In this issue we talk about going back to school. Some students look forward to going back. I know I did. The chance to learn something new, hook up with old friends, make new ones and see another place than home was always something to look forward to.

On the other hand, leaving the inevitable summer job was always difficult. Leaving behind a steady paycheck was certainly a part of it, but that wouldn’t even start to cover it. All my summer jobs not only taught me something about life and myself but gave me a chance to interact with more experienced and knowledgeable people.

Now, many years later, I find myself at the other end of the stick. All of us here at the Nation are now forced to say goodbye to a summer student who is returning to school.

It’s not easy. Jeff Ross was a great guy to have work for us. He did some of the crappiest jobs imaginable, as many summer students are often expected to do. An example of this would be the mind-numbing task he had to sort and catalogue our extensive photo library.

But Jeff, who is returning to his studies at Laurentian University in Sudbury, really showed his talents on the page (which shouldn’t be that surprising since he is majoring in English Literature). This opportunity, he’s told us, is what made his time the Nation worthwhile. He has always wanted to try working as a journalist and we gave him a chance.

It was a real pleasure to read his copy. Normally we have to extensively edit new writers, but with Jeff this was always minimal. I will miss having him around, but he has agreed to write an occasional article or two for us so you can expect to see his name in the Nation in the future.

I and all the staff wish Jeff the best of luck for this school year and hope he enjoys Sudbury as much as he enjoyed Montreal.

by Will Nicholls

Journalism as a serious occupation? I scoffed at the idea. Having grown up around journalism, with my mother having written for numerous publications, I saw first-hand the kind of insanity connected with writing for a living. I never associated fame and fortune with it.

But then I found myself within the hallowed walls of Beesum, home of the Nation and Rezolution. What a strange summer I had, beginning with washing dishes 50 hours a week at an overpriced diner to writing for publication.

This office has been my home away from home, and an institution of learning. Sure, all those years at LU were great but all that knowledge felt stagnant and, worse yet, esoteric. It belonged to that community and not the community I hoped to help.

It’s been a hectic summer to say the least, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to write alongside Will and Steve, and Chibougamau was an experience I won’t soon forget. The rest of the staff was great, too. The experience and advice I received were immeasurable.

I’ll be dammed. Writing is addictive. There’s a constant movement among words, and the necessity to continue learning, to keep up with events, to track down characters, and to construct something tangible from the ineffable. It was a challenge.

It was great to learn about Cree politics. It’s amazing how an underfunded medium like this scares the big dogs. That Cree Ebert and Roeper review, you know the one, had the staff in hysterics.

It was great to see the bees in Beesum working. I’d thank everyone but I only have 250 words to say it all and I’ve already gone over.

by Jeff Ross