No, no, no - a final goodbye from Buffalo Soldier
I cannot think of two sections that are more polar opposites than sports and opinions. Instead of immersing myself in world politics or the national debt, I spent the last few years in a press box at Yurcak Field or driving alone to Bethlehem, Pa., for a wrestling match.
To me, politics extend only so far as to debate whether or not Pete Rose belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. When two opposing sides engage in a violent act in sports, the end result is usually just a five-minute major penalty for fighting or at worst, a three-game suspension.
But one thing that always held true about the editorials and columns in this publication is that there is always a point to be made. Even if that point ruffled a few feathers along the way — shout out to a certain former editor who is a snazzy dresser, a soccer fan and shall remain nameless — there was a message to be heard. So before I jump into the lamentation of my final days with The Daily Targum, there is just one point I'd like to make.
Go out and enjoy life in the company of others, plain and simple. No matter what it is that piques your interest, there are at least a 100 other students on this campus with the same hobby. This is going to be the last time in your life when you are grouped with hundreds upon thousands of students, all sharing the same goal of knowledge. Well, some also want to get it in with as many people as possible, but the main goal is still to achieve higher education. Don't spend your four years here sitting in your dorm room playing Call of Duty and never socializing with anyone.
Get involved. Whether it's through greek life or the Japanese Conversation Club or the Oxfam, there is something for your niche. It doesn't even have to be with a club sanctioned by the University. But nobody is going to hand you these opportunities on a silver platter — you have to be proactive and seek them out.
As someone who lacks social grace, it was tough for me to get involved at first. It also didn't help that I grew up seven hours away from New Jersey and talk like a Canadian. But I built up the courage somehow, and through both my fraternity and the Targum, I have made lifelong friends and had some fun along the way.
And I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. Well, I'd trade some of the rough mornings, but that's it.
It is going to be a strange next couple of months for me. No more Hansel n' Griddle. No more night edits, staying in the fourth floor of the Rutgers Student Center until 2 a.m. No more getting to spend eight hours a day with some of the brightest minds the University has to offer.
But I'll survive in the real world somehow. For starters, I think I am going to celebrate my retirement from the Targum with a much-needed relaxing night in with a very patient girlfriend.
I cannot thank the 142nd Editorial Board enough for the lifetime of memories we seemed to pack into one small hut on Mine Street and the best of luck to the new board. I don't know half of you nearly as well as I hoped, but from what I gather, the paper is in good hands.
I'd like to thank all of the players and coaches who gave me pleasure of covering their teams over the years. It's safe to say that I would not even be anywhere near landing a job in the journalism world if it weren't for their willingness to tolerate my questions and their inspirational performances.
And last but not least, I want to give my most heartfelt thank you to Anthony, Tyler and Steve. I'm not going to try and sum up all the guidance and laughs that you three have given me the past two years, so I'll let someone else do it for me. The following quote came from Jerry Seinfeld to his compatriots on their final day on the set of one of the most iconic shows of this or any generation:
"For the rest of our lives," he said, "no one will think of one of us, without thinking of the rest of us. And I can't think of three people I'd rather have that be true of."
A.J. Jankowski is the outgoing associate sports editor and is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies. You can begin to look for his work as a biographer in a few years, well after he reimburses a lonely McDonald's value meal and a forgettable cheeseburger in Syracuse. Since he retired from the office, the laughs in the sports corner are stuck in a mire. Also: fire, liar, perspire. Boom, roasted.