined the live blog or interacted with me on Twitter. I don’t know why you did it, but it was a lot more fun because of you. I will find each and every one of you and personally shake your hand.

Finally, thanks to the sports section at the Daily and those who had to deal with the sports section. We came up four Pulitzers shorts of our goal, but all the hard work was still worth it.

No one really understands the amount of hours everybody puts into this place. But we were still able to have more fun than every other section combined. Don’t let the news section being downers prevent you from playing chair monkey.

Long live the legend of Six-star Burns.

Claire Goscicki
Assistant News Editor

Thank you to my editors — your dedication, talent and enthusiasm have not gone unnoticed. Thank you to my loving family for your support and for reading what I wrote. Most importantly, thank you to anyone who has shared a story with me. You have enlightened me.

To future staff members: Mark Twain once said, "The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” May you always find the right words.

Claire Hall
Daily News Reporter

Thank you to my parents for passing on the journalism bug, to my favorite GSI for encouraging me to give the Daily a shot, to the singular person who made me turn in an application, to the Daily writers whose stories have inspired me to be a better journalist, and to all my friends on staff. It's been an instructive, frustrating, interesting, demanding, and ultimately rewarding experience. Best of luck to the Daily moving forward!

Caitlin Huston
Senior News Editor

When I first joined the Daily sophomore year, I took it for granted. In fact, I only wrote articles when I had time in my class schedule. I also told myself that I wouldn’t become friends with these people. But now, as I prepare to leave, I realize that this is the place and these are some of the people that I’ll miss the most. The Daily has given me experiences that I couldn’t have found anywhere else. I’ve had the chance to visit houses made of clay, scope out the kitchens of campus restaurants, and track down an absurd amount of people on the Internet. Thank you for taking me out of my books and into an experience that helped me find direction, passion and a career. I’ve had an incredible time.

Sharon Jacobs
Managing Arts Editor

For a year I got to admire Jennifer’s fashion sense, moderate Tao’s snark and eat cake with Kavi and Emma. I loved every minute of it. It’s been a privilege to get to know all the Daily Arts writers and to work together to create the best section we can. There’s no feeling quite like holding a special issue of the B-Side and knowing you are partially responsible for its existence. I’m glad I’ve been able to have that feeling and proud of what we’ve done this year. To Leah, Kavi, Jennifer, Jake, Cassie, Joey, Emma, Proma, Tao and all my writers — thank you for always filling out the doc.

Sabira Khan
Assistant News Editor

More than anything else, I am grateful to have been a part of a paper, a tradition, and a culture, that is so much greater than myself and my own experiences.

Carolyn Klarecki
Managing Statement Editor

This is where I learned to write. This has been my classes, my discussions, my social life, my family and my dorm.

Without this newspaper, I wouldn’t have sat across the table from my idol Aaron Sorkin with shaking hands and a voice recorder. I wouldn’t have driven 12 hours to Washington D.C. for the Rally to Restore Sanity/Fear and then turned around after 10 hours to drive home. I maybe wouldn’t have figured out I can make a career of writing.

Here’s to staying up until 5 a.m., to spending Valentine’s Day at a pizza joint, to caring too much, to dancing after the pages are sent, to Motown, Chipotle, foursquare and coffee.

The Daily has always been there — even when I didn’t necessarily want it to be. It’s been a ride. At the end of it all, I owe the Daily everything.

Anna Lein-Zelinski
Senior Design Editor

All I will ever feel for this institution is gratitude: Gratitude for the people, the frustration, the unimaginably late nights, the successes and failures, and the never-ending inspiration.

To the incoming class of editors, I would wish you luck if I thought you needed it.

Much love.

Erika Mayer
Edit Board Member

It’s crazy to think that after all the time I’ve spent at 420 Maynard, my time is up. What will I do with all the free time? Some of my happiest (and most painful) memories were made here — from the small summer staff putting the paper to bed to countless Editboards to Opinion parties. To Jamie: thanks for introducing me to Firefly, without you my life wouldn’t have been the same. To the EPEs I worked for — Robby, Rachel, Alex, Emily and Michelle: thank you for the opportunity to work and write here. There’s so much I could say, but I’ll keep it brief: Sometimes I can’t believe I survived, but I would never take back the time I spent.

Veronica Menaldi
Daily Arts Writer

As with most of the staffers, the Daily has become a defining factor of my college experience. My first memory of the Daily was back during a campus visit: I ventured to Maynard Street as an eager future University student, climbed the stairs of the Student Publications Building and set my eyes on the newsroom for the first time. From that moment on I knew I wanted to be a part of paper for as long as possible and here I am, almost four years later. I knew even then that my experience here would define my future in some way or another and, as expected, it did — albeit not in the way I originally thought. This paper showed me that my passion lies in writing and being able to convey my thoughts to a large audience. Working here gave me the opportunity to interact firsthand with campus leaders, unique people and gave me an unbiased glimpse into the world of so many students and faculty I otherwise would of never known.

