That mostly started to change before the start of my sophomore year, when I was an orientation leader for the first time. The New Student Orientation program brought in motivational speaker Marc Wayshak to speak to the entire orientation team that year to encourage leaders to do their job as best they could.
In his session, Wayshak promised to teach everyone in the room to punch through a wooden board, kung fu style. Given my total lack of martial arts training, I was very skeptical at first. As the 90-minute session went on, however, I began to believe.
Wayshak also had us write a goal on our boards. Any goal, big or small, would do, Wayshak said, as long as it was something we wanted to accomplish in the upcoming school year. If we could break through the board, surely we could break our mental or emotional barriers and achieve whatever goal we wrote down.
I wrote five words on my board. “Work for the school newspaper.”
Thankfully, I punched through that board on my first try. I couldn’t believe how powerful it felt to finally knock down those barriers from my first year. I went and signed up to write for The Ram the very next day.
It feels both very strange and very sad to be sitting here writing my last “From the Desk” just two years later. Working at The Fordham Ram has been the greatest joy of my Fordham career. For the past four semesters, I have looked forward to Tuesday production nights more than anything else, and have found a home with the great people who often spend all night in McGinley’s B-52 office. I’m not sure I’ll entirely know what to do with myself on Tuesdays in the future.
None of it would have been possible without the help of a great number of people. I must, of course, thank the previous sports editors, Chester Baker and Dan Gartland, for giving me a chance in the first place with the men’s tennis beat and helping me get started. Things would be very different for me if Dan hadn’t deciphered my terrible handwriting and found my email address.
Matt Rosenfeld and Anthony Pucik deserve a huge thank you as well. It was a treat to work with both of them and, even though we were there to get a job done, they made long nights much more fun than they probably should have been.
Robert Frerich, Katie Nolan and the entire copy staff have made me an infinitely better writer. I had a vague understanding of writing mechanics when I started as an assistant sports editor, but now I truly care about debates over an extra comma and that is thanks to them.
The entire editorial staff of The Ram should be thanked too, especially our leaders Joe Vitale and Kelly Kultys. Fordham is full of great people from all over, but the best people at Rose Hill are the ones on staff who I get to work with every week.
I want to thank my mom as well. She’s always been my biggest fan and the list of sacrifices she has made for me would fill several books.
It took me a little while to get there, but being at The Ram has been by far the best part of my college experience. I’ve come to truly love writing every week and I beam with pride every time there’s a fresh stack of newspapers on campus.
If you’re reading this and are considering joining The Ram, do it. You’ll be very glad you did.
Go out, punch through wooden boards and break down your own barriers. Trust me, there’s a lot of good stuff waiting for you on the other side.