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GETTING CROWDED IN THERE: Tai Wesley secures a loose ball in the Aggies' hard-fought victory over NMSU. Click the Sports Index for story and photos. / Photo by Seili Lewis

Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 14, 2008

A newspaper creed:

"An institution that should always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty."

-- The New York World, 1883

Goodbye, Aggies, it's time to move on

By Michael Sharp

December 3, 2007 | Four assignments, three after I turn this one in, and two final exams left. The countdown is on with two weeks left in my Aggie career.

Not that I haven't enjoyed my time here at Utah State. Overall I have pleasant feelings when it comes to my experience in Logan. I've had good professors, great friends, and have learned a lot. I'll openly admit that I love the spot where the sagebrush grows. However, I know that the timing is right for my departure, and I am anxious to move forward.

It's like when I finally decided that I had outgrown my woobie. It's not that I suddenly felt like I was too cool for my mucus-stained, mostly frayed, skeleton of a blanket. I was in high school now, and it was time to move on. Just like the woobie, there are many reasons why I feel like it is time for me to move forward from my days at Utah State University.

One reason for my urge to leave is that the number of people on campus that I know is becoming more than I am comfortable with. Not that I am anything close to a social butterfly, but after three and a half years of living in Logan, I am familiar with way too many people. I'm constantly rearranging my route to classes so that I don't have to pretend not to see the girl from one of my 30 or so classes I've taken here, or that kid from church that I can't remember his name, or people that I used to work with, or people I randomly see at Wal-Mart every once in awhile and then see on campus and can't figure out where I know them from.

It's getting a little ridiculous. It seems wherever I go I'll see someone I barely know out of the corner of my eye and then the thought always comes, "well you should just be friendly." Then the voice of reason tells me that I barely know them, and so I should just put my head down and not look up. Most the time I go with the voice of reason, but sometimes I get confused and just start smiling awkwardly at the ground.

I know that it must be time to leave, because I am becoming increasingly and irritatingly aware of my surroundings. Lately I've become very environmentally aware. Not that I recycle or anything, but I've just been more keen on noticing my ambiance. This has caused me to do things like not cut corners over the grass because I don't like to leave ugly brown spots all over campus, except for that spot of grass where the Merrill Library used to be that I like to pretend still holds the Merrill Library and I'm just walking through walls. This new practice of mine is making my treks to class seconds longer than they used to take. It's pretty annoying.

I've also recently tried to cut down on my carbon dioxide emissions, which makes breathing kind of difficult. I've tried to do my part in solving our valley's water shortage problems, but apparently not showering is an unappreciated practice in Logan. I've also begun to reduce and reuse, but to my dismay the reduction of the deodorant that I use, and the reusing of socks without washing them, has been the cause of some dirty looks while walking the halls of the TSC.

I think that I've unfortunately become more self-aware as well. College may have just made me a little more mature than I was ready for. For example, I don't even like to join into the hilariously juvenile chants in the Spectrum anymore. I used to love the incredibly well synchronized "air ball" chant the fans would use to remind the opposing team's players of their past blunders whenever they touched the ball. Now I'm so self-conscious that I can't even enjoy a good "stupid!" or "you suck!" chant. Growing up is tough on the fun factor.

Because of this newfound awareness that cripples the freedoms of ignorance I once enjoyed, I've decided that it must be time for me to move on. In a short time I'll be leaving for the greener grasses of Columbus, Ohio, for graduate school, where I don't know anybody that I need to pretend not to see, and I can hopefully lose myself in buckeye chocolates in an attempt to forget all about environmental and self awareness. I'm only three more assignments and two finals away.


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