IMG_6387 And now the bell tolls for me.

After being a part of the production of 60 editions of the Catalyst and roughly three years of serving on the student newspaper, my tenure has come to an end. As you read this column, my duties as Editor-in-Chief end effective immediately.

I’ve written about sexual assault, the college’s economic impact, the “Harlem Shake,” forest fires, skiing, hockey, parties, darties, dorms, and guy nicknamed “Big Dick.” I’ve woken up in the middle of the night to cover stories all over campus and once handed my voice recorder to a friend to capture a press conference when I lost my wallet covering the Olin Hall chemical release. I’ve written about the death of my best friend.

I’ve stalked Campus Safety (sorry, guys!) and thought of tongue-tying questions to ask President Jill Tiefenthaler (sorry, Jill!).

 

Thanks to The Catalyst, I’ve regrettably alienated a few friends and one girlfriend and lost few too many nights of sleep. Mom, I’m sorry for all of the times that I checked my Twitter feed at the dinner table.

To all the professors whose classes I darted out of or missed or didn’t pay attention in so that I could cover a story: I’m sorry, but only a little sorry.

I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything, and I sure as shit regret nothing.

Per the bylaws of Cutler Publications, the independent, non-profit board that oversees The Catalyst, The Cipher, and The Leviathan, I can no longer be at the helm of this newspaper. Jack Sweeney, a sophomore who has worked at The Catalyst since his first days at CC, will be taking my position and continuing the great work that roughly 100 students have a hand in each week.

My departure leaves me facing two earth-shattering realities: this is the end of the thing that has defined me the most for the last few years, and this is really the end.

Four more blocks. Fuck.

I started writing — perhaps prematurely — about the looming monster of graduation last semester as I began realizing that the hourglass was draining quickly.

There are still so many things I have to do before I leave the college, and unless Boettcher figures out how to get Red Bull into an intravenous drip, I’m afraid some will just have to be tabled. Hell, I’ve never even done the Incline.

To be honest, I’m scared. To be really honest, I’m scared shitless.

It’s only appropriate that the political science class geared towards seniors that I’ve signed up for Block 8 is called “Smiling Through the Apocalypse.” In naming the course, the professor, David Hendrickson, is either some kind of sick madman or a genius.

Every time I look at my transcript or talk to friends about my course load next semester, the title of Hendrickson’s class surfaces.

“How fitting, right?” I say.

Well, Hendrickson, maybe the joke’s on you. I think we’re all going to be OK.

While apocalyptic doesn’t begin to describe what doomsday — or May 19, 2014 — is looking like, come Llamapalooza-time in the spring, I hope to be feeling a little bit better about the future.

Sure, I’m entering a career field where jobs are as plentiful as spots on a psychedelic bowling bus, and sure, two of my best friends have six-figure-paying jobs in Denver lined up to begin this summer, but I’m not going to start worrying about “what’s next” just yet.

As an English major, I’m going to evoke some early 17th century wisdom for y’all.

John Donne, the well-known metaphysical poet, wrote in 1623, “Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill as that he knows not it tolls for him.”

I’m pretty sure Donne, who would have to rethink everything if he saw XXXmas last weekend, wasn’t talking about graduating from college or stepping down as editor of his college newspaper. However, his words ring — pun intended — true.

Even after listening to the chimes from Shove’s tower thousands of times, it took me roughly three years to realize that there even was a bell, and now that thing is reporting its deafening sound everywhere I go – and it’s getting louder every day.

In acknowledging and recognizing that in the end there are both pros and cons, I think I’m starting to appreciate — or as my buddy Justin Perkins would say, “seize the carpe” — every last moment I have left at Colorado College.

From the last laughs to the bad grades, it’s all starting to taste a little sweeter, especially Rastall brunch.

Thanks for putting up with me for the last few years.

Jesse Paul, Editor-in-Chief

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