Four years ago, I walked down the stairs into the newspaper office believing the only reason I was there was because my advisor and Intro to Journalism professor Marty Dobrow would’ve had my throat if I didn’t show. Not one ounce of my being actually believed that I would write a single word in the paper at that time. I was 18 years old and had never written an article in my entire life. I firmly believed that eventually I would write a story for the paper and be a part of the staff, but I knew it wasn’t going to be then.
I left the office feeling the exact same way.
But just weeks later I wrote and turned in my first feature assignment for intro class, a feature on Andy Bean, a senior on the football team who was returning from an ACL, MCL, and meniscus tear in his knee, the same injury that Adrian Peterson returned from. Marty loved it and had it published in the newspaper. My first story.
By accident I had completely ruined my plan. By accident I had a story in the newspaper and was now a staff writer for the Springfield Student. My only thought: what had I done?
What I had done was begin four of the best years of my life. Through endless hours in the office on Wednesday nights, to eventually taking on Pride Sports Journal as a junior, I created some of the most painful and meaningful memories in my life, and none of it would have been possible without Marty.
Springfield shapes some people, it makes people believe in themselves. Marty did that on his own. Marty helped me see the light that I didn’t even know was there. He helped me believe that I was capable of the dreams I had thought were impossible. He helped me become who I am today.
Thank you Marty, for everything you have done. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
He’s not alone in that unfortunate feat – making me who I am. I owe a great deal of thanks to the many professors here at Springfield. Kyle Belanger especially, for pushing me more as a friend than as a professor, for seeing the same thing Marty saw. Far too often I texted Kyle at odd hours seeking advice, to the point that I’m honestly shocked my number isn’t blocked in his phone. But still today I know I can turn to Kyle for the advice and honesty I need.
If I thanked every person at Springfield, this article would be far too long for publication, but the last four years truly have been memorable. I will look back fondly on my time here, on the memories and experiences I made.
And it all started by accident. I still have to wonder, what had I done?