Farewell Column: Too much love, not enough time


By Parker Purifoy, Emerson '21

The newsroom had been planning a Beacon party for weeks. 

We spend so many hours in a work setting that we need time with each other without all the stress and pressure. And then our lives were flipped upside down and inside out by the COVID-19 pandemic that has sent shockwaves rippling around the world.  

For the entire week, I’ve been compartmentalizing—one of my specialties. I wasn’t going to allow myself to feel what I knew was coming. The semester was speeding to a halt at a blistering pace, and none of us could wrap our heads around it. But we had a job to do. We still had to serve our community and provide crucial information that might help ease some of the overwhelming anxiety and uncertainty that’s palpable in every corner of campus.

It wasn’t until our party that I had a chance to look everyone in the face and comprehend the level of loss coming my way—I plan on attending the Washington D.C. program in fall 2020.

There aren’t really enough words to describe what this organization has meant to me over the past three years. I have found a purpose and a calling in bringing attention to things in this community and in holding institutions of power accountable for their actions.

But most of all, I found a family. It’s a family that values the same things I do while still bringing unique perspectives to the table. It’s a family who is just as ambitious and hardworking as I am. Whenever I was scared of asking too much of our staff, they would push even further and ask, “Okay, but what about this?”

We have been through successes and failures, we have laughed and cried, celebrated and grieved—all of it together. We fight, yell, and argue, but at the end of the day, I love every single one of them. 

This newspaper and the people in it have changed my life forever and all I can say is that I am so incredibly proud of everything we’ve accomplished, especially in the last year. 

Chris finally got the city tab on the website he wanted. Aaron, Kyle, and Ethan built out a badass sports section. Diti and Ziqi gave people space to express their perspectives and blew me away daily doing it. Grace and Taina continually cast light on the artistic works of this school with unrivaled skill. Jakob and Rachel have revolutionized the photo department with their endless creativity and curiosity. Katie, Lara, and Aaron started a Kasteel Well vertical, showing a level of commitment that I didn’t previously think possible—even if it only lasted for a week or so (sorry guys). 

The news team continued to dig into every facet of the college, which includes building out a Marlboro beat that brings consistent and vital information to their community. They were fearless and persistent the whole way through. Tomas, I’m so sorry you never got to go to Marlboro College. 

To say that I am devastated is an understatement. I am angry and bitter and sad that the month and a half I have left is being ripped away from me. I am mourning the projects and the memories that could’ve been. It wasn’t until Friday’s party that I realized that while I am overcome with this grief, I am not scared about the future of this paper. 

Even though this is my last edition of the paper and my last semester with this organization, we are continuing to build this legacy of ambition that will continue long after I have left. The Berkeley Beacon will continue to push against what we thought was possible for ourselves and will continue to do so with our community in mind. 

I came here with no friends, no purpose, and not really knowing where my life was going. I am leaving with a family, a blazing purpose, and a path forward. It has been the honor of my short life to work for this newspaper and I cannot thank you all enough for making that possible.