Goodbye, Marshall. From Rick Farlow

Goodbye, Marshall. From Rick Farlow


One of the first things I did when I came to Marshall as a freshman in 2014 was walk into the Parthenon newsroom and inquire about a position with the student-produced newspaper. 

Armed with a year-and-a-half of experience with my high school newspaper, I thought I’d be writing stories for publication in no time. I was ready to win a Pulitzer and no one was going to stop me.

That was, until the Parthenon adviser, Sandy York, asked me if I knew what a lead paragraph was. I don’t remember my answer, but it wasn’t the correct one. Then, she told me I had to take prerequisite classes before I was even allowed to be a Parthenon reporter. I was dejected (to no fault of Sandy’s).

After I escaped an internal dilemma in which I fervently questioned my choice to study journalism, I realized that everyone makes mistakes, but the best people learn from them (pardon the cliché). I stuck with it. I had a lot to learn.

And learn I did.

My first two years at Marshall consisted of slacking, procrastinating and scrambling last-minute to turn in assignments. I exhibited typical college student tendencies and it was rough (for my GPA). Eventually, though, I woke up.

When I entered my junior year at Marshall, I said to myself, “Self, anyone can do the minimum. Do you really want to get a college degree to sell car insurance?”

I had an epiphany and I found my niche—my passion. I channeled my inner Creed Bratton and realized: I like sports, and I like writing. Why not be a sports writer?

Turns out, I’m good at it.

Four (and-a-half) years later, I write this column as sports editor for the Parthenon—sports editor who knows what a lead paragraph is. In fact, I know a lot more than I did as an uninformed and overambitious freshman. A lot more.

Now, people I’ve never met actually pay me to watch and write words about sports. Think about that. It’s a pretty good gig. 

It wasn’t a slam dunk, though. My first two years here were a failure—a major setback. I had to work hard to catch up with the pack. I did so. I found an internship, reported for the Parthenon and did well in the most difficult journalism courses Marshall offers. Most importantly, I got my name out there.

I graduate in less than two weeks. When I do, I’ll have a lot to remember and even more to be thankful for. 

At Marshall, I’ve done things that can’t be done at most schools. I’ve been courtside, in the locker room, on the sidelines and in the press box. I covered the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament! Not many people get that opportunity in college.

At Marshall, I learned what it takes to cover Division I athletics. I learned how to write, how to interview and how to report the truth no matter how much people (coaches and SID’s) don’t like it.

At Marshall, I became a journalist. 

I couldn’t be more thankful to my professors, bosses, colleagues, family and readers for the opportunity and the support. Because of them, I have a job interview Friday. 

I’m ready to win a Pulitzer and no one is going to stop me.

Rick Farlow can be contacted at [email protected]