“Hello, I must be going”
Tradition dictates that the last editorial is a farewell from the Editor-in-Chief, or Executive Editor, as it was known when I started. As my first Executive Editor wrote in his sendoff piece, “I would like to depart from that tradition in no way at all”.
My Sil story starts in 2011. I picked up my first paper in the Commons building after the Vanier Cup win and I was hooked. The product had a style to it, with inside jokes that I wasn’t totally a part of yet, but I was desperate to understand. It wasn’t until then-Sports Editor Fraser Caldwell and I followed each other on Twitter and he asked if I wanted to write. I would never have joined the Sil if my boy Fraser had not sent me a message.
I was hired as a paid staff for the 2012-2013 edition and I was in the tank for the Sil culture. I loved the history of the place and I wanted to know everything. The staff indulged me, and told me all the stories, ranging from the late nights to boardroom fights.
Six years later, and a lot has changed. I am the last Silhouette staff member to have ever contributed to the broadsheet era, and I realize that most readers won’t know what broadsheet is. We used to be the size of a Toronto Star or Globe and Mail. It was stupid; we stayed up until 3 a.m. (at least) most weeks to make the product. The line between stupid and fun is a thin one when you’re working with your friends doing something you love for the first time in your life.
I was one of those kids who felt no gratification through education. I thought a lot of it was meaningless, and that my work wasn’t making any kind of a difference. And shit, I was only writing about sports, so I know it wasn’t earth-shattering journalism. I knew people were reading, though. Coaches would make comments, I’d get the odd tweet about a piece. It wasn’t always positive and it shouldn’t have been. I got things wrong or came down too hard on something. The thing with print media is that it’s permanent, and you have to learn to live with the mistakes.
The Silhouette provided something that I hope all students can find during their undergrad: a home. I threw myself into the paper and followed university sports passionately and no one ever asked why I cared so much about something that few students are even aware of. They embraced it.
I’ve outgrown this home, and that’s okay. Someone else can move in. I need new challenges and a change of scenery. I just hope wherever I go next, I’ll be lucky enough to meet the people who are as accepting and passionate as the Sil staff I’ve worked with.
Father Time is undefeated, and my time at the Silhouette is up. That’s okay; I’m happy with what I’ve done. Every hour I’ve spent here – especially the ones spent missing class – has been worth it.
In the words of Gord Downie, “If I had a wish, I’d wish for more of this.”