At least it’s not toilet paper…

Zach Evans

Editor’s Note: The opinions and language presented in this article are of the author and not that of The Shield.

As the school year comes to end I can’t help but think I am somehow obligated to offer the readers some sappy sentimental reflection piece: a look back on they year if you will.

Fuck that.

The year’s been long and unyielding so I openly embrace the semester’s end, even if it means the end of my job as Editor-In-Chief of this remarkable newspaper.

I do, however, want to share some of the simple things that kept me going this year.

Take for example the simple joy of seeing people around campus reading a newspaper that you are not only a part of but also the editor.

To be honest, just seeing a student reading something makes me happy.

 It is a double-edged sword though; not every reader liked what they read or agreed with what we printed.

Hell, I doubt the average reader even gets through every article in an issue.

Studies show that the average newspaper reader only reads a few inches of text of a given article, which means most of you will stop here if you didn’t already stop at the ‘fuck that.’

It seems some people forget this is a student-run newspaper, meaning we are newspaper – staffed with individuals still learning the trade.

We make mistakes, but we learn from every one of them.

Outside of the editorial staff, the majority of writers for The Shield are freshmen.

Having a virgin, wide-eyed staff is another simple joy I’ve experienced this year.

Their eagerness to excel and their passion for a career path that critics say is a ‘dying industry’ has been amazingly refreshing.

These young writers are not only the future of The Shield, but also the future of journalism. Knowing I had some part in their journalistic preparation for the real world delights me.

Working with students on this newspaper is amazing but the final simple joy I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing this year is one I experience every time mother nature calls.

Often I walk into the restroom and, lo and behold, a copy of this week’s Shield is visible on the ground.

Let me just say, there’s something oddly validating about seeing the newspaper you helped create lying by a stall on the floor of the bathroom.

That means somebody used the part of their day in which they have the most peace and privacy and they read our newspaper.

That’s pretty bitchin’ if you ask me. I mean, it could be worse; at least it’s not toilet paper.

The year has been long and hard, but I still wish to offer thanks to every reader of The Shield, especially those still reading this particular article.

Look out for next year’s Shield; the new staff will serve the students and the USI community with great passion.