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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

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the
gazette
CARRYINGIT WITH HER
Arden Zwelling
ASSOCIATE EDITOR
For most dads, it would be a horrify-ing realization.Their daughter, their little girl —all of 19-years-old and away fromhome for the first time attending auniversity with a reputation for lessthan responsible behavior — wasseeing a new boy and she had — gasp— been sleeping with him.Even the most even-keeledfather would immediately be on thephone ordering the chastity belt. Butnot Jonathan Grossman — he could-n’t be happier.“You can do that?” Jonathan, ahopelessly positive father if thereever was one, exuded. “I’m so proudof you. I would never even think youcould do that. That’s awesome.”No, it wasn’t sarcasm. He wasgenuinely proud of his little angelwho took a little longer to grow intoher wings.He was just so happy she couldlive a normal life.
Waiting for the storm
When Jessica Grossman was 11-years-old she stood 5’3 and weighedall of 50 pounds.Her hemoglobin levels — whichballpark around 120 for an average11-year-old girl — hovered at 55. Any-thing 40 or below would have meantcertain death.Clearly something with Jessicawas terribly wrong.Two years prior to that, Jessicahad been diagnosed with Crohn’sDisease. A brutal intestinal disorder,Crohn’s often doesn’t develop untilsomewhere between the ages of 15and 30, meaning Jessica could justsit idly by, waiting for a storm tocome without a weather report.Yet almost always there is aswitch — an unrelated medical eventthat wakes the disease and begins itssavage assault on the intestinal tract.For Jessica, it was a stomachvirus that she contractedright beforeshe began Grade 7. In the span of a
What do you see when you look at Westernstudent Jessica Grossman? What you can’tsee is the hardship she endured for years.What you can see is her ostomy.
>> see JESSICA pg.2
Courtesy of the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society
 
Jessica scrambled to rescheduleand move her flight so she could beby her ailing father’s side as doctorstried to save his life. But Jonathanwas having none of it.“He said ‘Jessica, I don’t care.You’re going there and you’re doingthis. You’re not going to sit here withme and let this pass you by. End of story,’” Jessica said.So as her dad lay in a hospital bedon the other side of the countryreceiving increasingly high levels of chemotherapy radiation that lefthim a vomiting, feverish mess, Jes-sica was in British Columbia doingthe photo shoot and laying theground work for Uncover Ostomy —the campaign that was supposed tobe the most exciting, substantialachievement of her life.After completing her photo shootand updating her aunt and uncle inVictoria, Jessica raced back toToronto to be with her ailing father.
A life in 37 days
Jessica Grossman had spent moretime in hospitals than anyone elseshould ever have to in their lives.And now she was going back.But this time, when Grossmanarrived at Princess Margaret Hospi-tal in Toronto — right across the streetfrom Sick Kids where she logged heryears in a gown — she was the visitorand not the patient, sitting by herfather’s side as he lay bedridden,hardly able to move or even talk.It would go on like that for morethan a month as Jonathan’s bodydecided whether it would accept thenew bone marrow or not. Jessicablogged her father’s ordeal, as hisbody began bloating and spotting,while the area around his eyespuffed up like a fish and turnedbright shades of red and yellow.The Grossmans watched the doc-tors scrawl Jonathan’s daily bloodwork on a white board across fromhis bed, clinging to every tenth of anincrease in Jonathan’s neutrophillevel or white blood cell count.But their optimism remainedguarded. Just finding a donor hadbeen a miracle in and of itself — itwould take another one entirely forthe transfusion to work.In order to even receive the trans-fusion, Jonathan had to endureeightstraight days of chemotherapy to killall of the diseased bone marrow in hisbody and make room for the newstem cells. Doctors had surged anungodly amount of radioactivitythrough every single pore of his being.On the day the Grossman’s weresupposed to find out if the new bonemarrow was working, the doctorsstopped putting Jonathan’s numbersup on the whiteboard. Slowly,Jonathan’s breaths began gettingfarther and farther apart.Just before 1:00 pm. on Sunday,August 30, 2009, at just 47 years of age, Jonathan Grossman died of kid-ney and liver failure. Thechemotherapy had damaged hisorgans to the point where theyrefused to function.Jessica wrote of the news on herblog, announcing her father’s deathto the wide network of family andfriends who followed it.“Finally, he’s at peace.”
