Well, that's it for the Fall 2006 semester at The Badger Herald, and the University of Wisconsin will follow suit after finals come to an end. It's been a long but rewarding semester, and it's finally time for a chance to relax.

For me, it means a few flights, a glass of Glug with the family on Christmas Eve and a disconnected cell phone — a chance to reflect on what's happened this semester and what we have planned for next.

This semester had its share of highs and lows here at UW, in the city of Madison and in Wisconsin as a whole. The Student Union Initiative convinced enough people Memorial Union would sink into Lake Mendota if students didn't raise segregated fees; the mayor drew up a radical new plan for Halloween that turned out a relative success; and students made it out in droves to oppose the gay marriage ban. We have the same governor but a new attorney general, we're looking for a new dean of students and our city aldermen are vigilant as ever.

Here at the Herald, the staff has put in long hours, missed classes and slept through the ones we actually attended. We've asked "What's supposed to go on page 5B?" and "Where's the entire news section?" at 2 a.m., and "How did that make it to print?" during the day. But I'm almost positive most of us haven't asked, "Is all of this work worth it?" — or at least we answered ourselves quickly in the positive if we did.

Thank you all for choosing us as your source of news and entertainment; a packed lecture hall boasting a sea of Herald blue gives each staffer here a sense of pride in the work he or she has put in to make this newspaper possible.