I used to hate that my mom never taught me how to speak Spanish.
She’s fluent, as is most of her side of the family. But my dad isn’t, so it was more convenient for her to talk to both of us in English. When it came time to take foreign language classes, Spanish was an easy choice.
I’ve learned more Spanish from my grandmother than in any class, but, in my first Spanish class at UT, I did sit behind a tall, goofy, sports-loving guy named Trey. We quickly became friends.
Shortly after he was hired as a sports editor the next summer, he hired me and put me on the football beat — the biggest beat in the department — despite having only been at the Texan for around two months. No pressure.
But working with Austin Laymance made things so much easier on me. He knew his stuff, was a pleasure to work with and even helped me pick up my first big internship with MLB.com the following summer.
Covering Texas baseball last spring is still the most fun I’ve had on a beat. Augie Garrido is the quirkiest and most engaging coach on the 40 Acres. It’s not close. Being on that beat with the hard-working, skilled and hilarious Chris Hummer made things even better.
Trey spent that spring in New York and came back as an assistant managing editor. The Texan needed a sports editor and, for some reason, picked me. I was honored. And naive.
I spent more time in that wondrous, awful, spectacular, life-changing basement over the next two semesters — last fall and this spring — than I did anywhere else. But it was worth it, thanks to people like Aleks — every time someone calls me “CC,” I still think of him.
It was worth it, thanks to people like Elisabeth and Lawrence, who take the best sports photos you’ll ever see and make 20-hour drives seem like 20-minute trips. Thanks to people like Natasha, who can put together a Double Coverage issue together faster than you can say “Mack Brown.” People like Nick, the only one I know who can make you feel weird for not sticking your head in the ice cream cooler at the gas station.
People like Nicole, whose time I spent with in the “sports corner” last fall I’ll always treasure. She wrote her -30- column this time last year, but I still consider her my best friend. Why she considers me her best friend is beyond my understanding, but I am grateful.
And I am grateful for all of the people, including those not mentioned here, who made my time at the Texan so memorable. These last two and a half years there have made for one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of my life.
And, after thinking about it a little longer, I’m also grateful for my mom not teaching me how to speak Spanish as a kid. It all worked out in the end.