Goodbye, golden brick road

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The first TV show I ever loved was “Lost,” so I’ve always had a strange relationship with endings. What most people considered to be poorly thought out, badly executed and a tribute to the creators only having an interest in pleasing themselves, I thought was unexpectedly brilliant. I imagine this is a pretty awful testimonial for my own farewell column, so if 90 percent of readers close out this tab following this paragraph, no hard feelings.

The only interesting element of my recruitment and start at The Daily Californian was how disgustingly overexcited and purposeful I was to become an editor as quickly as possible. I attended the first info session, made a beeline to corner the sports editor to discuss my application, sent it in as soon as possible and booked the first interview available. I even followed the editor on Twitter before being hired, a move that, in hindsight, she and I both consider to be absolutely psychotic.

This is my 212th article, so apparently I was kept pretty busy over the past four years. I’m sure I’d be mortified to revisit 90 percent of those articles, but the memories of being chewed out by sports information directors, being laughed at by the night department for my seemingly purposeful misspellings and receiving an angry email from Cal legend Jack Clark — far and away my favorite person I’ve ever covered — telling me I had no understanding of sports nuance, make it all worth it.

Take a deep breath — with the self-indulgent trip down memory lane over, it’s on to the thank-yous.

The first goes to Michelle Lee, for not dropping me from consideration for my absurd broach of Twitter protocol, for fostering a deep love of journalism and a serious sense of the purpose of The Daily Californian in every writer she hired and for being the template of exactly what I wanted to be and do as an editor when my time came. I’ve met a lot of great people at The Daily Californian, but she’s without a doubt the person I am most indebted to and can least imagine my path without.

Just about the only thing Michelle didn’t do for me was actually edit my articles, a task that for my first year was left entirely in the hands of Alaina Getzenberg. I had the enthusiasm for writing but, judging from my first article, zero of the know-how, and I have to credit Alaina entirely with that.

I want to thank Hooman Yazdanian for being a great friend from the day we met at my first orientation, Chris Tril for teaching me how to have some fun with the job and Vikram Muller for being the only semblance of cool this department ever got close to.

It’s almost unthinkable to me that when we were first paired as assistant editors, I only faintly knew Sophie Goethals as a friend. We were inseparable within days, and I never could have gone through a year of the insane job of editing without her. I can truly say the only regret I’ve ever had about my work at the paper was being unable to convince her to become head editor herself.

At a school where it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle, it’s meant more than I can say to have a place where I could mourn the death of Grantland with the only dozen people on campus who knew what it meant to each other, trade escalating hot takes in person every Friday, pretend the work takes you past midnight just because there’s nowhere you’d rather be, and spill your guts to unexpectedly lovely results. I just wouldn’t have a clue, if not for you.

Andrew Wild covers football. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @andrewwild17.