I’m Thaddeus Moriarty, and you are wrong. Why?
Because you expect me to be here to say goodbye. After all, this is the last “You Are Wrong” you may ever read. I know, I know; it’s a travesty and a shame. I lobbied for the Free Press to include free tissues in every paper for your unrelenting tears, but the robotic overlords nixed the idea. If only “You Are Wrong” were printed on a medium of, say, a crumpleable tree-pulp-based substance. Hmm.
But anyway, it’s true; this is the last time I’ll be able to write for most of you. Potentially any of you. In just under two weeks I’ll be graduating from USM and transitioning from one chapter of my life to another. In flux. Boldly going where no man has gone before.
I’m going to be ending the column in a different way than you’d probably predict, thus making you wrong. I’m not going to be making fun of you (as much). I’m not going to pick a pop-culture reference and pretend I know anything concrete about it. I’m not going to try to teach you something about history or conspiracies or football.
I’m just going to say thank you.
We have all been eternally changed in some way by our tenure here at USM, graduating seniors like me or otherwise. Each of us, students, families, friends, whoever you happen to be reading this paper. It may have been the advisor that pointed you down the road you needed to traverse to wear your own silly hat. Maybe it was the department chair that convinced you to follow your passion for studying math or nutrition. Maybe it was the editor of the Free Press for giving you a weekly column to vent in. Maybe, for some of you, USM was the first time in your life that you’d ever been surrounded by so many people cleverly disguised as responsible adults.
For me? I’ve been changed by all of you. You and you and you and you and you, each in your own manner. You, the people who listened to what I had to say and let me teach you something every now and again. You, who read my words and maybe even laughed a little. You who advised my path, you who supported my plans. Thank you. Truly.
Thank you, Kirsten and Sam, for allowing me to take up way more space in the Free Press than I ever should have, and for letting me cut loose and be more than a little silly in a newspaper that should be taken seriously. Thank you to Ellie Spahn, for taking the time to doodle for my column the graphics that made the page thrice over more worthwhile. Thank you, Libby Bischoff, who helped me get into grad school and was the best advisor a boy could ask for. Thank you, ARAMARK, thank you Philippi Hall, thank you shuttle bus drivers, thank you ex-girlfriends and janitors and Help Desk workers and WMPG and health services and Kilrobics and the Gorham Grind and planetarium shows and Tammy Szafranski and everyone and everything else.
But mostly, honestly, thank you, dear reader. You made me into a writer. For the first time in my life, I got paid to write. A writer. It’s a dream come true, and it’s because of you, the people who read You Are Wrong, that it happened. And I will never forget it.
Oh, and by the way … this time, you were right.
Thaddeus Moriarty is a senior history major, and he will be missed by his editors.