That’s right, it’s time for the year end wrap up. My final opportunity as editor in chief to subject our readership to, well, whatever I want.
Of course I am supposed to offer my gratitude and appreciation for the tremendous efforts of our staff of writers and photographers for their excellence this semester.
But that’s a given.
This has simply been the finest group I have had the pleasure to work with in my three semesters with the Campus Times. I am only half as successful as they make me look.
Come next Thursday, I will not know what to do with myself without Bailey, Chrissy, Max, Valerie, Melissa, Amanda, Eric and Elizabeth to endure hours of stress with as we try to put together a newspaper for you to read and, perhaps, enjoy.
We practically live together in this newsroom, developing creative new ways to stay in shape through competitive chair racing and the occasional tabletop dance routine.
Not quite what I anticipated when I enrolled.
When I first started this daily commute to La Verne two years ago, I had little idea of what to expect.
Actually, that’s a lie.
Growing up around Los Angeles, I considered Pasadena to be the geographical threshold of anything relevant or interesting.
From the other end of the San Gabriel Valley, the 210 Freeway was my link to downtown debauchery, culture on the West Side and club life in Hollywood.
Going the other way, the freeway ended just before it entered La Verne proper, as if Caltrans shared my snobbery by snubbing the city.
But who would go the other way? Cow country. Orange groves and hot rods.
If anything, I find a peculiar delight in being proven wrong about something. And I was wrong about La Verne.
Needing a degree, it was the journalism program that piqued my curiosity, but not the school itself, and certainly not its students. And the program is indeed impressive.
Instead of abstract academia, I have had the opportunity to work with reporters, editors and other media professionals.
Real people from the real world.
The plan was to get in and out as fast as possible, get my piece of paper and get on with life.
Now that the end is nigh, I find myself getting downright… sentimental.
For someone who is accustomed to operating on the fringes, I have come uncomfortably close to feeling like a part of something.
The students and faculty here have become, much to my surprise, friends.
They have tolerated my relentless provocation and acerbic comments. Endured my low-blood sugar rants and beyond-innapropriate sense of humor. Exposed as a fraud my cavalier and occasionally anti-social veneer.
And although it has taken two years, I think I understand now what the University is about.
Despite its problems, growing pains, squabbles and occasional pettiness, I’ve been able to see through my filter of cynicism to realize the University of La Verne is indeed something special. Even if it sometimes forgets this itself.
And I’ve learned one thing that has come as a complete surprise. Made one important realization this semester. In the end, I am indeed a Leopard.
Kenneth Todd Ruiz, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.