Burstein's last stand

My proper name is Jonathan, but I go by Jon. It's not that I don't like the name Jonathan, but it sounds rather formal and Jon is easier to say and write. Anyway, whenever people call me Jonathan, I know that they have something important to say. So when I came home one day in third grade and my father said, "Jonathan, I want to talk to you," I figured I was in trouble.

My dad sat me down and told me that we were going to move from Charlottesville, Virginia, to Tempe, Arizona. I was devastated. I didn't want to leave Charlottesville and all of my friends behind. As I tried to comprehend what was going on, my father said, "Jonathan, don't think of this as a move, think of it as . an adventure."

To this day, I still don't know if my father planned his speech or if he pulled some phrases out of the magic hat of parenting tricks. It worked though. When I moved to Tempe, I fancied that I was a swashbuckler in a strange and unchartered land. Since then, whenever I have to make a major life adjustment, I try to think it of as . an adventure.

Well, it's time for me to be moving on yet again. I have two more days of classes and less than two weeks before I graduate. The gig at the Wildcat is up too. After more than 125 articles, 140 Police Beats, 30 staff editorials and 40 weekly columns, it's time for me to find a real job and stop harassing the UA administration. I am simultaneously scared and excited about leaving.

In their last efforts, columnists usually give some cockamamie explanation about how their scribbles are part of a grander scheme. I can't think of a good explanation, so I guess I'll tell the truth. Most of my columns were completely randomÄ sometimes I was serious and other times I attempted to be funny. Sometimes I tried to discuss campus issues and other times I would be wrestling evil leprechauns or posing as a Pastrami Sandwich. By the way, I do have a confession to make. If you looked closely at the picture of the Pastrami Sandwich, you might have noticed that the meat in the sandwich is white. It was actually a turkey sandwich. I like the word "pastrami," but I don't like pastrami.

Each sentence of this column is getting harder to write. I know that this may be the last column that I'll ever write (or at least for a long time). I have genuinely enjoyed my time at the UA and especially the three semesters as an arrogant, frenzied columnist. It's hard to let go. Lately, I've found myself sitting on the Mall or spending far too much time in the Wildcat newsroom for no good reasons. I have grown comfortable at the UA and working at the Wildcat. But at the same time, I know that it's time to acknowledge and move on.

I want to thank everyone who has written kind letters to me, from Jennifer Jensen to the guy at Mr. Clutch Auto Transmissions. I am sincerely flattered that people have liked my columns enough to take out the time to write. Oftentimes, when I am furiously typing out my column minutes before deadline, I have wondered if anyone actually reads it. Knowing that there is at least a few out there is a honor. One letter or comment usually made my day. That statement may be cheesy, but it's true.

I also want to thank Ben Weaver and Greg D'Avis, for allowing themselves to be used time and time again in the column. They are not only good sports for allowing me to put them in absurd scenarios, but they are also good friends.

Finally, I want to thank everyone at the Wildcat for putting up with me and my sometimes-inflated ego. When I was a freshman, I thought the Wildcat was a piece of crap compared to other newspapers. After three years of working there, I will admit that the Wildcat is flawed, but then again, it is a student newspaper. If you're comparing the student newspaper to major newspapers, then you're always bound to be disappointed. It's like saying the UA basketball team is lousy because it can't beat the Phoenix Suns. The Wildcat is as much students experimenting with journalism as it is a student newspaper. You'd be hard-pressed to find a group of students who deal with as much daily stress as the employees at the Wildcat. I have not always been proud of the publication, but I am proud to have been affiliated with the Arizona Daily Wildcat and the Wildcat staff.

I'm dawdling with my self-indulgent column (then again, some might argue all of my columns have been self-indulgent). Everything must come to an end.

All of the hard copies of the letters to the editor have been thrown in the garbage. I have taken down the funny letters that were on the bulletin board next to my desk. My computer files have been cleaned out. I would have turned in my press pass, but the Wildcat never made press passes. So I wrote the words "PRESS PASS" on a piece of a cardboard and gave it to next year's editor in chief as I tried to hold back my sobs. She looked confused.

It's time to move on to other adventures.

Good-bye and take care.

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