Senior Column: Evan Burns

The author, then and now.

How do you sum up four years in so short a space? There are so many little things you don’t think you’d miss until the moment you realize they’ve passed just beyond your reach and have become relegated to memory. You fall into certain routines and don’t notice you’d become accustomed to them until something in your life changes and they’ve been replaced. I think we all dealt with that to one degree or another over the past year.

Writing for The Daily Campus, I still reviewed theater productions from the drama department and films, but the experience had changed. Instead of heading to a crowded cinema to watch new releases on the big screen, I was watching them in bed on my laptop. Instead of giving my extra comp ticket to a friend and walking to the Harriet Jorgensen or the Studio Theater or the Naffe Katter to watch live actors perform the newest Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) show on stage and afterwards hurriedly interview them at Dog Lane as I created questions on the spot and guzzled down as much free ginger lemonade as my stomach could handle, I was watching virtual productions over Zoom in bed on my laptop.

There are various reasons I could have had to finally call it quits this year and discontinue my participation at this paper; I was busy as a student teacher, events had become less numerous and more homogenous, the excitement I got from live concerts and plays was absent and I just felt, as I’m sure many others have as well, a general malaise from the relative solitude brought on by the pandemic. Still, at no point did it cross my mind to stop writing. For any one reason there could be to stop, there were more to continue on.

To begin with, I love writing. I know it’s hard to believe that the guy whose articles typically run well over twice the recommended length enjoys putting words on a page, but it’s true. Writing is work, especially when I’m scrambling against a deadline that’s only an hour away after just getting back from the event I’m about to describe, but it’s never unwelcome. Even with all the essays and reading responses and research papers I’m endlessly assigned, The Daily Campus gives me an outlet where I can write about what I want to with as much stylistic flourish and indulgence as I feel in that moment. Writing can be stressful and difficult, but it’s also freeing and invigorating.

I also stay for the community. What makes The Daily Campus such an incredible environment is its people. Even without the weekly meetings moved online instead of at The Daily Campus building behind Moe’s, which I’ve repeatedly been made aware no one who is not associated with the paper seems to know exists, I’m always in awe of how many of the brightest, funniest and most interesting people on campus are a part of this paper. All of the editors I’ve had across all four years have encouraged and inspired me to become a better writer and more adventurous person. They deserve all the praise I can lavish. Thank you Schae, Julia, Melissa, Becca and Hollie.

Being a part of this paper was one of the decisions I look back on with the most pride and satisfaction. Some of my favorite college memories were made possible by this paper. I’ll never forget the experience of watching a concert where the star was a holographic projection of an opera singer who’d been dead over 40 years, or the time an Emmy-winning director personally emailed me to make a suggestion for my article. I will forever be grateful to this paper for sending me to New York City and setting me up with a Times Square hotel room all at their own expense. As I write these final sentences, I feel truly lucky to have been a part of such an amazing, talented and supportive family. The beautiful thing about print journalism is that a bit of me will always remain here in my writing, just like a bit of The Daily Campus and my experiences with it will always live on in me.

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