“I wish he could haveseen where it’s gone”
Through her two-year battle withCrohn’s, Jonathan was there. Whenthe doctors told Jessica they weretaking away her colon in order tokeep her alive, Jonathan was there.Through her darkest nights, curledup in pain on a hospital bed, justwaiting for the next hour whenmaybe the pain would be a little soft-er, Jonathan was there.And now he wasn’t. A mere twomonths before the expected launchof Uncover Ostomy, Jessica had losther support system. Just like thecolon the doctors removed six yearsearlier — how could she functionwithout it?But if anyone livescarpe diem, it’sJessica Grossman. Her father sawjust 47 years and there was a timewhere it seemed like Jessica mightnot even make it to half that. If herdad could have had anything in thisworld, it would have been for hisdaughter to be successful and toachieve her dreams.So on Oct. 3, 2009 — world osto-my day in Canada — Uncover Osto-my launched.The website’s splash page wasanything but subtle,with a seductivepicture of Jessica, hair perfectlymessy, wearing a skimpy white tanktop and black jeans, undone at thetop with a tan ostomy bag peakingout above the belt line.Her first blog, complete withvideo and a written introduction, wassurprisingly positive for a girl whohad lost her father just a month prior.But that shouldn’t have been asurprise — Jonathan was an aston-ishingly positive man. UncoverOstomy wasn’t just for herself or thethousands of Canadians living withostomies. Jessica was doing this forher dad.“I’m just so happy that he keptpushing me to do it no matter what.He was so involved in my life — hewould never let anything hold meback,” Grossman said.“I know he was so proud of thefact that I had started it. I wish hecould have seen where it’s gone.”
The future is today 
If Jonathan was here today he wouldsee a unique online community, aone-of-its-kind arena for ostomates— if you don’t recognize that word,you aren’t one of them — from aroundthe world to come together andexchange ideas, share tips and, mostimportantly of all, break the stigma.“The stigma is there so peoplethat have [ostomies] hide it. But if they keep hiding it, the stigma is stillgoing to be there,” Jessica said.In the next few months Jessicaand IDEAS are revamping UncoverOstomy with a new design, newphotos and improved functionality.She wants the website to grow into asupport system with areas for thosewith ostomies around the world tointeract with each other and sharetheir own tips and stories.Jessica doesn’t mind being theone fielding the questions from first-time ostomates. But what she reallywants is for others to step up andfollow her lead, putting a positivespin on life with an ostomy.“If you come out with it and tellpeople about it and say ‘this is whatI have and I’m fine with it,’ then peo-ple see it positively,” Grossman said.“If you go up to someone and saythere’s this gross weird thingattached to me, everyone else isgoing to see the same thing.”Leaving Western after four yearswith a BA and going to New YorkUniversity to do her Master’s ingraphic communications manage-ment and technology in the fall,change constantly fills the air inGrossman’s world. There’s alwaysmountains to climb.“If you don’t have positivity, allyou’re going to do is stop yourself from doing anything you want todo,” Grossman said. “I’ve been ableto look at it very positively and theostomy hasn’t stopped me fromdoing anything.”That much is clear for JessicaGrossman. No one needs to tell heranything is possible. No one canever clip those wings.
The Cryptoquip is a substitution cipher in which one letter stands for another. If you think that X equalsO, it will equal O throughout the puzzle. Single letters, short words and words using an apostrophe giveyou clues to locating vowels. Solution is by trial and error.© 2002 by Kings Features Syndicate, Inc.
