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Good-bye, she wrote

Original post made by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Aug 13, 2009

MY OLD FRIEND and former colleague Tim Hay was once an editor for the ==I Daily Review== in Hayward. A few years ago he left that for a new job (he now writes for Dow Jones), but before departing he penned one of the [Web Link funniest good-bye columns ever written].

"Note to my co-workers: Hands off my office supplies. I see some of you eyeing things over here. My nice pens. My colorful ceramic mug. Back off, you vultures."

I mention this because it's time, sadly, for another good-bye column, this one by longtime ==I Voice== education and health writer Casey Weiss, who is leaving to earn a graduate degree.

By her own admission, Casey doesn't do funny, so no vulture jokes are in the offing. But she asked me if corny would be OK. I said yes. Here's what she wrote:

Dear Mountain View,

I guess this is good-bye.

After writing what seemed like too many words each week, I am now writing my last for the ==I Voice==.

In the past year and a half, producing news articles has become kind of a science. After some trial and error, it just became second nature. But now I am at a loss for words.

It's strange that I may not receive a call or press release this weekend alerting me about breaking news that needs to be covered -- like a [Web Link stolen cop car], for example. No more late nights at the office or even later nights at school board meetings.

The strangest part, though, is I am going to miss all this, and you, Mountain View.

I have trouble explaining to people why I enjoy school board meetings. Sure, I have quite a collection of doodles from long debates about the phrasing of certain policies, or discussions about who will be attending which conference. (At one board meeting, a top administrator fell asleep.) And somehow I became the unofficial photographer of the Mountain View Whisman school board.

But certain moments -- like when trustees passed policies that would help disadvantaged students, or students came in to [Web Link accept awards or honors] and show off their talents -- were unforgettable.

And then there was that moment, sitting in a meeting, when I realized that covering local education had become more than a job. The subject had become a passion, and I knew I needed to go back to school to learn more.

I think the most amazing thing, though, was how much people here care. How those gadflies came to each meeting. How upset parents called or wrote about various policies and teachers. And how trustees, who are basically volunteers, went to every meeting, every event.

Once a month these trustees and dozens of other advocates for local youth meet at 7 a.m. to discuss problems facing at-risk students. The first time I attended a Challenge Team meeting I arrived at 7:02, and there were no seats or breakfast left.

It's strange that I have been called an "expert" or "pundit" on Mountain View education. But I couldn't have picked a better place for it.

Good-bye and good luck,


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