Well, it looks like it’s finally that time. After four years and two majors, I’ve run out of ways to remain a student here at UCSB. It’s all right. I’ve lived a good college life. I have walked among the broletariat and the brougeoisie, sampled the expensive — yet filling — taste of Freebirds’ nachos and have heard at least three jokes from Pirate. I have loved, lost, loved again, played pool, ‘won’ at Gaucho Ball and gone to Extravaganza. (Not this year though. Cee Lo was at Coachella. Meh is all I can truly say.) I’ve built tables, climbed rock walls, been chased by a skunk through a field and watched the waves crash onto the shore in the moonlight. I did the 50 Club twice. I also went to classes and labs, of course, and received a top-notch chemistry and philosophy education at a constantly escalating price that I probably won’t miss too much. The price, that is.
And most importantly, I did what far too few UCSB students do: I worked for the Daily Nexus.
In my time at the Nexus, I was a staff writer, Copy Chief and an assortment of other jobs we never really made names for (you could say I was delocalized around the paper). The area of the Nexus with which I have the strongest bond, and the first I will address, is the Science page.
When the question “Who here is a science major?” was posed during a writer’s meeting, my hand was one of approximately two that shot up. Science majors do not get into journalism enough. Maybe it’s the stereotypical obsession with numbers and logic instead of words and meaning. Many prospective journalists also seem to avoid science writing for the same reason. However, not only is it a fallacy to think that all scientists are bad writers and all writers are bad scientists, but working for Science is really a great opportunity to go around campus, learn about various research groups and synthesize that knowledge into a somewhat universally readable article.
I truly feel that I learned more science while interviewing professors about their research than I did in lectures (I learned a greater or equal amount in labs, but there is a certain necessity of knowledge when there’s a deadly chemical or two staring at you — figuratively of course). In addition to my coursework, I learned about stem cells, nanoparticle drug delivery, quantum mechanics, marine biology, evolutionary psychology, bioinorganic chemistry and so, so much more. UCSB is an amazing campus with multitudes of great research going on, and it is within a student’s power to become a part of said research.
My best day — and the day that fulfilled my entire existence at the Nexus — was when a good friend of mine told me that one of my stories had inspired him to join a research group on campus. I mean, there are definitely other things that have fulfilled my stay with the Daily Nexus, but I must admit that is probably one of my most inspirational ones. So our Science page, in all of its nerdy glory, has at least one case of great success originating from its readership. That’s enough for me.
I hand off my Science baton (it’s really an Erlenmeyer flask) to Tiare Hoegerman and Olivia Cvitanic, who have significant empirical evidence of great science-editing ability, and I am sure will continue the page’s tradition of providing the student populace with news about recent studies and other scientific goings-on around UCSB. I wish them the best, and I hope they also take the time to write their names in amino acid chains somewhere — I know I did. I would also like to thank Sabrina Ricci for first yanking me from the news-writing pool to write for Science and Mackenzie Weinger, our former editor in chief, for allowing Science to return as a full section during her reign. It’s been great.
While this farewell is located on the Science page, I would be a total douche if I did not thank the unsung heroes of the Daily Nexus, the Copy staff, for their hard work and detail-orientation this year. These bad-ass biatches (hey, those were both in the Styleguide) have constantly been working in the background, ensuring that each day’s edition does not look or read like something a drunk freshman put together nine minutes before his or her (or hir) GE class. Not that the Nexus would look like such a thing without the Copy staff’s intervention, but that’s what they are trained to deal with if need be. It’s a thankless but utterly vital job, and I am proud of each and every person who has served with me. Yes, even you, broseidon. You know who you are. I would like to thank Caldin and Katie, who will be running the show next year, and the rest of the Copy staff: Alexandra, Alyssa, Clare, John, Jana, Kathleen, Kelton, Briana, Sanaz, Dana, Sara, Kayla, Donna and outgoing editor in chief Elliott Rosenfeld (hey, he’s Copy too!) for a year full of excitement and the systematic elimination of all the Oxford commas and dangling modifiers we could find. I would also like to thank Emelie, who was Copy Chief before me, for making sure that our staff could spot and annihilate an en dash (–) impersonating an em dash (—) from 500 yards without breaking a sweat.
To the rest of the staff, you guys are awesome. Elliott, you have been our supreme leader, and a damn good one at that. You will always be a friend of Copy. Maane, Erika, Madison, Jenna and Garik, you guys are all awesome. Ravi and Mark, it’s people like you that make me like sports. Ian and Kiki, your art is amazing. Jon and Aaron, you guys have done great work with photo. Lexi, you are definitely going to go far. Amanda, we couldn’t have done this paper without you. Like, at all. Without all of you, in fact.
I had prepared a thank you for Michael, but that would just be too mainstream. (Just kidding bro, it’s been one hell of a year. I know that you were into thank yous before they were cool.)
And Katherine: I wish I could stay another year and be a part of your administration, because it’s going to be a great year. Best of luck to you, and keep in touch!
Thank you to all my advisers, professors and writers. I look back on UCSB not with regret, but rather forward with anticipation. Mostly because I’m so damn sick of studying and doing assignments all the time.
Science Editor, Chief Copy Editor