C’est la vie – The rocket

Joining The Rocket my senior year was both the greatest and saddest experience.

During my journey on Slippery Rock, I always felt behind and was constantly afraid to step out of my shell. It is for this reason that my trip to The Rocket is sad: I wish we had more time.

That said, The Rocket has been the greatest experience of my Slippery Rock career, and that’s not even close.

I was in Dr.’s TV Studio Production class. Fleming was yapping about sports, as I usually do, when she mentioned The Rocket to me.

At the time it was my freshman year and I felt obligated to get some organization under my belt. How selfish of me to think I would do this for myself.

The Rocket quickly became a sport: a team experience.

Tyler Howe brought me under his wing as a contributor the second half of my freshman year, and I wrote three stories with the help of him and Aidan.

After this experience, I loved the dynamic and was more than excited to apply.

Funnily enough, the email came through that I had gotten the position… as an assistant news editor.

Overjoyed and confused, I emailed Dr. Fleming back expressing my appreciation for being hired, but being confused since I applied for the athletic assistant position. To my slight relief, Dr. Fleming returned that I had indeed been hired as an assistant athlete.

From that moment on, everyone taught me something that I will carry with me forever.

From me to you,

Sarah, the bond you and I have built inside and outside the office continues to disturb me. Since you took on the position of editor-in-chief, I have felt honored to work under you. The way you lead with such confidence and charisma is admirable. For me, though, it’s our conversations outside the office that make me deeply sad to say goodbye. Your reassurance and support for me has ensured that I am in the right place and doing the right thing, something I have struggled with all my life. You taught me self-esteem.

Aidan, you are wiser beyond your years. To be honest, when I first heard that I would be working under someone two years younger than me, I didn’t know what that dynamic would be like. I quickly discovered that there was no dynamic, it was just fun. You are truly one of the smartest people I have come into contact with, and the fact that you will continue to grow is incredible. I honestly thought, “Man, I gotta get a job before this guy Aidan comes along.” It was never a competition between us. We always worked together and always came together, no matter how difficult the task was. You have taught me how to seamlessly bring the sports world into the professional world.

Eddie, your talent amazes me. I first saw your photos in my stories as a contributor and thought they were from a professional photographer. I heard that wasn’t the case and that it came from this silly guy Eddie. Eddie, it’s a pleasure to be with you. It was never a stressful environment to work with you. I always looked forward to seeing a comfortable face that would help me get through my days, and that was you. Like Aidan, I can’t wait to see where you go in life because your talent has taught me to work hard and anything can be achieved.

Katie Domaracki, from our corner conversations at print nights to seeing you succeed, brings me so much joy. You light up a room when you enter and just be yourself. I could always count on you for a laugh in stressful times, while also being one of the staff’s biggest supporters. You taught me not to let anything stress you out too much, and staying calm can go a long way.

James, you exemplify what it means to be a teammate. It took a while for us to get close, but once we did, you were my favorite person to see on a daily basis. I don’t think you understand how much joy your presence brings to people. I would often come to you stressed about something and you would say the dumbest jokes that I never saw coming to make me laugh hysterically. Besides the person you are, you are incredible at what you do. You were assigned to write some of the most difficult stories this semester and you knocked them all out of the park. You taught me never to be too serious and to keep a balanced mind, both in writing and in life.

Hayden, it was nice to have another baritone with me. I noticed your commanding voice when we first interviewed you for the staff. That voice also resonates in your writing and in your leadership. You quickly became an important part of the staff and its success. You became a piece of the puzzle that brought everything together. I wish we had more time to get close and share thoughts with the incredible mind you have. You taught me to help the people you care about and that through collaboration anything is possible.

Annabelle, it was a pleasure to experience your journalistic spirit. You were never afraid to say how you felt, what was important to you, and to be personal during budget meetings. You used some of the most bizarre story angles and they always drew me in. Those bizarre angles suit you perfectly. You are so unique in the best way, and I hope that when you enter the professional world, you will continue to be yourself because it is so wonderful to be around you. You taught me to always be honest, to be myself and not to let anyone disappoint me.

Kayla, I admire your outlook on life. You always came to the office with a smile and seemed cheerful all the time. Like Hayden, I wish we had more time to strengthen our bond. However, it was easy to see your passion in your writing very quickly. I hope you continue to keep that smile on your face and pass it on to others. You taught me that in a dark world, smart people will always shine through.

Sophia, watching your growth has amazed me. When I joined the staff, your calm yet powerful presence was always evident. Now that you may be taking on even more of a leadership role, it brings me so much joy. The confidence you have gained both in your work and in life in general is admirable. You taught me that I can do anything by coming out of my shell.

Cassie, you have been a bundle of energy since you joined the staff. Like Hayden and Kayla, I wish we had had more time to get to know each other. However, in the short time I’ve known you, I’ve seen you rise up and do the best you can. You taught me that making an early impression on people can quickly lead you in the right direction.

Katie Shope, your creativity shines through all the time. Seeing your work come to life was one of the coolest things about The Rocket for me. Even more, your genuine interest in getting to know me and wanting to push me out of my comfort zone gave me enormous joy. You were always one of the easiest people to talk to on staff and I applaud you for that. You taught me to be considerate of others, to get to know people and to be caring.

Teiko, our journey began long before The Rocket. I have always known your incredible talent through projects and seeing your work in the classroom. What many people may not know about you is the incredible intellect you possess. Our conversations outside of class have truly made me a better person, and they are things I apply to myself every day. I never thought I would meet someone like you here and I can’t express how lucky I am that I did. You have taught me a plethora of life lessons, but the most important thing is that you should always be together.

Dr. Fleming, you brought me out of my shell. Through discussions in class you showed me my potential and encouraged me to do so. I love all the professors in the Strategic Communication and Media department, but you always go above and beyond for students and that makes you so special. Your smile lights up a room because it’s so obvious that when you smile for us, you are genuinely proud of us. That’s a feeling I’ll always miss when I talk to you. You taught me to have confidence in myself and to pursue my goals.

I couldn’t get through this without tears flowing, because saying goodbye is my least favorite thing to do. But that’s life, on to the next step.

With love, Alex.