After three years as a secret basement dweller in The Daily Texan, I can say one thing for certain: I actually kind of enjoyed it.
For my fellow staffers who don’t know me, and I’m sure there are a lot of you, I’m the big, sometimes angry-looking quiet kid around the office every Thursday night. As a senior sports staffer for two years now, I spent the majority of my basement time listening to music and checking stats, seemingly disengaged from everyone around me.
But, the truth is, I was never really disengaged, nor was I unwilling to engage any fellow Texan workers. I just preferred to quietly observe the weirdness.
Comics always said the funniest things and photo always did the weirdest things. Life & arts always left the earliest, and news was by far the loudest, especially during their hour-long meetings every night.
While I could count on nobody really noticing me unless something needed to be done for the sports page, there are a few things that never failed to happen during my shifts:
1. Copy editors WILL ask me at least one silly question, like “What does 3-for-4 performance at the plate mean?” or “You said so-and-so had 10 boards. What does that mean?” But they always asked so nicely that I didn’t mind at all.
2. If Shabab is working that night, he WILL ask me to rewrite at least one headline. “Try a prepositional phrase,” was my favorite line.
3. From 4-12, I might see my sports editor’s face once. This is not an indictment of any of the editors I have had, as all of them have seemingly run a solid ship, but, if it was my night to work desk, they WILL have other stuff to do.
In addition to the interesting people around the Texan office during my work days, there were also a few sports to keep me busy. From swimming and diving meets with the SID-who-shall-not-be-named, to baseball with the always entertaining Augie Garrido, there were plenty of things to keep me occupied after classes.
Although I didn’t really form as many relationships as I probably should have, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have wanted to be involved with any other group on this campus. The Daily Texan introduced me to the world of a sports writer and much of what I accomplish in the field of journalism from here on out will be because of the experience I gained with the best newspaper in the country (according to one of those national polls).
So to end this with a bang, I will say so long 40 Acres, because I know our adviser loves the phrase.