Year in review: fishing for compliments is an art form

Amidst the tears and groaning campus-wide, I regretfully inform you that this is indeed my last hurrah as The Flor-Ala exec. I tried to decide how to leave the paper. Do I leave it in utter shambles (which was an idea that I quickly threw out)? Do I fish for a compliment? Would it be better to go out on a high note? Well, sing away, Mariah Carey, here it is.

I asked a few friends, co-workers, and even my girlfriend to talk about their view of The Flor-Ala under my leadership, and here are their responses:

“As your roommate, I have seen first-hand the hard work that you have put into it. I have enjoyed reading each week, and I believe the paper reached new heights this year. Congrats on a job well done.” – Parker Hendricks, my best friend and roommate

“You really helped the paper turn around, not only with writing articles, but making connections between The Flor-Ala and other organizations on campus. It’s obvious that you poured your heart and soul into that paper and I hope executive editors that follow you will do the same. Good run, Mr. Skipworth.” – Bethany Oliver, a legend on campus

“If you are looking for a great read then The Flor-Ala is your go to … it’s a newspaper for, but not limited to, students, written by students. It gives readers an update on what’s going on around them. Sometimes the articles can really hit home, make a reader more aware of a particular situation or event, or encourage someone to research something, better themselves or want to learn more about something. Overall, it’s a great way to take a break from classes and become more knowledgeable from articles written by people just like you.” – Lauren Estes, Staff Writer

“Ben, you’ve done amazing things with The Flor-Ala. You definitely turned it around and made it head for awesomeness … even though I am framed in there as an Internet pirate and have to go by an alias now. You have done an absolutely amazing job. Good job, man.”

-Pedro Sanchez (Zack Cox)

“You made the paper what it is today. It was a joke when I got here as a freshman, but you got the university excited about it. Plus, you got me writing. If not for you, I would have never written for the paper.” – Ben Ray, incredible drummer and ATO president

“I really enjoyed reading The Flor-Ala. There were always a lot of interesting articles, and the editorials were simply fantastic. I absolutely loved the Facebook Wins of the Week and The List. You did an outstanding job with the paper. Your hard work is the reason why the paper is what it is today. Good job!” – Chelsea Keenum, a gnarly friend

“As a reader I always look forward to picking up a Flor-Ala just to look for any of Ben Skipworth’s Easter eggs … the Flor-Ala showed me a lot of love this year by putting my picture of when I painted up for the football game (yes, that was me) and when I went to the midnight release of ‘Call of Duty.’

“They even named me an ‘action movie specialist.’ Haha. All in all, Ben Skipworth and staff made this paper what it is and that is pure awesome! Thanks for all the hard work you put in.”


Kyle (K-Tom) Thomas.

“I’ve seen your hard work in action. I’ve called at ridiculous hours of the night to see if you had even left the paper yet. You have gone above and beyond to make that paper relevant again. You put your heart into the paper and it has shown each week. You are dedicated and you have a lot to be proud of. You are leaving a legendary mark on The Flor-Ala and you will never be forgotten. Awesome job, Ben!” – Jessie Brooks, my loving girlfriend

“As stated above, you have left your mark on The Flor-Ala. I never in a million years thought about writing for a newspaper, and to this day I cant believe I have written so much. I don’t think I would have continued to write for The Flor-Ala unless you were executive editor.

“For a first-time writer, you have been straightforward with me. You have great criticism, and you break it down for new writers with no experience. I never thought writing for a paper could be so rewarding; people you didn’t even know read this paper and it could affect the rest of your life.

“I am so glad that Jenn Lyles also gave me the opportunity, and opened this new door in my life, to be apart of such a great staff. I will miss you next year Ben, but there is still going to be a part of you that will remain in the paper forever.” – Erica Finn, Staff Writer

“I have enjoyed working under your leadership this year not only because you taught me about how a newspaper works, but because you taught me how to get people to read a newspaper. Good luck in your future endeavors. I look forward to watching you take over the Nashville music scene.” – Josh Skaggs, future Flor-Ala legend

“You couldn’t ask for a better editor, friend, or person in Ben Skipworth. What he’s done for the paper is obvious and doesn’t need reiterating. It was an honor to work with him as an editor, and saying he’ll be missed is an understatement. Best wishes, Bro Montana.” – Owen Whitehurst, former co-worker and NYC champ

“I’ve never been as impressed by the Flor-Ala as much as I have this year! It’s taken a complete 180 in the right direction and you’re going to be missed for sure!”- Jon Garcia, friend and business partner