For more than a couple of weeks now I’ve been trying to think of a way to write a farewell piece without sounding self-righteous and egotistical. After spending the last four years as a member of this publication, however, I figured I had already crossed that boundary so many times there was little need to worry about doing it on this final occasion.
For awhile I thought the responsible way to go about this was to list off the most significant news stories that have shaped Concordia since I arrived here and how I’ve been affected by them. Then, perhaps, I could use these anecdotes to make some bold predictions about the future of this institution. But therein lies a problem: Although at times I’ve pretended, I’ve never exactly had my finger on the pulse of the political and social climate at Concordia. Acting as though it is any different now would be a foolish way to spend my final words. So I’m going to give you exactly what you’ve come to expect from me. Here I will lend one final shout out to a group of people that have made my time here more enjoyable than I would have predicted it to be back in 2001, as it is them who I will remember most fondly years from now.
Although I’ve probably conducted over 100 post-game and profile interviews while covering Concordia sports, I’ll always remember the first interview.
It was the same day as my 19th birthday and I was covering the women’s soccer team, which was playing the Laval Rouge et Or at Loyola field. After the Stingers lost by a 2-0 score I nervously approached Jerusha Osborne, who at the time was a rookie midfielder, and asked what she thought about the game. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about soccer at that time, but I knew this girl was good. I also knew from that point that I wanted to write as much as possible about Concordia athletics. I got my wish.
Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to have covered virtually every other team at Concordia (although I still to this day don’t understand the rules of rugby) and have spoken with dozens of athletes who have been good enough to show myself and other student writers the same respect we’ve tried to show them.
After all, many of these individuals are responsible for some of my most memorable experiences at Concordia. In my time here I’ve had the chance to meet exceptional players like the soft-spoken but incredibly gifted Gavin Musgrave who played for the men’s basketball team. I saw Dominique Rancour play in her rookie year for the women’s hockey team, when she was on a line with past QSSF stars like Marie Claude Allard and Lisa-Marie Breton. I’ve been here to see Les Lawton, the women’s hockey coach, win his 500th game. Sommer Christie (women’s rugby), Jean-Michel Paquette (football), Brad Collinson (football), Philippe Ozga (men’s hockey), Jennifer Neil (women’s basketball), Ammar Badawieh (men’s soccer), Jamie Boulanger (baseball) and Kathleen Grzybowski (women’s soccer) are just a few of the other names that I will remember after many more seasons have passed.
I could go on for pages about the events I’ve had the chance to witness here. Things like Chris Page’s 25-goal season with the men’s hockey team and this year’s National Championships in Halifax for men’s basketball have been far more dramatic and gripping than any CSU election.
Even more than all that, I’ll remember the times when I came close to feeling like part of the team. Maybe 10 years from now none of these men or women will remember that guy following them around with a tape recorder for four years, that’s fine with me. The clippings I have will serve to remind me of the great people I met here and the impact they’ve had on my growth as a person.
It might be hard for a first-year student reading this to understand how a few varsity teams could mean so much to a student journalist. Simply put, at some point over the last few years it stopped being just about boxscores and standings. Now, as I depart, I couldn’t care who won what championship last. All I hope for these people is the same thing that I hope for myself, and that’s for them to lead happy and successful lives.
Hopefully, quite a few years down the road, I’ll have a family with whom I will be able to share the stories from back when I was just a lowly journalism student at the Concordian. But if and when that opportunity presents itself I won’t be highlighting the CSU’s financial scandals, controversial agendas, Discordia, Ehud Barak, Evolution, the FTAA or Frigo Vert. I’ll probably mention their significance in there somewhere but these events are not representative of what Concordia has meant to me for the past 100 issues or so.
The events that I will hold near and dear to my heart are the ones I know most Concordia students will never get a chance to experience. So, with that, for one last time I’ll say it loud and proud – Go Stingers!