‘Education,’ others taught me a lot here


Alexandra Rose Nicolas

As a general rule, people who go into the business of writing about others don’t often enjoy writing about themselves.  So, the majority of this column will be the senior equivalent to an Oscar speech; a long list of thank yous that, if you’re not among the thankees, won’t be of much interest to you.

But first, a few words about my education. I will never say Missouri Southern didn’t give me some wonderful and valuable opportunities. I gained practical experience in my chosen field from literally day one of my freshman year.  I interned in Jefferson City, a semester I’m still reaping the benefits from. Southern even offered me opportunities I didn’t take.  Dr. Chad Stebbins still gives me grief about turning down an almost-free trip to China. In retrospect, I regret not taking his offer.

However, many of the wonderful and valuable opportunities were not of the variety you’d want to see advertised in a recruiting brochure.

Missouri Southern taught me what censorship looks like, both directly and through intimidation. Southern taught me about incompetence and complacency. Southern taught me how to recognize when those meant to teach you know less than your average Google search. But Southern also taught me that even in a sea that leaves much to be desired, there are islands populated with professors who not only have something valuable to teach but hope their students will one day surpass them.

If I had to choose Southern again, I don’t know if I would, but I can’t complain too loudly. As a graduating senior I have a job, and years of experience to back me up, all of which I owe to the following:

To the many sources who I woke up in the middle of the night, called at home and bothered the spouses of, thank you, but I’m still not telling you how I got your cell phone numbers.

To John Hacker, who gave me my first job, my second job, who was graceful about it when I ditched him for a better opportunity and who continues to be invested in my career for no reason at all.

To Lee Elliff Pound, because she’s right, chopsticks are not business appropriate hair accessories.

To Jessica MacIntosh, Rebecca Haines, Amye Buckley, Amber Hall, Kristin Lacy, Meagan Morrison, Amber Englebert and Jessy Low, all my favorite Chart girls.

To T.R. Hanrahan, I still hate you 95 percent of the time.

To Rhonda Clark, whose standards will continue to raise my own for the rest of my career.

To Kris Livingston, for being the springboard for my film career.

To Kelly Larson, minus 500.

To Carol Stark and Andy Ostmeyer, for having faith in a 21 year-old-kid.

To Brennan Stebbins, I love you. You’re a pain in my ass.

To Max McCoy, for filling in the gaps left by my traditional education and for being the kind of journalist and novelist I hope to be one day.

To Dot, Haley, Lainie, Claire, Anne, Lan, Marian, John, Phil, Jason, Holly, Avery, Ashley, Ryan, Nana and Pa, because I have the family life people are jealous of.

To my Dad, for not having a particular interest in journalism, but always having a particular interest in me.

Last but certainly not least, to my Mom, for telling me to major in journalism in the first place.

Thank you all, and in Chart tradition, screw you guys, I’m going home.