Ashley K. Symons, Editor-in-Chief and Acting Sex & Health Editor
[ashley2] I’ve been hyper emotional these last few days. Graduation is finally hitting me and I’m not quite ready for it. Everything I’ve done this week seems to be the last of some sort – the last time I attended class, the last time I took an exam, the last time I stayed up late trying to finish this issue of The Big Green. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
I will always feel nostalgic about my four years at MSU, especially my time working on The Big Green staff. This magazine has given me a purpose on campus and I am forever grateful for that. I will miss the staff, especially the editors, who have become more like friends. Molly, Caitlin, Cara, Kim, Jessica S. and Jessica Y – I couldn\’t have done this without you. To all the staff, thank you for your time and dedication each month.
Next year, Jessica Sipperley will be serving as E-in-C, and Kim Bale and Cara Binder will be Managing Editors. Alexis Biasell, Nicole Nguyen, Trisha Poling and Katie Sulau will be the new additions to the editorial staff. I leave TBG knowing it is in good hands.
To our readers, thank you for believing in and supporting our efforts to bring you an alternative media voice on campus. The goal of this magazine has always been to bring forward thoughtful stories and I hope we\’ve been able to do that this year.
Well, here\’s my final goodbye to The Big Green. Here\’s goodbye to MSU.

Molly Benningfield, Managing Editor
[molly3]I realized about halfway through my final day of classes in college that I would probably never go to a real class again. I hadn\’t noticed as I was stretching during my gymnastics class (a put-off wish to take a FUN class at least once in the four years I was at MSU.) The realization sparked when I was in environmental journalism, and I suddenly had this overwhelming urge to burst into tears. No worries, I restrained myself. But with a rather anti-climatic ending to the day (although we did receive cookies and juice from our professor), I found myself wandering out of the Comm. Arts building alone, wondering why people weren\’t hugging, signing yearbooks and saying, \”H.A.G.S.\” (Have A Great Summer, for those who can\’t remember middle school acronyms). So, I did what any normal college student would do – I went to another class.
That\’s right. I put myself through more lecturing professors and uncomfortable seats because I had no idea when I\’d experience those pleasures again. The class wasn\’t my own, but I had been invited. (I\’m not sure if I could be a class crasher.) It was the advance poetry writing class I was signed up for at the beginning of the year, excited with the other classmates about continuing our poetry love from the year before. However, I dropped the class the day before it started, overloaded with other work. But my friends Zach and Randall pleaded with me to come, since they were reading a special poem. I felt loved and wanted and had to oblige. And to be honest, I loved every minute of being there. I can\’t help it – I\’ve always liked school.
And now, as I\’m halfway through finals week and about ready to graduate, I can\’t help but feel like college as a whole is anti-climatic. College graduation is nothing like high school\’s. There are hardly any graduation parties, I tried my cap and gown on by myself on the second floor of the Union, and I don\’t even get to sit next to a friend at my college\’s ceremony. To be honest, I feel let down. But I suppose that getting a degree in four years is nothing to be sad about, and I can miss the fun classes all I want, but I will no longer need to argue with a professor about an unfair grade, walk 40 minutes in the morning through snow or put up with University rules. I\’ll just step into the real world, thank you.

Caitlin Dobson, Managing Editor
[caitlin] I\’d like to think that The Big Green is like a fine wine. Balanced and uncorked, it has matured with age, yet has still maintained its \”kick.\” You can sometimes only take it in small doses, while other times you chug it
down as if you just can\’t ingest enough of it to soak your intellectual pallet. Now granted, I may not be your run-of-the-mill wine snob, but if there’s one thing I have learned throughout my years with The Big Green, this
magazine has and will continue to develop and ripen as the fruit of MSU’s alternative media. And I’ll continue to get drunk on every word of it.

Kim Bale, Global View Editor
[kim] As the school year comes to an end, so does another great term with TBG. This magazine continues to grow and improve each year, and 2006-2007 was no different. We\’ve increased our readership, provided more diverse articles ranging from photo essays to creative non-fiction, and worked hard to release our first print issue. Our staff this year became one of the most talented, steady groups TBG has seen in awhile. Next year, things can only get better. We\’re saying goodbye to three staples in TBG history as they graduate and we\’re welcoming four new section editors that will become the future of the magazine. Edgy stories, in-depth reporting and creative styles will still remain, however, no matter who may come and go. It\’s sad saying goodbye, but I am very much looking forward to TBG \’07/\’08.

Cara Binder, Arts & Culture Editor
[cara]I have been talking a lot lately with my friends and family how life-changing this past April to April has been for me. It has been strangely equally very hard and absolutely wonderful. I’ve been to Europe and back, lost a friend and two animals I adored, had a whirlwind of a splendid-turned-disastrous relationship, moved next door to a group of people who quickly became some of my best friends, got a job at a bookstore where I continue to be inspired by coworkers and customers, watched TBG go to the printing press and then decided to take next semester off to go to Minneapolis and work for my favorite magazine.
These past 12 months have been some of the most important in my life, but as I think about it, I don’t see an end to all of these “life-altering” experiences. It sounds ridiculously cheesy, but I really feel like this is about the point in your life when things really begin. I only have 15 more credits to complete and then God only knows what I will be doing. Depending on which hour you ask me, I will reply very confidently with “I’m going to do a volunteer journalism program in Uganda” or “I really want to go to New York. I’ve always pictured myself there” or “It would be nice to have a tiny place on a quiet lake.” Yes, I suppose this last year has been memorable, but I can’t imagine that moving to Minneapolis and deciding how to use 18 years of proper education will be any less incredible, but I can sappily reflect on that later.
In the meantime, I know that I have only one more year of being a member of TBG. We’ll continue to bring our readers the most comprehensive stories on issues that affect those in the Lansing area. We will miss Ashley, Molly and Caitlin terribly as they decide how spend their lives, but be assured that the new editorial staff we’ve mixed up is no less than rockin\’.

Jessica Sipperley, State Side Editor
[jessicas]TBG has given me the means to reach the community; first with words as a writer and then with molding other staff writers to produce meaningful, comprehensive stories about this vast campus as an editor. I never anticipated the growth of our magazine, with the end result being a print issue that is a monumental achievement. As our campus continues to grow, and the interests of its students become more diverse, our alternative media is not going to be an option, but a necessary way to bring us together. In the next year, I will be taking over the Editor-in-Chief position from a line of remarkable and motivated writers, and I couldn’t be happier.

Jessica Yettaw, Photo Editor
[jessicay] Upon arriving at MSU two years ago as a transfer student, I knew right away that I wanted to become involved with a student-run organization of some sort where I could put to use my love of photography. I also knew I wanted to be part of something that had a great group of people who could talk, work and laugh together. The Big Green has not only been a great outlet for me to take pictures and gain organizational skills by being an editor, but has also been a fun way to meet some really interesting and extraordinary people. These people are what make TBG such a success, and their hard work and dedication can be seen in every issue. I know next year will bring about more great stories and advancements within the publication and I\’m excited to see everything that I know the great team of editors and writers will accomplish. I wish my fellow editors and the new editors the best of luck next year and I know TBG will always remain a great place to get an interesting, fresh perspective on stories. With graduation and wedding plans in my future next year, I am ready to move on to the next point in my life, but I\’m happy to have been a part of such a great publication and team of people while here at MSU.


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