• 3
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Thursday, April 7, 2011
2 •
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Thursday, April 7, 2011
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 Solution to puzzle on page 10
STOMACHRECTUMOSTOMY COLON
1234
The doctor enters theabdomen and locates thecolon or large intestine.A portion of the colon ispulled through the incisionin the abdomin.The colon is cut. Theportion attached to therectum is removed orsutured closed and leftinside.The portion attached tothe stomach is broughtthrough the incision andthe ends are folded overand sutured to the skin,called a stoma.
UNDERSTANDINGOSTOMIES
Anders Kravis, Stuart A. Thompson GAZETTE
Jessica Grossman
few days Jessica was drained of allher 11-year-old energy, replaced withstomach-scraping pain that clawedat her insides around the clock.“Basically I’m in a bed in a hospi-tal — I don’t ever want to get up. Thepain keeps getting worse and worse.You can’t really describe it. Imagineyour insides having sharp knivesgrinding through them constantly.That was my life,” Jessica said.Jessica spent the majority of theages 12 and 13 immobilized at SickKids Hospital in Toronto, only leavingbriefly to go home and sleep in herown bed before the pain would getworse and she would need to go back.Her mother Julie, a physiothera-pist and manager of a health clinicin north Toronto, would spend timewith Jessica during her lunchbreaks, hiding her lunch because sheknew her daughter couldn’t eat. Herfather Jonathan, who worked fromhome designing websites, was ableto spend even more time with Jessi-ca, working from the hospital whileshe slept.Finally, when Jessica was 13 andafter two years of constant sufferingin the hospital, doctors presentedher with two options.“They said either you get this osto-my or you die,” Jessica remembered.“It wasn’t really much of a choice.”And thus, the doctors at Sick Kidswent into Jessica’s stomach and har-vested her colon, removing the finalpart of her digestive system and withit her ability to go to the washroomwhenever she pleased. They thenmade a small incision in herabdomen and rerouted her smallintestines out of her body, foldingthe edges of the open ended tubeover on itself and stitching themdown to form what’s known as astoma. Waste would flow freely fromthe stoma into an ostomy, a small,tan-coloured pouch that collectsany and all waste that passesthrough her digestive tract, like aballoon attached to a water faucet.And that was that. Off went littleJessica Grossman, blindly into theworld of having an ostomy after alife-changing and likely life-savingsurgery.“I’ve been very lucky. This was achoice for me,” Grossman said.“Some people aren’t as lucky. Thereare a lot of people who wake up withan ostomy and have no idea whathappened. They don’t know it’s com-ing. One day it’s just there.”
The birth of an idea
All of a sudden the pain stopped. Jes-sica would get dehydrated quickly, onaccount of missing her colon, and herbody had trouble storing iron, butthese were minor inconvenienceswhen compared to being able to livea healthy, normal life again.Then in a Grade 12 media classJessica was given an assignment tocome up with a marketing tool for acharitable cause. She didn’t thinkmuch of it until she woke up in themiddle of the night, as if struck bylightning, and immediately knewwhat to do. She was going to bareone of the most private parts of herbody to her entire class — her osto-my.“I decided the best way to get thepoint across that I’m okay with thisand I’m positive about it was toshow off my ostomy and just put itout there,” Grossman said.Grossman set up a provocativephoto shoot and edited the photoswith the help of her father, a comput-er whiz with a deft hand for Photo-shop. The photocaption was: “70,000people in Canada have an ostomy —it’s time to stop covering up.”And then it was over. Grossmanhanded it in to be marked — “I didn’tdo as well as I hoped” — and thenthought nothing more of it.Until an unusually rainy summerin Calgary in 2007 when Grossmanmet Rob Hill, a fellow colon-lessostomy-wearer and mountainclimber.Hill had founded the IntestinalDisease Education and AwarenessSociety (IDEAS) running campaignsand providing education to raise theawareness of intestinal diseases inNorth America.He immediately saw potential inGrossman’s photos and, ever themountain climber, wanted to takethings to the next level. He wanted awebsite, a new photo shoot, a brand— he wanted Jessica to be the world’smost successful ostomy spokesper-son. It would be called UncoverOstomy.Jubilant to turn words, diagramsand brain storm sessions into amovement, Grossman and Hill madeplans to reconvene in Vancouver, BCin the summer of 2009 to do thephoto shoot.For once in her life, Jessica wasable to take her ostomy and turn itinto something that could help oth-ers — not just herself.
