By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
I Am The Enemy
Freshmen have invaded my section in Chapel.
Oh, wait. Sorry – wrong column.
Ending my final Optimist column with the same lead as my first adds a nice sense of closure to my time here, time spent defending unpopular arguments, alienating certain groups on campus (freshman class of 2004, Galaxy, Republicans, etc), and making Don Morris my permanent residence.
Looking back, I cringe at some of my columns from the past two years, realizing now they aren’t half as great as I thought they were back then. Imagine publishing every paper you wrote minutes before it was due and you’ll have a glimpse into the terror that we face each issue. However, I stand by my opinions and have relished the opportunity to serve as a student voice on campus.
My opinions and views have changed radically during the past four years, and one thing is clear: I don’t know if there has ever been a more important time to be good at what I do.
That’s actually a line from a West Wing episode, which again shows how everything I value in my life is related to Aaron Sorkin, the show’s creator. The quote is from a reporter who’s tired of his peers complaining about the scandals and nonsense stories they cover, “as if the news was to blame for the quality of journalism.”
The country’s climate was much different when I declared my major as journalism than it is now, when I will earn my degree.
Four years ago, we were still reeling from the effects of Sept. 11, which swelled our national pride, and we weren’t at war. Now, George “The Decider” Bush’s dismal approval ratings reflect a different scenario, but an underlying force of fear is still at work in our country. Too many people are willing to sacrifice personal freedoms for security, and not enough are willing to serve as a voice for the voiceless.
Writing for the paper has encouraged me to take a stand for the issues I believe in and solidified my belief that I and other Christians are called to excellence in all that we do.
Our nation’s headlines concern terrorism, the genocide in Darfur, torture, illegal wiretapping, CIA leak investigations, immigration laws and rising energy costs. It’s a serious time for serious people, and those with a voice can’t remain silent and never take our First Amendment rights for granted.
It’s been a privilege writing for you, whether it was a news story, column, editorial or critical review. Thanks to my friends and family, as well as my extended Optimist family, for standing by me throughout everything, and thank you to the JMC department and my professors for preparing me for the road ahead, wherever it may lead.
What little advice I can give to those still here: spend a semester away from Abilene; surround yourself with people who don’t always agree with you; take as many electives as you can, especially those outside of your major or college; skip Chapel as much as possible; take a philosophy class; be good and do Good; seek justice.
Thanks for reading.