A Sweet But Bitter Goodbye

Briana Scalia, Operations Director, Opinion Editor

Monday, 4:20 p.m., my feet waded through the crisp fallen leaves carpeting the path to McGinley. The campus looked even more brilliant through my freshman eyes, gazing up at the bursts of color falling from the towering trees. I unlocked my phone to reread the words of encouragement from my mother to ease the butterflies in my stomach.

I rushed down the McGinley stairs, stepping over the puddle at the foot of the door that I would soon learn was a permanent fixture, and struggled to navigate the building’s basement.

After finally finding the room, I reached out for the handle and paused, quickly pulling out my phone to fix my few wisps of out-of-place hair. Satisfied, I opened the door to what would be a pinnacle moment of not only my career at Fordham, but my career as a journalist.

One congratulatory phone call and a week later, I found myself in B-48, a windowless dungeon with god-awful fluorescent lighting and brilliant people that made up for it. Volume 98’s end served as not only Volume 99’s beginning, but mine as well. After an awkward introduction with my future co-editor, Chris Canadeo, we sat down to learn from the current opinion editor, soon-to-be managing editor, mentor and friend, Margarita Artoglou.

Hours passed without thought, and I was suddenly brought to attention by the sparkling cider and tearful goodbye speeches. The swell of camaraderie I had felt all night suddenly included me, and I had no words to describe the ease that came over me.

But no amount of sparkling cider could have prepared me for the work I had ahead of me. Late nights spent editing articles motivated by the promise of pizza, hours at the copy table striking countless Oxford commas and waiting for budget meetings outside the locked doors of exec., aka, the room where it happens. But the basement of McGinley works on its own time zone.

Years spent racing swivel chairs through the halls, dancing to Shakira while wearing my iconic hot pink, heart-shaped glitter glasses (I still don’t know where they came from), existential conversations brought on only by pure mental exhaustion and instructing copy editors on the fine art of sketching the porous sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

But the sight of one student reading the Ram made all of it worth it.

After two years of being opinion editor, two years of collaborating with writers over Google docs, creating MailChimp accounts and answering countless emails, I decided my plate wasn’t quite full enough and applied for a position on the executive board.

Now budget meetings followed exec. meetings (guys I made it to the room where it happens!) the title of opinion editor took a backseat to operations director. 

Titles that I proudly added to my ever-changing resume, which was hesitantly submitted to NBC, and later CNN. Networks that I have since added to my work experience, experience I owe to my time at the Ram. All those hours spent hectically crafting a paper from scratch had prepared me for hours spent in newsrooms at 30 Rock and Hudson Yards. I can never thank The Fordham Ram enough for shaping me into the journalist I am today.

Thank you to those on Volume 99 for welcoming me, one of the only freshmen, into their ranks. Your kindness and support came at a crucial time.

Thank you to those on Volume 100 for accepting me as I am, the outspoken Queen of Opinion (a title gifted to me).

Thank you to those on Volume 101 for trusting in me and my advice. I’m going to miss each and every one of you.

Thank you to Aislinn Keely, our fearless Editor-in-Chief, who has been with me these past three years. I don’t think I’ve ever met a more capable person. I will always value our GroupMe messages, our “Game of Thrones” viewing parties and your words of wisdom.

And thank you to my parents for your endless love and support. I hope to make you proud every day. 

I wish the best of luck to the future team of Volume 102. Interviews are a few weeks away, and I find parallels to my first foray into the world of B-52 and B-48 each day. My life has become something of a cityscape, bustling and vibrant, and I can’t help but feel The Fordham Ram played a part.  I hope it does the same for all of you.

This is a sweet but bitter end. I call it that purposefully because this paper is sweet before it is bitter, and then it is sweet once more. The start was sweet and the goodbyes are bitter, but for you, it will be sweet again.

And never forget, when you’re on the Ram, you’re better than most.