Goodbye Column

GOODBYE COLUMN -- Columnist Laurelie Holmberg leaps for joy as graduation approaches.

Celisia Snakenberg

GOODBYE COLUMN — Columnist Laurelie Holmberg leaps for joy as graduation approaches.

Laurelie Holmberg, Columnist

Over the years, I have made many interesting choices in my life. Some choices were made spur of the moment, while others I pondered for months. I tend to be a very rational person, often weighing out the good and bad or pros and cons of any situation. In school, I generally stick to what I know, what will get the grades I need, and what will yield the admiration of the staff. However, every once in a while, I seem to get bored of my mundane life and seek for something new. My junior year of high school presented me with something new; it was the year I was asked to join journalism.

Mr. Cantrell, the head advisor of the Central Digest, approached me one day after English; he had a question for me about something he felt strongly about. He went on to explain how the columnist position for the Central Digest meant so much to him because he hand-picked who would fill the place year after year. He expressed so much love and admiration for the position that I could not help but feel as if he saw something in me I had not yet seen in myself. Shortly after, he asked if I would join the Digest and I agreed. I had never written a story before, or even considered journalism as an option, yet, I yearned for something new.

I recount all this in hopes to show how truly new I am to this field. When I walked in the first day, it felt as if all the students around me were more passionate and dedicated to the news of Central High than I was. I look back and laugh on that day because I remember driving home and worrying over how to tell Mr. Cantrell I was not made for this course. I believed that I was going to let him down. True to my inner feelings, my first story was interesting, to say the least, nothing spectacular. It was a stitched together, oddly placed, misshapen outline of a girl who was walking into the unknown.

Throughout the year, I continued on this awkward path of figuring things out as I went. I would get a crazy idea for a column that I was sure would get shut down, yet my dedicated teacher would always nod and tell me to run with it. I could not for the life of me understand why he supported the crazy stories, none of which I felt as if deserved any attention. However, I started to realize if I really put actual effort in and attempted to present Central news, I was doing what Cantrell had asked. I could not claim myself as the best, but in some way, I was working with what I had, and he appreciated that. This was also around the time I started to see what he noticed in me from the beginning: dedication.

Although this was my only year on the Digest, I cannot discredit my enormous dedication to this column. I have immensely enjoyed working on it and improving my stories as I grew in journalism. I spent countless hours interviewing and reviewing ideas for articles. I went to sporting events I would have never ventured to for the support and continuation of this paper’s great name. It might sound crazy, but I truly started to feel attached to this class. I hoped maybe something good was coming out of my work, and that someone enjoyed reading what I had to say. Which, in some sense, that is true, I think it is what all journalists revel in; the idea that someone looks forward to seeing their work.

Not only was the thought of people appreciating my work what pushed me forward this year, but it was also the wonderful people I met that continued to inspire me. Through interviews and photo shoots, I got to meet students and staff at Central I would have never spoken to in my everyday life. Their kindness and support touched me in many ways and I am truly grateful. I was also pleasantly surprised when Mr. Cantrell granted me the Luther Masengil Journalist of the Year Award. Every year, I had seen this award presented at the school’s annual Academic Award Ceremony, so I assumed only the best of the best deserved it. It was a prestigious award in journalism, so one can imagine my surprise when my name was called. I was further touched when my classmates expressed how much they believed I deserved the award. To this day, I still cannot fathom how highly they regard me as a writer.

So, it is with great sadness, yet also with great pleasure I say my final goodbye to my fellow staff members and readers. I could go on for pages about each article and how much each staff member meant to me throughout this year, but sadly I just do not have the time. However, I will leave some final truths about myself, which hopefully may bring smiles to the ones that have made this journey possible.

It is true I wish to thank every reader who read every article, even after the disaster, which was my first column.

It is true I had an amazing staff that gave me the love and support I needed to write my stories. I respect each of them to the highest regard and a special thank you to Preston Fore, my Editor in Chief, the one who always put up with more than he should have.

It is true the Central Digest has given me the ability to express myself and reach an audience I did not know I could through writing.

Most of all, it is true that I cannot thank Greg Cantrell enough for the potential he saw in a student who would never have seen said potential in herself.