Against all odds
Then Jessica came crashing back toearth. Shortly after planning UncoverOstomy, the news arrived: Jessica’sdad Jonathan had myelofibrosis.An extremely rare and life-halt-ing bone marrow disease, myelofi-brosis — which quickly develops intoacute leukemia without treatment —disrupts the body’s production of blood cells, leaving the afflicted withlittle to no energy, enlarged organsand a tremendous amount of pain inthe mid-section. It was cruelly sim-ilar to Jessica’s Crohn’s, but dissimi-lar in that there was no easy fix.Jonathan was to undergo a bonemarrow transfusion that July. Theexact same day as Jessica’s photoshoot in Vancouver.
>> continued from pg.1>> see IMAGINE pg.3
SRP referendumnow valid
Yesterday, the University Students’Council Appeal Board decided tooverturn the decision deeming theresults of the March’s referendum onthe Student Refugee Programinvalid.The referendum was ruledinvalid after a number of demeritpoints were levied against the “Yes”campaign.According to the report, the Boardfelt the “Yes” side’s violations were“not substantial enough to change theresults of the referendum.”“I’m jumping for joy, I’m just soexcited that it was overturned and[the levy] is going through,” AnnaMartin, director of Western’s StudentRefugee Program, said.Marino Felice, head of the “VoteNo” campaign against the [SRP] pro-posal, was not as pleased with theresults.“They cheated, repeatedly, andsignificantly — why should the spreadmatter at all?” Felice expressed. “Thedecision of the Appeal Board basi-cally says that we acknowledge SRPcheated, but they won by so much,their cheating doesn’t matter.”
—Kaleigh Rogers
News Briefs
>> continued from pg.2
www.westerngazette.ca
 
• 5
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Editorials are decided by a majority of the editorial board andare written by a member of the editorial board but are not nec-essarily the expressed opinion of each editorial board member.All other opinions are strictly those of the author and do not nec-essarily reflect the opinions of the USC, The Gazette, its editorsor staff.To submit a letter, go to westerngazette.ca and click on “Con-tact.”All articles, letters, photographs, graphics, illustrations and car-toons published in
The Gazette
, both in the newspaper and onlineversions, are the property of The Gazette. By submitting any suchmaterial to
The Gazette
for publication, you grant to
The Gazette
a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free, irrevocable license topublish such material in perpetuity in any media, including but notlimited to,
The Gazette
‘s hard copy and online archives.
• Please recycle this newspaper •
the
gazette
Volume 104, Issue 98www.westerngazette.caThe Gazette is owned and published by theUniversity Students’ Council.Contact:www.westerngazette.caUniversity Community CentreRm. 263The University of Western OntarioLondon, ON, CANADAN6A 3K7Editorial Offices: (519) 661-3580Advertising Dept.: (519) 661-3579
Stuart A. Thompson
Editor-In-Chief 
Meagan Kashty
Deputy Editor
Mike Hayes
Managing Editor
Katherine Atkinson, Alli Aziz, Christian Campbell, AlexCarmona, Elliott Cohen, Adam Crozier, Angela Easby, MarkFilipowich, Jennifer Gautier, Jessica Gibbens, James Hall,Katie Hetherman, Elton Hobson, Eliot Hong, Jesica Hurst,Aras Kolya, Jay LaRochelle, Scott Leitch, Colin Lim, JaredLindzon, Alex Mackenzie, Cheryl Madliger, Pat Martini, OraMorison, Nivin Nabeel, Alan Osiovich, Maciej Pawlak,Jonathan Pinkus, Chen Rao, Cameron Smith, Cali Travis,Julian Uzielli, Scott Wheatley, Shawn Wheatley, DrewWhitson, Aaron Zaltzman, Deborah Zhu
News
Gloria DickieMonica BlaylockCheryl StoneKaleigh Rogers
Arts & Life
Nicole GibilliniMaddie Leznoff Amber Garratt
Sports
Daniel Da SilvaKaitlyn McGrath
Associate