The Daily also gave me the skill-set to communicate my curiosity and intrigue accurately through interviews, learn irreplaceable leadership skills, time management and express my words to a wide-range of readers. Even though there were times when my love for the Daily would turn into frustration, late homework assignments and long nights but I can’t imagine my college career without having been a part of this paper and in that sense my gratitude is endless. I will miss it, but I know it will continue to shape the lives of students to come, in whatever way it’s meant to.

Much love Daily, stay fabulous.

Jed Moch
Managing Photo Editor

I’ll never actually say goodbye to the Daily. I’ll say goodbye to the day-to-day hustle, and the Student Publications Building and the hours spent ensuring that a newspaper will be produced and then read — or not read, but I don’t care, because I took the photos. It was never any of those things that brought or kept me with the Daily to begin with. I don’t know who I was before I worked here, and I wouldn’t want to know that person because he was probably (definitely) terrible.

This newspaper has given me some of my best friends on earth, a sense of self-worth, and instilled in me a bizarre variety of traits that I would not have picked up anywhere else or under any other circumstances. Namely, patience, an affinity for disgusting Faygo and frozen gummies, maybe some compassion (but who really knows) and a number of other things that I find important but you, reader, probably do not.

I’d like to thank Marissa McClain, my co-pilot, without whom I surely would have crumbled months ago. It’s been an honor to work alongside you, Mack, and I am so looking forward to seeing what you do with all your potential. Trust that I’ll be cheering you on.

Next, my predecessors Max Collins and Samuel Wolson for being the best friends, inspirations and supporters anyone could ever have, and for inadvertently shaping the trajectory of the rest of my life.

Photo babies — continue to make me proud, and outdo everything I ever did at this paper. You all have the ability. To this year’s class of editors, I say thank you. I am humbled and grateful for having worked so closely with all of you. And Zach Meisner, you brought me into this world, cheers to you on my way out. You’re the greatest.

Finally, to my family, especially my parents, Tammy and Clive, who have never stopped encouraging me to become the best version of myself. I owe the two of you everything. It’s been a pleasure. God bless. Jed Moch.

Emily Orley
Co-Editorial Page Editor

Most people don't understand how you can devote so much of your time and self to the Daily. How you can sacrifice half your weekend because you're in the newsroom all day on Sundays. How you can spend Thursday nights editing instead of being at a bar. How you can use the back couches as a bed when you have the flu because you can’t call in sick. I can't explain how I've done it, I just know why: I love this place.

When I entered 420 Maynard for the first time three years ago, I honestly had no idea how special this institution would become to me. I wasn’t determined to be an accomplished journalist, I was simply looking for something to be involved in on campus; little did I know I had wandered into the place that would define my college career.

Michelle, when we sat in Amers last fall and decided we wanted to take on the opinion page, we didn’t really know each other and we definitely had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. But through it all we figured out a way to produce a page every day and become best friends. I wouldn't do one thing differently, and I wouldn't do this job with any other person but you. Thank you for always knowing exactly what I was thinking before I ever even said anything.

To everyone that helped me, taught me, pushed me, laughed with me and tracked down athletes or movie stars with me (there are too many to list and you know who you are), thank you.

To the Daily, I could never fully demonstrate my gratitude for all you have given to me. I learned more about history, society and myself within these walls than I ever could have sitting in a classroom. I feel unbelievably fortunate to have worked here for three years and to be leaving with remarkable memories and friends, and a few great bylines.

It's been a hell of a ride. At times it seemed like it had gone on far too long, but now that it’s over I realize it has gone by far too quickly.

Kevin Raftery
Senior Sports Editor

Within the last year, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime.
Twice.

For those keeping score at home, that’s two more times than I’ve won an IM sports championship at Michigan. I know, I know, I’m shocked too. No one is happy about this.
But back to those opportunities.

The first came when Michigan golfer Lion Kim qualified for the grand-daddy of all professional golf tournaments, The Masters.

Since I had covered Kim and the men’s golf team during my sophomore and junior years, I got to go on a week-long trip to Augusta. With an all-access media pass. For FREE.

When I look back and think about it, my face turns red and I start sweating from excitement. Though considering I’m a red head, that happens a lot.

I worked alongside some of the best sports writers in the world, talked to players like Zach Johnson, KJ Choi, Davis Love III, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson.

When Charl Schwartzel hit that final birdie putt on the 18th hole to win it, I sat in the media bleachers next to the LA Times’s Bill Plaschke and watched it all unfold.

The second opportunity didn’t come long after, when I was given a chance to cover the Michigan football team. If you would’ve told me at this time last year that I’d be preparing to go to New Orleans to cover the Wolverines at the Sugar Bowl, I would’ve told you that you’re on crack and you should seek immediate medical attention.
Yet somehow, here I am.

