Goldstein’s Gold Stars: Nexus Assessment

I’d like to start off my final online column with a massive shoutout to John Green and WNYC. Though they aren’t aware of it, Anthropocene Reviewed provided the inspiration for this column and its basic structure of rating aspects of life that are not commonly reviewed—on a five-star scale. 

If you happen to feel inclined to listen to a podcast, please check them out.

I’d also like to thank you, the reader, for taking the time to view my writing either on paper or screen. The idea that you are gaining anything, from entertainment to awareness, through this column is an incredible thing.

Another incredible thing is The Nexus itself: as sappy and cliché as it is, it’s truly been an honor to work alongside this group, this concentration of stylistic sense and linguistic finesse.

When I entered high school, I was set on band as my one large commitment, due to the limited elective options I had as a result of Westview’s four-by-four schedule. Because of my academic, extracurricular, and social expectations (APs and volunteer work and college and the search for identity and…), writing for the school newspaper never really seemed feasible.

Thus, after serving as a member of the yearbook staff in eighth grade, I considered my career in journalism finished.

During my junior year, though, I found myself taking AP English Language with this English teacher I’d never heard of who turned out to be both dorky and profound (in only the best senses of the terms) and who effectively tore down the wall I hadn’t even realized I’d built against Nonfiction.

You have to understand: growing up, I devoured fiction. My voracious appetite for books associated with high fantasy, sci-fi, histfic, and realistic fiction is the most likely cause of my nearsightedness besides genetics. 

In hindsight, it seems obvious, but, consequently, I began to harbor a prejudice that all nonfiction was boring.

So when Mr. Wenger’s class made me realize otherwise, when he helped me achieve my own creative nonfiction, it was pretty freeing. Exposure to a variety of articles and essays, not to mention assignments of writing my own, pushed me to recognize that fiction and nonfiction simply reflect each other, that the tools utilized in crafting either are largely the same. 

Through Mr. Wenger’s APEL class, I understood the sheer magnitude of what I’d been missing out on.

Apparently, he even liked my writing, too, because I was approached at the end of the year and asked if I’d be interested in joining the yearbook staff. Despite my tendency to spread myself too thin, I said I’d think about it.

Yet, because of the other classes I was planning to take, it wouldn’t fit into my class schedule. The class for The Nexus, however, was during a different period, so, following some prodding by a few Nexans I’d met in APEL, I instead decided to join the staff of this award-winning publication.

I was initially hesitant. As a band member, I stood witness to the disadvantages of joining a group—a cult—so late in high school. As a student, I knew full well that my current label was “band kid.” Who was I to add another descriptor? To an exaggerated extent, it seemed almost sacrilegious. 

Silly, I know. But it would be a lie to claim that I am beyond all insecurity.

Nevertheless, I found my place. Over time, I learned the dynamics and the mechanics of The Nexus both in writing and as a people, and I grew as a writer and a member of the team. I discovered the satisfaction of ink-stained hands and developed a heightened affinity for caffeine. I improved my sense of word count and my understanding of the weight of deadlines. I cultivated a variety of friendships, and I gained a renewed awe of those who do not procrastinate.

Though I may never have had the chance to be a Nexan for all four years, I still found a place in the nexus that is the Nexus.

I found yet another way to connect the dots of this scattered world, another way to think.

Ultimately, I found my voice as a journalist.

To anyone remotely involved with The Nexus: thank you.

I give The Nexus five stars out of five.