Arden Zwelling
Opinions
Jesse Tahirali
Photography
Corey StanfordNyssa Kuwahara
Editorial Cartoonist
Amani ElrofaieAnna Paliy
Creative Director
Lauren Pelley
Gazette Creative
Sophia LemonRichard GoodineAnders Kravis
Gazette Staff 2010-2011
Opinions
Ian Greaves, ManagerMaja Anjoli-Bili
ć
Cheryl ForsterMark RitchieKaren SavinoDiana Watson
Gazette Composing & Gazette Advertising
In retrospect, the USC andGazette are two of a kind
To the Editor:
This is a warning to all students in alllibraries.With the exam period looming overthe denizens of Western, the value of library space is at a premium. By 9o’clock the libraries are packed with stu-dents stuffing as much information aspossible into their worn out brains tomake up for the fact that they haven’tdone their readings in five weeks andslept through lecture just as often.Well, sort of.You see, half the seats are usually full,while the other half have been marked as“taken” by a single sheet of paper, a cou-ple of pens, or a sweater thrown over theback of a seat to mark the territory of astudent who hasn’t stepped foot in thelibrary for hours.This exam season I’m going toassume that these articles of academia,these bits of stationary and these piecesof clothing are all items that some poorstudent has lost in their exam frenzy andwill treat such items with the respectthey deserve. I’m going to take your cor-ral-hogging shit and give them to thefront desk to keep in the lost and found,and then I’m going to take your seat, youinconsiderate bastard.
—Cody Sutherland
MIT IV
With this being the 
Gazette
’s last issue of Volume 104,now is a good time to reflect back on the 98 issues pub-lished this year.
The
Gazette 
, like all campus newspapers, strug-gles to define and fulfill a mandate that fluctuatesfrom year to year. Looking at today’s centre spread,it’s clear plenty of important stories — like themunicipal election — failed to resonate with readers,while less newsworthy pieces — like campus WiFi —proved exceedingly popular.It’s in this context that campus newspapers mustguide their coverage. Some papers are faulted forlooking too inward, focusing on their universitybubble instead of more significant news happen-ing elsewhere. It’s true that a mandate focused oncampus news will result in plenty of uninterestingstories. Covering campus news exclusively alsoforces newspapers to eschew more newsworthystories happening outside their mandated bubble.Some newspapers, like
Metro
, tailor contentspecifically to reader interests: shorter stories,smaller news sections, longer arts sections. Butreaders can be a fickle crowd to please, oftendemanding in-depth stories while thumbing theirway to the crossword.All campus and community papers exist in abubble. But this focus is sensible because thesenewspapers are often the only ones with a criticaleye on the goings-on of their communities. Mean-while, dozens of larger newspapers fulfill therequirement for provincial, federal or internation-al news.Campus newspapers, like all student organiza-tions, are a learning experience — one where stu-dent volunteers try, fail and succeed under publicscrutiny. There is no guidebook setting a specificpath, leaving students the opportunity to experi-ment and continually adjust their mandate.It’s here that campus newspapers can find theirsingle guiding purpose — to cover their geographi-cal area as best they can with diverse and importantstories. But while striving to fulfill this, they havethe freedom as students to experiment and mean-der, reporting on a variety of news outside of theirbubble.It’s crucial for campus and community newspa-pers to watch their communities closely with a dis-cerning and critical eye — no matter the conse-quences or sacrifices.Because if they don’t, no one will.
