The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Colin Johnson

Farewell: Senior Arts & Life Editor Jude Noel

Polarizing as its appearance may be, it’s my opinion that NKU is a beautiful place. I don’t think I realized it until now, taking the opportunity to revisit the past four years of my life, realizing that my fondest memories of college are abstract, sensory experiences. I let myself slip into a daydream, and I feel the rumble of the 35x shuttle bus beneath the soles of my Vans. 16 again, cheeks pink with fading acne, I remember the way stripmalls and landscapes passed through the window as liquid as thoughts. Their tides carried me to the concrete beach I’d call home.

Moving in and out of brutalist buildings while bracing myself against the January drafts, I learned to find the vibrant community tucked within campus’ grey shell. Here, I’ve hosted my own radio show, traveled to academic conferences and navigated a newsroom as I grew into the guy I am today: a more confident writer with clearer skin and a more symmetrical haircut.

Best of all, I’ve had the opportunity to work with an editorial staff that’s truly passionate about what they do. This semester, The Northerner consistently delivered comprehensive news coverage thanks to Sam’s thorough reporting and Mackenzie’s rich storytelling. I’ve grown to understand the ins and outs of NKU basketball by editing Chris’ recaps and previews. I’ve discovered awesome artwork covering events and galleries around campus.

But even when I’m reminiscing about my time on staff, my mind returns to sensory experience. Driving to campus as the sun rose, I’d pick up fresh issues of the paper from the loading dock, morning fog still haunting the sleepy campus. As a street team member last semester, I’d carry stacks by their knotted twine, letting the ink stain my knuckles black as I moved from Student Union to University Center, making weekly deliveries to the tune of Sunny Day Real Estate in my earbuds.

When I returned to my Toyota Camry, I’d keep it in park and open up the new issue to read while enjoying the ambient noise of a campus springing to life. Holding a completed product I helped create; listening to facilities management trucks putter past—there’s no better feeling. The hard work my friends and I do each week was made manifest.

That’s a beautiful moment that I’ll miss.

Before I close this letter, I’d like to thank some people who’ve helped make my four years of college fun and productive. Our faculty advisor Michele Day’s drive to see The Northerner succeed is inspiring: I’m thankful for the time and compassion she invests into our work. I’d like to thank John Alberti, whose classes taught me to think out of the box, and to look for learning opportunities in everyday situations. I’d also like to say thanks to Dean Hume, who encouraged me to pursue journalism seriously. I’d be remiss if I forgot to thank Lil B for teaching me to be based. And, of course, I’d like to thank my parents, who have pushed me to write and express myself since day one. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today without all of you.

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