The Eighth Page

Billy says FAREWELL… and wonders where his facial hair has gone

Foreword: This article is semi-serious. I think. “Nothing changes like changes, because nothing changes but the changes.” -Gary Busey Amen to that, Brother Busey. Way to sum up the story of my time as Features editor in exactly ten words. I truly have changed like a change. Now on to something slightly more coherent. Except not really. I’m finally leaving! Leaving The Phillipian, that is. Not the school. They still haven’t found the methamphetamines and multiple cases of wine coolers that I keep in the refrigerator under my bed. But when it comes to my position as co-editor of the Features Section, my time has come to an end. And by golly, what a journey it has been! Writing for Features does a lot to a man. Primarily, it transforms him back into a little boy. Within a week or two, all sense of maturity is lost. It’s great. There’s actually nothing better. Last winter, I had a decent beard beginning to grow in. However, upon the announcement of the new Phillipian board, the hairs quickly receded back into the weird little holes on my face that they grow out of. “Where are you going, little beardies?” I asked. “Your time has not yet come,” they replied, “You’re still a little kid.” Like most people, I trusted in my beard and spent the next year making poop and sex jokes. Thank God I listened to my receding facial hair, because I’ve had the time of my life. I can’t imagine that anyone at PA has had consistently better Monday and Tuesday nights than I have for the past year. I’ve spent them hanging out with friends in the newsroom while eating pizza, drinking Coke, listening to Kid Rock (learning his lyrics along the way, of course) and making jokes. That’s right, making jokes. While you were studying, I was acting like an idiot. A complete and utter idiot. Kind of ironic, isn’t it—you studying while I just act like a moron? While you were seeing how much of your homework you could get done before midnight, I was seeing how many people I could make crack-up before midnight. It was awesome. Then there’s the stuff that people wonder about. Did my grades drop? Yeah, they did. Did I lose sleep? Yeah, I got about half as much as I used to. Did I have time to do homework? I did, but I used most of it to try and make up time in the sleep area. Would you do it again? No doubt. Why? Because work sucks, Features rules and Arts drools. (At this point, I’d like to warn you about the rest of the article. It’s pretty cheesy. In my opinion, it’s much worse than the first half. I like being funny, and the rest isn’t too funny. In the next few paragraphs, I want to try to actually convey to my readers what I’ve truly taken from my Features experience, without the aid of pop culture or fart references—a daunting task, I know. Don’t say you weren’t warned.) A “corny” article is actually kind of a perfect way to end my tenure as Features Editor, seeing as most of my jokes can be described using the same exact adjective. I don’t want to come across like an overly-emotional 50-year-old mother at her only son’s high school graduation, but I think it’s necessary. I’ve learned a number of valuable lessons as co-editor of the Features Section, but only one sticks out to me above all the rest. Despite how ridiculously cheesy of a point it is, let me explain what I’ve learned. Every day, I see grumpy students complaining about work and worrying about assignments. Stress constantly runs high. I understand—everyone complains. But when it comes down to it, why bother worrying about all these little things that constantly tick us off, when we could be laughing about them and enjoying every minute that we live? Should we let stress define our lives? Working for Features has helped me realize the answers to these questions. Even with a test the following day, I would still often choose to spend five hours of my night in the newsroom. Why? Because it was fun. I know that fifty years down the road when I look back on my high school career, I don’t want to be thinking, “Man, I did a lot of work. I wish I enjoyed it more.” Working for Features has taught me how to enjoy it, and I’ve been able to translate this lesson into all aspects of my life. I hate to revert to the old “Life is short” argument, but there’s no phrase that means more to me. Because in reality, life is short. And there’s no reason not to enjoy all that it sends your way. OK, you can go throw up now. I’ll do the same. Sorry about the lingering throw-up taste. I do, however, think it’s a fitting taste for me to leave in your mouth with my last article as a section editor. Peace Feech. It’s been real.