News Editor reflects on Washburn experience

This week set off a chain of “lasts” in my college career.  Last classes, last piano lesson, last newspaper and last week of finals. I’m going to miss Washburn. I’m going to miss my piano teacher, James Rivers, who is not only proficient in piano, but in life wisdom. At times when I would get frustrated with a piece of music, he always had great advice. I think I learned as much about life from him as I did piano technique.

“Don’t get so caught up in the struggle that you become moody,” he told me one day when I was particularly frustrated that my fingers kept tripping over each other in disharmony. Perfect advice for a stressed out college student.

I’m going to miss my mass media teachers. Kathy Menzie was one of the reasons I added mass media as a second major. She was the first one (besides my mom, of course) to see that I had potential in the mass media field and helped me gain confidence in my writing. Regina Cassell and Maria Stover have both been so supportive and I’m going to miss their advice and encouragement, as well.

I’m going to miss the Washburn Review staff. Robert Burkett has taught me so much about the field of journalism, and I am so grateful he gave me the opportunity to work for the Review. I’ve been lucky to have the Review staff as my friends and coworkers. It’s been a fun year, especially going to the Kansas Association of Collegiate Press conference in April. We had fun. Enough said.

Of course, I can’t look back on my college career without acknowledging the very important presence of my parents and husband. My mom and dad have always, always been there for me. From supporting me all three times I changed my degree, to helping me with late night study sessions, they were there.

I’m sure it was not easy for my husband, Brandon, to share me with Washburn. Over the last four years, he has been my rock. College has been a hurricane of events and Brandon has been my calm in the middle of it all.

With the excitement of graduating, there is one voice that I wish I could hear cheering my name as I walk across the stage to receive my diploma. Of course my incredibly supportive husband, parents, sisters, in-laws and friends will be there, but one major voice will be missing. My grandpa, Gene Sullivan, was one of the main reasons I went to college. As an English teacher, his love for learning touched everything he did, including his family. He lived frugally and saved enough money to help each of his grandchildren pay for college. He was the editor-in-chief of his college newspaper, and it would have been fun to share stories.

Even though I miss him immensely, I know I am making him proud. A valuable lesson he taught me is that learning and growth doesn’t stop with school. It’s a lifelong process. Even though I will miss my friends, my teachers, the Washburn Review staff and my SAI sisters, it will be amazing to see where we all go from here. There is a lot more learning to do.