It’s funny, because I’ve never been that great at goodbyes (though I’d like to meet the person who’s constantly raving about how they “totally rock at goodbyes”), but I’ve always relished the soft, welcoming sappiness of the almighty yearbook. There’s something about those crisp, blank pages, sandwiching in so many corny moments and unflattering snapshots, that is somehow lost after the high school years.

Not to knock on the La Cumbre yearbook or anything, but it’s not as if we’re all sitting around Storke Plaza with glittery gel pens writing down our can’t-be-forgotten inside jokes and putting curly moustaches on the people we hated while at UCSB.

Still, this little blurb you’re reading is the last thing I’ll have published for all your hungry eyes to pore over before I snatch a barely-deserved diploma and head for the great wide yonder (a.k.a. “adulthood”). I know it’s a tad silly, but there’s just this part of me that wants one last yearbook spot. Remember how great it felt when your best friend wrote that “reserved for…” on one of the coveted, shiny back pages? Something tells me between my eventual grave plot, I probably won’t have any more entries “reserved” for me in life, unless you count the corner of the get well soon card Mom sends to Grampy after his kidney stones were removed… which I don’t.

So, I’ve taken it upon myself to turn this corner of ever-lovely Artsweek, my little baby for the last few years, into my own little yearbook page. I’ll try to limit the “don’t ever change” and “have an kick-ass summer” comments, though I must admit I am still amused by Ted C., who, in sixth grade, wrote in the area between two pages “I am the first to write in your crack.”

Oh, Ted, how right you were.

Dear Artsweek (a.k.a. A-Dub, the Paper, the Weekly Grind),

It feels so weird to be writing this right now! I can hardly believe how fast it’s all gone by! I can barely get my head around it – even if I have known this day was coming for quite a while now! All I do know is that there’s absolutely no way I would’ve made it this far without you. That’s right, you snarky devil, you! We’ve had so many amazing, exhilarating and, well, downright grueling experiences together over the last three years. It’s so strange to think about the end because you were sort of just this far-fetched notion – that is, until we met.

Ah, how I remember that day. It was the first Thursday of my freshman year, and I casually grabbed a copy of the Daily Nexus from one of the many handy dispensers located on campus. First stop: Weatherhuman. Hilarity commenced, and then, as I continued flipping,

I stopped.

There you were. Staring at me like some wild-eyed, extraterrestrial loon, stuck so slyly between the usual collection of Del Playa vomit stories and opinion articles about the Broida Expressway. You were like a diamond in the rough, so full of sass, swearing and, well, even some sex. Coming from small-town suburbia, my high school journalism experience hardly allowed me to even entertain the notion of such a publication with all its condescension and nipple placement.

So the courtship began. I would linger around the news desks, taking on mindless stories, all while waiting for you to open your door and notice me. I got bolder and left small notes inside your tucked away office/palace, suggesting ways we might meet as well as bringing you CDs I knew you’d like. I could tell you liked me, but your demanding schedule meant I was often the one hunting you down. Still, it was only a matter of time before I regularly contributed to you, offering up my yet-to-be-fine-tuned skills in the form of music, movie and concert reviews. I felt alive for the first time in ages!

Then, it was just some months before you asked me to work with you as an assistant, something I had only hoped in my heart of hearts miiiiiight happen… someday, somehow. And, voil