By Linda Smith
I played my last recital at the University of Dallas on May 4. Those who know me know that I get nervous about anything that is not a part of my daily routine, so any time I’m going to be playing my clarinet in a non-rehearsal setting, I am overcome by nerves. Every musical fear comes to mind. What if I start the first movement too slowly? What if I miscount and mess up the rest of my ensemble? What if my nerves get so bad that I have difficulty breathing, and skip crucial notes? Sometimes, those fears have been realized, making them even more palpable before I performed at this last recital.
I’m not quite sure if it was my conscientious attempt to do breathing exercises or my thoughts about the end of the year, but I walked up to the front of Upstairs Haggar ready to play. I had earlier that day felt pangs of anxiety at the thought of it, so I was honestly confused to find myself, clarinet in hand, not overcome by nervousness. We went through the four movements of the “Sonate 2 da Chiesa” by Corelli, and while it wasn’t perfect (I did miscount on the last movement), it was the perfect way to end my musical career at UD. Even playing in a high school marching band with over 300 companions, I had never felt at ease during performances. Until this one.
The last events of any year are bittersweet. For me and my fellow staff members at The University News, it means no more nights fueled by caffeine and pizza rolls spent trying to transcribe multiple interviews, no more hunting down potential sources who find themselves busy at any free moment and no more scrambling to make sure all stories in a section make it in. However, that also means no more writing pieces that reveal problems in need of addressing, highlight the talents of true artists or really inform and affect people.
Working on The University News this year has been different for so many reasons. This year, I am a section editor in a staff full of graduating seniors. I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside every senior in the editorial staff, and I could not have dreamed up a better team of section editors. We have helped each other, either through ideas or contributing articles nearly every week, and I know the dynamic among us has strengthened our staff immensely. The ambition and dedication to the craft I saw in Sally Krutzig, Claire Ballor, Colleen Slattery and Hunter Johnson inspired me every week, and each of them contributed to their sections and to the paper as a whole in major ways.
The breadth of stories we have covered in every section has expanded. News is made by people, art can only happen when people create it and share it with the world, informed opinion allows us to grow intellectually and philosophically and sports are a concrete example of leadership, teamwork and strength. I believe we all carried those thoughts into our stories, bringing those who enrich our campus and the community at large to the fore.
The class of 2015 will soon be leaving UD. Our successors here will improve upon our product and make it their own. There will be more artists who don’t stop at one form of expression, more athletes who find their passion in the arts, and more of those who bring their talents into the world, whose stories can, should and will be told. We will continue to make our mark on this world, be it through art, business or whatever we’re each called to do. And we shouldn’t be nervous about the unknown future. We must continue by taking charge of our abilities and playing on.