And I owe it all to the Daily.

To Tim, Nez, Spar and Florek, thank you for having enough confidence in me to give me a shot at the football beat. This whole year has been incredible.

To Everett and Caitlin, aka the greatest women’s basketball beat of all-time, there’s nobody else I’d rather go to a McDonalds in the middle of nowhere with other than you.

To John Lowe, who helped keep me from going into a full-panic as I tried to finish my feature on the Ohio State rivalry a couple weeks ago, thank you.

Thank you to all the editors, who made my worst articles readable and my best articles better.
Thank you to everybody else at the Daily, even if I never met you.

And maybe most of all, thank you to anyone who’s ever read my work. All six of you (Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Sara and Phil) have been my inspiration ever since I set foot in the Daily.

It’s sad to say goodbye to a place that I’ve spent so much time at, put so much work into and made so many memories at for the last two and a half years.

But hold back the tears, there’s some happy news too.

Five-on-five IM basketball is right around the corner. I’ve still got one last shot.

David Riva
Daily Arts Writer

The truth is, I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said. But as an awkward freshman music nerd with no outlet for my unhealthy obsessions with the Hold Steady and Bruce Springsteen, the Daily was a dream come true. After all, the late nights, the press passes, compromised ethics, my mediocre writing, editing errors, design mistakes, and that stupid style guide (please leave the Oxford comma in for once) were all just minor details. It's the people that have always kept me coming back to the second floor of 420 Maynard St. throughout some of the most incredible years of my life.

Tim Rohan
Co-Managing Sports Editor

It has taken me two days of thinking and way too much time spent on replaying memories to write this senior goodbye. All you need to know is I’m very sentimental and have a great memory. I’m not bragging — it’s a dangerous combo.

My head hurts. My heart aches. My stomach is in knots. Disturbed, I have accepted the fact I cannot possibly express just how much the Daily shaped me, how some days I hated it or how it was the best decision I ever made.

If you’re into long ramblings that mean more to the writer than anyone else, keep reading — you probably like my work.

What I keep coming back to is this moment two years ago when then-Managing Sports Editor Andy Reid, a guy I idolized, was working his last night at the Daily.

He was probably imbibing and causing a raucous of some sort, it being his last night. And I remember how I just didn’t want to leave. I made up excuses and just hung out, because I didn’t want to see Andy go.

As it’s now my turn to leave, I think that’s what I’ll cherish most: the people and the moments.

I’ve come to peace that I’ll leave the building behind. Covering Michigan sports is behind me too. But remembering the people will bring tears.

To Andy and the rest of those upperclassmen — Peej, Ruth, Mike, Courtney, Nate and Feldman — thanks for breaking down a terrible sportswriter’s writing (mine) and making him decide this is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. (Congratulations?)

Life is short, I realized. I should do what I love.

You guys accepted me into your Daily — made it my home too, somewhere between my failed banner theft at the 2009 NCAA Tournament (Andy’s idea) and getting Ruth interrogated after I left the car lights off later that night. You didn’t have to let me in and for that I thank you.

To Joe, Ryan, Nicole, Six-Star, Chantel, Chaj and Roger, you are some of my closest friends, believe it or not. And I’d still be a piss-poor writer if it weren’t for each of you.

Joe, every conversation we had made me a better person. I wouldn’t be hurdling anyone if it wasn’t for you. Nicole, you were one of the few people who was always honest with me. That, I learned to appreciate. And Ryan, we’ve been through it all, man — three years on the same beats. Don’t tell them anything.

To you three (mainly Joe), I was Timmy, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I felt like I was on top-of-the-world covering the football team with you guys.

We made it our Daily. Then your time came.

I’ll see yah at the top again.

To Florek, I always know the next song you’re going to play is City High’s “What Would you do.” Without you, I wouldn’t know hockey, I wouldn’t have a friend who can break dance and I wouldn’t have challenged myself.

Nesbitt and Raftery, you too — your talent refused to let me get complacent.

To Spar, it was good while it lasted. I wish we could’ve covered a team together.

To Jed and Marissa, you guys made this place fun when it wasn’t. Don’t ever change.

We had a good run, didn’t we?

Kavi, I hope years down the road we’ll reminisce about our 4-0 record against the State News.

To Burns and Pyzik, you two proved I can have more than one best friend. I’ll always remember to “money it, kid,” and our nights at the spot or our late-nights at Denny’s.

Thanking my friends is expected, but if I really did gain perspective I should’ve thanked these people first:

To Patches, thanks for the edits. Thanks for believing.

Mom, thanks for believing. Thanks for everything.

To Grandma and Grandpa, thanks for being my biggest fans. I’m still writing a column every other week next semester, so there’s more to come.

