Column: As Michael Scott once said, ‘catch you on the flippety-flip’

By Grace Senior, Creative Director

This may sound cliché, but how does someone say goodbye to something that will continue to be with them through every step of their life?

The Chronicle entered my life when I was a freshman music business major with a confused stance on what I wanted to do and where I wanted to take that degree. Meeting former Chronicle Creative Director Zoë Haworth in an “Oral Expression” class was seemingly a glitch in the system, but one that led to one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had the pleasure of taking.

I started as a media sales representative selling ads under the amazing Micha Thurston, who at the time was the ads & business manager. I soon became a graphic designer and then senior graphic designer, being led by the ridiculously talented former Creative Director Zack Jackson.

This all eventually led to being able to spread my wings as creative director myself during the Fall 2019 semester. I’d be lying if I said I got to that point by myself, though. A special thank you has to be said to former General Manager Chris Richert for giving me the courage to work up to that point.

In a conversation in my first semester in which I thanked him for giving me the opportunity to work for the Chronicle, he told me that he believed I could be creative director one day. No prompting, just a boss who believed in me and unknowingly gave me the drive to do more than I ever could have dreamed, because he knew I had what it took. So, to you, Richert, I sincerely thank you for believing in me when I didn’t even know to believe in myself.

Every single one of my roles at the Chronicle has taught me so much––more than one single goodbye column could encompass. But what deserves my words more are the people who have been with me throughout it all. Although I cannot write about every single encounter with each special person, know that y’all have a piece of my heart.

To Haworth, I’ll never forget the kindness and acceptance you showed to the eager kid in your class who was just looking for a place to grow and belong. Because of that, you gave me an opportunity that no one could have guessed would turn into the game-changer it was.

To Thurston, my first boss and first––and longest––friend at the Chronicle, you fully encompass a strong, confident and intelligent woman. Without even realizing it, you taught, and continue to teach, me to be one, as well, through every courageous and wonderful thing you do.

To Director of Photography Mike Rundle, my photo counterpart, you are the most creative, capable and intelligent photojournalist––and guy––whom I have ever known and will ever know. Having you as my work-brother has kept me sane and a little insane in all the best ways.

To photojournalist Steven Nunez and Senior Video Editor Ignacio Calderon, keeping me up to par with hip trends and new technology is no easy feat, but y’all handled it with love, kindness and a lot of laughter. The world is not ready for the talent y’all are throwing at them, but I sure am.

To Executive Producer Blaise Mesa, the only person who fully understands my references from “The Office” and sports talk––even though you hate my teams—you have been with me from the start. Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans, I couldn’t imagine someone better equipped for the job.

To Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Yetter and Opinions Editor Margaret Smith, I could wax on about our trio and how much y’all have changed my life and will continue to do so far, far into the future, but then I would cry, more so than I already am. So, I’ll just say thank you. You guys cannot comprehend the impact y’all have had on my life, from countless hours of coffee time to reading my facial expressions that show you that life is just too much for me at that moment and always being there for me. My only hope is that I’ll be able to show y’all that same caring nature every moment moving forward.

Finally, General Manager Travis Truitt and Faculty Adviser Curtis Lawrence, y’all have guided me to be the best Chronicle employee that I could be and helped me understand what hard work and determination can get you: a tired body, but a strong mind and heart.

If I could continue with every person I’ve cared about that came through those Chronicle doors, I would have a collection of novels that would stack higher than the Sears Tower, or Willis Tower if you’re new here. So to sum up what I would say to each one of you, it would be thank you. Looking back, all of the incredible people I’ve worked with have taught me how to be a better version of myself, not only for my career but also just for life.

I’ve learned to fight for what is important; to speak up about what matters, no matter how many people your voice reaches. What matters is having the courage to speak at all. Besides life-long friends who are more like family, I was able to expand my portfolio thanks to the many hours of staring at a computer honing design skills—among many other skills. The Chronicle gave me a place to grow, learn and just be me.

No matter where I go, the Chronicle will go with me, always in my heart and the lessons forever in my brain.

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