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Editorial

Auf wiedersehen

Farewell columns can get a bit dicey. They tend to fall into one of a few camps: a tearful goodbye to the readership, a vision for the future of the publication or an attempt at sage wisdom supposedly hard-earned over years in print media. Yet I cannot help but feel that two-and-a-half years of work at The Cascade doesn’t exactly qualify me for any of these options.

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By Nick Ubels (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: May 8, 2013

Farewell columns can get a bit dicey.

They tend to fall into one of a few camps: a tearful goodbye to the readership, a vision for the future of the publication or an attempt at sage wisdom supposedly hard-earned over years in print media. Yet I cannot help but feel that two-and-a-half years of work at The Cascade doesn’t exactly qualify me for any of these options.

I could say that it’s been a slice, and it certainly has, but with a publication the size of The Cascade, most of my interactions with readers have been limited to occasional email correspondence or people popping by the office. The kind of report most columnists write of is one built up over the course of years and years of regular columns and snowballing feedback. I’ve only written 27 editorials, this one included.

And even though I’m graduating this spring, I’m not out the door quite yet. I’ll be filling in as interim opinion editor over our summer issues, which means you’ll be seeing regular opinion columns from me for the next handful of weeks anyway.

It’s like that thing where you say goodbye to someone and then realize that you’re walking away in the same direction. Awkward as fuck.

As for what the future of The Cascade holds, that’s something best left to my successor, Dessa Bayrock. I’ll be providing some feedback, but as soon as I finish writing this piece, it’s the new editorial board’s ship to steer.

Finally: sage wisdom. Tales of journalism lore. Big mistakes and big lessons. I could tell you that it always pays to ask or that it’s better to check your facts thoroughly than have to backtrack, but these are things I’ve learned through experience, not because someone just told me. To be honest, I’m pretty uncomfortable with the whole idea of broad, vague advice at most stages in life, let alone now. I’m only 23, after all. What do I know?

Of course there’s lots of specific, media-related things I could offer, but they are so particularly-suited to media nerds that I would risk alienating most of our readership.

Here’s my moment of truthful, maybe embarrassing honesty: the editorial was the part of the job that I was most anxious about when I first applied. I’m pleased with much of what I’ve managed to produce, but as anyone in the office can tell you, it has been one of the biggest sources of stress for me to compose something that will lead off the paper during the height of the production cycle. It’s that one thing that’s always creeping over my shoulder, demanding my attention when I’d much rather be working with Tony Biondi on cover art.

There’s something about this space that, to me, demands a certain kind of article a little different than your regular opinion column. It has to somehow tie in to the issue, but not in a superficial, promote our publication kind of way; that’s what the blurbs at the top of this page are for.

What I’ll say is this: engage with this space.

A lot of care and attention goes into putting together the editorial to provide as close to a highlighted column as we can offer. Some are funny, some political, some anecdotal, but hopefully, there’s something for you to take away, chew on, respond to.

You’re unlikely to see a direct appeal to let us know what you think, but it is always implied. So write an email, drop a line, stay in touch. Make this a place to publicly hash out ideas and issues raised, because that’s our entire reason to be here.

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