Some of you may know that my college, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, is closing its doors this week. As I write this, I’m sitting in the lab where Jackalope Magazine used to meet every Thursday. I had to walk around to the back of the building and ring a bell with the hope that someone would be inside to let me in. Luckily, a friend was printing out some last photos and answered the door. Now I’m at my old desk where I wrote, agonized over and published 75 articles on the life of this now empty campus and the surrounding Santa Fe area. It feels surreal sitting here. I may be one of the last people to do so.
I didn’t expect myself to feel so emotional about the school ending. I’m not sure why. I think perhaps I didn’t expect to feel so sad because I spent so many of my years at this school angry and frustrated. There were times I hated this place, where I wanted to leave. However, sitting here now for the last time, I can’t help but mourn. I loved my professors here. I loved writing for Jackalope Magazine. I love the stories I told here. I’m filled with a longing I can’t totally describe. I guess it’s a kind of nostalgia, but not for what was here, although I miss that, too. I feel a desperate cling to the atmosphere of this place, a longing for somewhere to come back to, somewhere to feel nostalgic, a location to feel proud of where I’ve been. It’s hard to know there will be nothing left when I leave for the last time.
I want to thank Jackalope Magazine for making me the writer I am today. I need to thank Julia Goldberg for being a constant source of mentoring and support and for giving me a kick in the butt whenever I needed it to move forward. I need to thank Tony O’Brien for making me laugh and inspiring me to do my best. I need to thank both of them for letting me cry in their offices when my brain felt like it wasn’t working right anymore. I want to thank the students who also wrote for Jackalope, for curling over desks and typing furiously, for filling this room with so much joy, for sharing the heartache and the discoveries. This room will always stick with me and I want to thank it, too. It’s the room I called home, my safe touchstone every week where I knew I could feel some sense of clarity. This is the space I’ll always think of as SFUAD.
I don’t know how to end this post because I don’t know how to end my time here. I think what I need to say is goodbye and thank you. I’m grateful for one last moment to sit here and write, one last Jackalope sit-down to tie the whole thing off. It feels good to end things in this room.
I love you, SFUAD. Thank you.