But this feels like the end because this Daily is no longer mine. The people I shared it with are gone.

To Everett, Neal, Helfand, Bauschelt, Slovin, Wasserman and Liz, I know someday you’ll stop, look around, and see what this place did for you. I hope I was your Andy Reid. I hope you were each other’s Joe’s and Ryan’s and Nicole’s and Florek’s and Spar’s.

On my last night, I sat down in the Daily’s conference room to take a photo with the seniors I am so proud to have worked with. I smiled wide. Awaiting me at the sports desk was Ian Sheets, an on-again, off-again sophomore sports writer, who hadn’t written all semester.

He had come in just to see me on my last night.

We sat and talked about life.

Kavi Shekhar Pandey
Senior Arts Editor

Greatest Hits:

#5 - The first time I saw my byline in print.

#4 - Going undefeated against State News with my main man Tim Rohan.

#3 - Interviewing, transcribing and writing the IASA show article in one night with the help of Dave Watnick and David Riva.

#2 - Working with the Film Squad all-stars: Emily Boudreau, Jennifer "Bright Star" Xu and Andrew Lapin (thanks for the inception, by the way).

#1 - Spending every Dark Night and G Night with Sharon Jacobs and the two best subedtiors in the business, Proma Khosla and Emma Gase.

Thanks everybody.

Ankur Sohoni
Daily Arts Writer

Thank you to everyone who has been so generous in my time at the Daily – Sharon, Kavi, David, and the rest of Arts. Much of what I’ve learned I can’t express any better than I tried to do one semester ago, in my last article as Daily Film Columnist: “while we wish it could last forever, we should realize that our film is important because it doesn’t last forever.” My time at the Daily has been limited, and as I look back on the past year and a half, my words, articles and meetings tend to blur together; the stack of papers coalesces. I’ll remember the moments and the people who have made 420 Maynard and the Daily so grand. Simply, it’s been a pleasure to work at so welcoming a place.

Nick Spar
Managing Editor

Let’s be real — this isn’t my goodbye. My goodbye will come in the form of a 176-page book I helped produce. The book covers the 132-year history of the Michigan football program from the pages of the Daily, and it will hit bookstores in September.

That’s right, the Daily just broke news in a senior goodbye. And even more shocking — considering how infrequently my byline has appeared over the last three years — I broke news, period.

Stephanie Steinberg
Editor in Chief

In October 2008, Amy Parlapiano and I stumbled back in Alice Lloyd at 5 a.m. from my first Michigan Daily elections, which started at 5 p.m. — and were still going. Delirious from the lack of sleep, I vowed I would never run to be editor in chief.

I’m glad I ignored my freshman self.

To the editor in chiefs before me: Only you all know the blessings and curses of this job. Thank you for helping to craft this place into what it is today.

Mom, Dad and Lindsay: Thanks for not getting upset when I couldn’t come to family events or when I had to leave dinner to edit a story. Many parents try to dissuade their kids from going into this precarious field, but thank you for realizing this is my dream and doing everything you can to help me achieve it.

To my high school journalism teacher Nikki Schueller: Thank you for planting this passion for journalism in me and believing in me. The only reason I’ve edited every story in purple this year is because of you.

At the end of it all, I’m still amazed that a group of 18, 19, 20 and 21 year olds can dictate the news each day. To all current and future Daily staff, never underestimate the value of that power and editorial freedom.

Devon Thorsby
Deputy Statement Editor

With graduation and the "real world" inevitably getting closer, it's comforting to know that I will be able to take the experience and memories that the Daily has given me. I can't imagine what my college experience would have been like if the Daily weren't a major part of my years here, and I'm glad I don't have to. For everything that I gave to the Daily (mainly hours that would have otherwise been given to sleep), it has given back to me twofold in the friendships I've made, the skills I've learned and the potential I can now see in myself as well as others. All I can give the Daily now is my thanks. HAGS, never change.

Elyana Twiggs
Deputy Statement Editor

I walked into The Michigan Daily conference room for a mass meeting and couldn't find a seat. I was a measly, frightened freshman, looking for a way to meet friends, join a student group, and write. Three and a half years later, I have come to the conclusion that writing for the Daily has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my college career. From writing about the election of a new MSA president to talking to disabled Graduate Student Instructors about their perspective, the articles I have written have transported me to places I never imagined. Working for The Statement has been both stressful and rewarding, and I thank my fellow editors for everything they have taught me.

Being a part of something like the Daily has taught me accountability, independence, and how to eradicate some mystery that others can sometimes overlook. The amount of experience is more than any classroom could provide, and the friends that have resulted have been some of the best.

The thin packet of paper that comes out every day has been more than just a job in college — it has been a piece of my heart that I will carry for the rest of my life. Thank you Michigan Daily, thank you 420 Maynard, and thank you newspapers.


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