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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

As a mainstay of one desk my three semesters at The Alligator, I feel it’s only right I address this letter in her name: 

Dear the Avenue, 

I would be lying if I said you were my dream desk from the very beginning. In fact, I actually didn’t know you existed before applying to The Alligator. 

I remember the first time I was introduced to your name two-and-a-half years ago. I received a phone call from the editor-in-chief when my first winter break as a UF undergraduate was coming to an end. She broke the news, and it came as a blow: I wasn’t chosen to be part of the seemingly coveted metro or university team. I had failed the rite of passage, and my heart stood still in time. 

Until, she followed with the words, “We’d like you to be part of our Avenue desk.” Huh? The thing I turn onto at West University when I’m deciding whether I want a crispy chicken poblano from Just Salad or a polite vodka cranberry from Rowdy’s? 

The next thing she said: “It’s our arts and culture desk.” And suddenly, my entire future at The Alligator was set. 

As a former theatre kid (however, not the 2 a.m.-at-Denny’s-with-his-whole-ensemble-cast type), a desk like this had my name written all over it. Not only would I get to report, but I would get to report about things that actually excited me. To even slightly hesitate to accept the offer would be an insult not only The Alligator, but my inner Trina Vega as well. 

You, the Avenue, have always reminded me how much I love this field each time I think I truly hate it (to reporting or multimedia reporting students, if you know you know). Second to the theatre, you are the longest relationship I’ve ever had. 

But now comes the time we must mutually end things. I guess you could say it’s because “the timing just isn’t right.” But every time I spent with you, it always felt right (but also mandatory; I had a job to do). 

To my desks back in my baby reporting days to my desk during my big-boy editing days, you have all made this section what it is. Although a lot of what we do can feel independent from The Independent Florida Alligator, we aren't and never will be second fiddle. 

I now rev my engine and depart the Avenue, heading straight on to who-knows-where boulevard. But, I’ll let you know if I have to make a U-turn. 


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Jared Teitel, the Avenue Editor 

Jared Teitel was the Spring 2024 Avenue Editor

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Jared Teitel

Jared Teitel is a third-year journalism major, and this is his second semester as an Avenue reporter. In his free time, he enjoys running, shopping, and drinking coffee. 

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