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Farewell Columns

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Thomas Goldkamp, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. I know there has been discussion of farewell topics on this board and there are mixed thoughts, but I wanted to share one from a friend and colleague that really moved me. He just finished up at his college paper.

    Thoughts on this one in particular?

    I'm generally not a fan, but this student paper has done a pretty good job the last few years, if you ask me. This one is especially moving.

    Departing editor discovers true meaning of family at Alligator
  2. Ben.Breiner

    Ben.Breiner Member

    I was always taught the best personal writing involved "Peeling back some of your own skin." Wow did the writer do that. I don't even know if I'd even classify it as a farewell column. It's deeper and more interesting than that.

    Really a pretty touching and brave piece of writing.
  3. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Heckuva piece. Though I kinda want to know how that lawsuit from the idiot half-sisters ended. Hopefully penniless for them.
  4. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    This just proves how low people will go to get money to which they think they're entitled, respect or empathy for the dead, or those left behind, be damned.

    No dead person owes anyone a dime just because they're family. Supposedly.
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I liked it, and I even liked that it was short and to the point while being "deep," if that makes sense.
  6. Kind of a random observation, but I think farewell columns for student papers work much, much better than farewell columns when someone is retiring or getting fired.

    As far as I could tell, most of the students on campus related to this piece really well, because it was a story about fighting through tough times and reaching the mark of success most of the reader base set out for four or five years ago.
  7. dirtybird

    dirtybird Well-Known Member

    I disagree in a big way. Farewell columns at student papers often suck because they're usually self-serving and follow the same formula. "I was just a freshman when I walked into this office" ... "Friends, good times were had" "Now it's weird to look back but learned a lot and made lasting memories." Farewell columns tend to suck because people just write about themselves, often because they think they've earned it.

    I don't think people relate to this piece becuase it's about fighting, reaching some mark of success or because of the 4-5 year shared experience of college. I think people relate to it when someone writes so eloquently about a horrifying, heart-breaking event in their lives, it stirs emotion. Everyone has parents, and I'm sure many readers thought about their own families and lives while reading it.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    OK, OK. So I'm going to get shit on for saying this, but ... I thought the writing was crap and the column was unfocused.

    I still give serious credit to the writer for putting himself out there, and it's great that he's turned his life around.
  9. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Cut and paste allowed me to read that, and it was the only way. :)
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I'll miss the volleyball players and cheerleaders most of all.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Geez. What a horror. Best wishes going forward, Matt.
  12. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    99 percent of all farewell columns are trash and should not be printed.
    This was an exception.
    Sorry to hear of the author's past experiences. Very sorry.
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