Andujar: As I’ve been saying…

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In the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester, I was sitting in Writer’s Mind and listening while the professor, Tim Zatzariny, talked about writing opportunities around campus. He said, “The Whit is always looking for writers.” I wrote to the editor, Kyle Sullender, and said that I was interested in writing for the Whit. I didn’t know what to expect – maybe he might say I could write one or none at all. Not only did he say yes: he offered me a column—one with a name and everything! He asked what name I’d like, and first I said, “Just A Thought,” then “Yes and Know,” and finally, “As I Was Saying.” Then he asked, “Great! But, which one do you prefer?”

“As I Was Saying” was born.

It was exciting when I walked through the lobby, looked into the paper, and saw my column and picture! The heading even had a graphic: one of those Rolling Stones tongues. I ran to Professor Zatzariny with my copy of the paper like a child on Christmas morning saying, “Look! Look! I’m in the paper!” He said, “Great! What is your column about?” I said, “A joke bombing during my presentation!”

I know. Not hard-hitting journalism, but Kyle and the professor loved it, and that encouraged me to continue writing. For a year and a half (the half, working with editor Ashleigh Albert), I was contributing to an amazing newspaper, and I felt like part of a team.

The only semester I didn’t write was Spring 2018, when I decided to take six classes. I missed sharing my crazy thoughts. In Fall 2018, Editor-in-Chief, Joe Gramigna, approached me and said they’d love to have me back at the Whit.

Best conversation ever.

For three years, I’ve happily contributed almost 60 columns. Writing about intense journalistic topics like ugly crying, paper cuts and my favorite book sniffing. It wasn’t so hard coming up with topics because I always wrote about everyday things—but this one is the hardest.

In a few weeks, I’m graduating from Rowan with a combined BA/MA in Writing, and it’s bittersweet. However, I’m proud for making it through a rigorous program doing what I love most: writing. I’ve learned how to fit an entire situation (like how I found out that Hernán Cortés is my 15th great-grandfather) into 500 words. It’s not easy!

I want to thank Kyle, Ashleigh and Joe for giving me this opportunity. Thank you to Tim Zatzariny for encouraging me. Thank you to my brothers (namely, the twins) for letting me put them on blast. Thanks to you, the readers, for taking a look at my columns every week and trying to figure out why I’m obsessed with Frappuccino’s, avocados and singing.

I’ll miss this column. You know, when I ran over a skunk, and it ruined my Frappuccino, I was able to tell everyone about it; now, I’ll probably pull a Forest Gump and tell anyone sitting on a bench, “Ahem…as I was saying…”

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