— The Gazette Editorial Board
So sorry,it’s over
Letters to the editorDear Life
YEAR IN REVIEW Library tenants beware
Stuart A. Thompson
EDITOR-IN-CHIEFstuart@westerngazette.ca
It was a fitting finale yesterday when the
Gazette 
released its annual UniversityStudents’ Council report cards. Theseleaders represent the collective efforts of a mutli-million dollar organization. Andwhile they do important work, only somestudents will see the results.Big ticket events like the Purple Finalesucceed by following a winning formula:free lunch and free punch. Meanwhile,much of their work goes unnoticed, likelobbying the province for more access toeducation.While these leaders get the glory andthe scorn, a hefty amount of work is doneby other people: councillors, commis-sioners, volunteers and staff. So as muchas we love these evaluations, they canonly represent simple summation of acomplex year. They evaluate the leaders,while the rank-and-file go largely unno-ticed.It’s something true of the
Gazette 
aswell. In fact, we mirror each other moreclosely than either camps notice. We’reboth student-run, student-led organiza-tions. Our teams have similar trial-by-firementalities, succeeding and failing in thepublic eye. Our achievements go widelyunnoticed while our shortcomingsbecome the
cause de jour 
for armchaircritics everywhere.There was a feeling in September thatboth groups would achieve somethingdifferent this year.At the
Gazette 
, we overhauled every-thing we could, including the most sig-nificant layout change in years. Much of our work has been behind the scenes, likea digital workflow that makes us online-ready, or a creative section boasting videoand graphics. It was part of a mission tomodernize the
Gazette 
after years of meekly playing catch-up to a changingmedium.Meanwhile, the USC dove head-firstinto a new governance structure empow-ering councillors to do work previouslyhelmed by full-time executives. Therewas a renewed spirit to involve students,emphasized by events they’d simplyappreciate, like the widely successfulPurple Fest. They had the most prudentand reasonable approach to business andfinance in years.But after months of optimism, realitysettled in. The USC floundered in han-dling the UWO Faculty Association strike,provoking a salvo of criticism from aver-age students and the
Gazette 
. Meanwhile,our incessant interest in USC politics andWestern news kept news coverage localwhile offering a handful of forgettablestories.Both groups are grappling with achanging and growing student body, onefar less engaged than years past. So whilethe USC preaches about getting studentsinvolved, the
Gazette 
pleads with readersto volunteer. But most students wantnothing to do with either of us.This should all be considered whensummarizing a year of work. That studentorganizations are always at the mercy of the people willing to do the work. Thatleaders get the brunt of criticism andpraise, but their achievements are owedto their employees, who in student circlesare the most devoted types you’ll find.Because it’s the volunteers who doobscene amounts of work for no discern-able reason. It’s their devotion to an orga-nization, a name, an idea. For newspaperfolks, it’s the
Gazette 
and what it repre-sents. For the politically inclined, it’s thestudent government and its aspirations.But after years at the
Gazette 
and aterm as editor-in-chief, I’m starting torealize we’re not so different after all.
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
— Winston Churchill
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Your anonymous letters to life
Dear Life,
Why would Tim Hortons raise theprices of their food when exams arejust around the corner? The cruelty!
Dear Life,
I didn’t get a chance to write a lastopinion column, so this will have todo: Math got hard, food tastes good,university is over forever, goodbye.
