This is it. It’s our last edition of the year, and it’s my last edition ever.

And in the last issue of every school year, it’s customary for the Executive Editor to mourn his/her time at the Silhouette over a few hundred self-indulgent words.

This year, I would like to depart from that tradition in no way at all. Bear with me.

I walked into the Silhouette office in September of my first year. I was timid, but eager. They let me write an article.

And then five years went by. In that time, I got hired. I got promoted. A lot of quirky and interesting people came and went in and out of my life.

And now, I’m walking out of this office, just as timid, but nowhere near as eager.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, this is tough for me. Saying goodbye and all. Because I grew up here. This place changed me. It taught me to become more accepting of myself. I became more accepting of others, too.

Some weeks were an ego boost. People read stuff I wrote, and they complimented me on it or reacted to it.

Other weeks were a harsh lesson in humility. I wrote bad articles. I made typos – big ones, on the front page. Some readers told me how bad I’d screwed up, and a lot of other people didn’t read my stuff at all.

But no matter what had happened, there was always a paper the next week. I could always try again, and try to do it better. That’s what kept me going.

But now, for the first time, there’s no Silhouette for me next week, or next year. What’s done is done. I’ve written all I’m going to write, said all I’m going to say.

But I’d like to think I’m a better person now because of the time I spent writing for this paper. And so, it’s time to move on.

Thank you, Sil. And thanks, McMaster.

And most of all, thanks to the people I’ve worked with. Some of my personal heroes, my best friends and the people I know I’ll miss most after I leave McMaster have been editors here. We’ve worked insanely hard together on our small part of this 83-year-old (and counting) project, and there’s a special kind of connection between us because of it.

To those of you coming back to the Sil next year, I hope you know how lucky you are to grow up in a place like this. Because it’ll be over before you know it.

To the staff of Volume 83:

JW: I did what I could this year. But now, these pages, these people, this history – it’s all yours. The one comfort to me as I leave this place is knowing you’ll be here, doing an awesome job. I can’t wait to see what you’ll do as Exec. I’ll read your paper every week.

AT: I couldn’t have done it with you this year, bud. Not my professional life or my personal life. I hope you find a boss one day that says yes to all of your crazy ideas. And then I hope you become John Stewart.

ABL: It took five years, but I’m glad we finally got to know each other. Thanks for the stupid, fun stuff you brought to the Sil – “promduction” and valentines and warm fuzzies. They meant a lot.

JR: The worst part about you giving me sass this year is, you were usually right. For the baby of the office, you were probably the most mature. And damn good at your job, too. Just keep me posted on whether or not we need to relocate the Sil to Amsterdam.

AS: Yeah, everyone you’ve interviewed probably hates you. But hey, that’s what good journalism is all about. And there’s no question that you’re a good journalist. You’re fearless. You’re talented. I’d suggest working on that alcohol tolerance, though.

MN: Lewlz! In all seriousness, I want you to know something. I think you’re an intelligent, interesting, strong person. And I don’t want you to forget that. So do what you want to do in life. Be who you want to be. And it’ll work out fine.

BM: I miss the old days. They were fun. I wanted this year to be fun for everyone, too, but I didn’t know how to do it. But you did. And you had a way of telling me that I was doing a good job with everyone this year, and I believed you. Thanks, bud. Stay greezy.

SH: The golden boy. Halpert. Hollister. Big Slice. Thanks for listening to my stories. But you’ve got to make your own stories now. You get how this place works – both the paper stuff and the social stuff. That’s huge. So be a leader. Make me proud.

SG: I’m going to miss you. Whether you were curled up in a ball on the couch as we sent off Sex and the Steel City or in tears of joy at the release party, having you around was something special. You ran a great section this year. Whatever you get up to next year, just keep on kickin’ ass.

AW: You’re probably the coolest person I know. But, really. Right up there with Woody Allen and Lucille Bluth. You led a pretty mysterious life around the Sil, emerging occasionally to show off awesome multimedia abilities or send perplexing texts. Maybe one day I’ll understand it all.

NM: I’ve known you a long time. You were around for some of my favourite years – 5 and 85 Haddon and all that. That stuff’s special to me, and you were an awesome dude all the way through. The rest of this year’s staff is lucky to have known you like I did. Anyway, let’s form a punk band sometime.

BO: Readers don’t want writers any more. They want people – real, interesting people who know how to write well. You’ve got that figured out. I liked reading your stuff this year. And yeah, I know you liked being a Sil editor.

YH: Whether you were meeting Chuck Berry’s bandmates in a cab or getting bowled over on the sidelines of Ron Joyce Stadium, you were always in the line of duty this year. Pants or no pants. Bravo, sir. Just remember to change back your computer password.

JL: You’re a firecracker. The energy you brought to this place was exhausting sometimes, but most of the time, I loved it. Keep being yourself – your totally sincere, creative and inquisitive self.

TA: We won’t be working together anymore, but will you still be my Facebook film authority? Getting video going was huge for the Sil this year. Great work, buddy.

KW: I didn’t really know what your job would be this year. I just wanted you to make the paper look better. And boy did you ever. You were a superstar. Sorry you had to sit next to Andrew, though.

JC: I don’t think I’m ever going to forget that dream you told me about. It scared me a bit. But I bet it’s going to make cool art. Good knowing you, man. Let’s talk philosophy over drinks sometime.

AH: I think I owe you a beer. Heck, I think I owe you a bunch of beers. How about we have a few at Snoots, grab a golf cart and drive it around town?

In Silidarity,

Sam

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