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August 3, 2013

Growth seen in three years of writing

Maggie McVey
The Daily Star

---- — In order to be as cheesy as possible, I now quote Mr. John Travolta as Danny Zuko in the cult classic Grease: “It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning.”

Cue the Bee Gees. 

Yes, it is true; this month’s column marks my last as the Weekend Reviews columnist. It’s been nearly three years since my first column ran, in which I discussed one of my favorite films of all time, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Since then, I have tried to find interesting topics and, more importantly, a unique voice of my own to express their significance and keep all of you reading my first attempts at journalism month after month.

Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have had such a great experience with this column. When I began writing for it September of my junior year of high school, I still wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life, and where I wanted to figure it out.

This column has seen me through some life changes, from graduating high school and my first year of college, to simply discovering new music and films that have impacted my life. I honestly would not be the same had I not had such a beneficial outlet for my thoughts and sarcasm.

It was because of this column, combined with my time working on our high school newspaper as writer and editor, that I decided to pursue journalism as a career in college. Over a period of three years, I was able to develop my own writing style and methods, learning ways of planning and organizing, as well as how many commas and parentheses you can use before a sentence becomes a full paragraph.

Each month, with the printing of my writing and name in a newspaper, I have collected the columns and pasted them in an album to use when I am out the “real world,” and to be able to look back upon with pride and remember my very first column.

Some months I enjoyed writing and re-reading better than others, but I truly hope that each month brought some sort of enjoyment to you, and perhaps some exploration of pop culture, or maybe even yourselves.

If I brought even a chuckle to your Sunday morning, or smile or crease of the brow to your face, I consider my venture in journalism a success.

Right off the bat, being able to express my thoughts and opinions in the paper that many people at home read daily, I felt truly honored. But the impact of that didn’t really hit home until I began to receive feedback from those who actually read my columns and formed their own opinions.

Getting phone calls, emails, comments on my columns online, or even people who remember seeing my name next to my writing, is perhaps the most nerve-wracking and gratifying thing I’ve ever experienced. I don’t think there was a better environment for me to be able to get my first crack at writing than right here at The Daily Star.

As I reflect on everything I wanted to be sure to include in this month’s article, I am truly saddened at how much I wish I had discussed. I’ve just begun HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and it’s a trip. Marina and the Diamonds is an artist to keep an eye out for, and Uncle Jesse’s band from “Full House” just recently reunited.

I’m sure the writer who takes over for me soon will have his or her own taste and unique voice to entertain you every month, and to them I say good luck and have fun. It’ll be over before you know it.

In closing, I now quote 1942’s “Yankee Doddle Dandy:: “My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you.”

Maggie McVey, a 2012 graduate of Oneonta High School, is a sophomore at the State University College at Plattsburgh. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk. If you a student going into ninth through 12th grades and are interested in taking over the “Weekend Reviews” column, submit a sample column to dziemba@thedailystar.com by Sept. 12.