wgaz.ca/dearlife
Hatersgonnahate
Meagan Kashty 
DEPUTY EDITORmeagan@westerngazette.ca
Hell hath no fury like a studentscorned.Throughout this year, I’ll admit,we’ve published an article or twocalling the student demographicapathetic. But the reality is you real-ly care — some of the time.And the result is a reader filledwith so much emotion that it over-flows onto our opinions page, thewebsite — whatever medium avail-able. And that’s great. I love seeing anopen dialogue between our paperand the readers — but that wasn’talways the case.You see, I didn’t always take criti-cism well. This sentiment is sharedby many of my peers I’m sure.Spending hours poring over theintroduction of your final essay onlyto receive a mediocre grade could becompared to agonizing over the per-fect lede only to have a reader com-ment on a poorly phrased sentenceburied in the last paragraphs. “Butthey’re missing the point,” might bea common exasperation.But whether it’s constructive,useless or downright mean, criticismis a good thing. It forces you to jus-tify a point you’ve made public andchallenges you to cover all yourangles next time. For every sentenceI write, I now have four more sen-tences in the back of my mind readyto defend that point. Criticism forcesyou to stand by your convictions,has the potential to discredit you,but helps you improve next time.The more criticism the better. Ithelps you distinguish between theindividuals that want to help youimprove in the long run, and thosewho are just looking to have theirvoices heard. And either one is okay.Take feedback and use it when it’soffered. But if a person is just lookingto vent, remember heated discussionis better than no discussion at all.That’s the biggest thing I’ve learnedat my time at the
Gazette 
.Oh, and never quote someoneelse as your final thought. It’s a copout — you should be able to phraseyour thoughts with more convictionthan anyone else can.
Kash-money 
Hayes’d and Confused, one last time
Mike Hayes
MANAGING EDITORmike@westerngazette.ca
There’s a certain note of finality toany piece of writing I’ve producedfor the
Gazette 
over the years. Onceit heads off to the printer, the wordsI put down on the page aren’t goingto change, no matter how much Imay wish to have another crack atit.So it’s with a certain amount of consternation that I approach this,the last “Hayes’d and Confused” I’llever write for the
Gazette 
. ThoughI’ve covered a variety of issues overthe years — from salvia divinorum toetiquette among Canadian politicalparties — having to provide an epi-taph has proven to be the most dif-ficult.Traditionally, these last–issuecolumns are offered to the paper’sFront Office to give them one lastkick at the can. Some choose to writeshout–outs to those who made theiryear extra special, others attempt topass on information to future gen-erations of Gazetters.I’m also positive these columnshave never in any way been used asa way to fill space at a time of yearwhen many section editors are con-cerned with final papers and exams.So where to start? I began at thepaper as a volunteer in my first yearat Western, back in ‘06/’07. I saw theeffects of the Spoof Issue of that yearand watched as the paper emergedfrom the ashes the next yearstronger than ever — if perhaps witha less cavalier attitude. And whileother volumes may not have seen asdramatic a change from year–to–year, each volume of the paper hasbeen as unique as the individualswho wrote them.It’s both the most exciting anddepressing part of the
Gazette 
.Though every year provides newand exciting opportunities, we alsolose unique and talented individualsat the end of every year.It’s something symptomatic of the university system. We forget thatwith most students in school for fouryears, it only takes two years for half the students to be unaware of anevent. You may be able to look to thestudent newspaper to provide con-text to current events, but we’reprone to exactly the same problems.Sure, we attempt to circumventthis problem by writing reportsspanning the entire year, but they’rea poor substitute for an actual per-son who can answer questions andinteract with you.But maybe things are better thatway. Sometimes it’s better to nothave to face a situation withoutsomeone telling you it was triedbefore and didn’t work — havingfreedom to make mistakes is often-times the most important mecha-nism for learning.So to look ahead to the futuregenerations who may read the wordsI’ve written — highly unlikely, consid-ering the amount of dust our backissues are currently gathering in theoffice — I’d say make mistakes. Learnfrom them, but also revel in them.If everyone loves you or every-one hates you, you’re doing some-thing wrong. But if there’s a group of readers willing to storm the officeand another group of equal size will-ing to stand in front of them,chances are you’re doing somethingright.The
Gazette 
should always belooking for the difficult news sto-ries. But we also shouldn’t be afraidto have fun. Unfortunately, with anincreasing blur between campusnewspapers and smaller–focuslocal papers, the irreverence of yoremay be relegated to the dustbin of history.But for someone who was giventhe blessing by his boss to try to doThe Spoke’s Around the World of Beer Tour in one day, I hope the
Gazette 
still retains a little bit of cheekiness far into the future. Afterall, a sense of humour is a terriblething to waste.
Hayes'd andConfusedThomphoolery 

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