30: Associate editor reflects on long, strange trip

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Katie Walsh has worked as an associate Life&Arts editor for two semesters. Previously, she was a senior and issue Life&Arts writer. She also appeared on a podcast with Chris once but remained mostly silent.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in The Daily Texan basement office. The term comes from the typesetting mark (—30—) to denote the end of a line. 

There is a very, very, very old Cinnabon inside The Daily Texan vending machine I frequent every afternoon. For almost two years, I have considered paying the $2 for it. But every day, I choose a Snickers or Peanut M&M’s instead. 

It makes me sad that while I left the Texan basement for good Sunday, it gets to stay. 

I’ve never been more jealous of an expired pastry. 

I’ve had the time of my life writing, rewriting, editing, spin jammering, arguing, crying and laughing in the basement. Being a writer allowed me to meet some of the best people I’ve ever known, but the true gems weren’t the funky magicians or puppeteers I interviewed, they were the people writing stories right next to me. 

First, all I knew was Kat and Danielle. I journaled about how much they intimidated me, but at the end of every fearful line, I couldn’t help but marvel at the way they so naturally demanded respect. I’ve never known leaders quite like them. 

While Kat and Danielle scared me (at first), Marisa put me at ease. We bonded over Thoreau, being wallflowers at parties and a midnight dress swap in a Sixth Street alley.

Chris and Charles won me over next. Neither know that I often repeated the opinions they wrote in their reviews outside the basement and spun them as my own. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Chris, sorry you didn’t land a spot in the lede as you requested, but thanks for buying me Magnums (the ice cream), telling the occasional good joke and caring about the paper so much. 

Thanks Brian for teaching me about RPGs and NPCs, two terms I hope never come in handy in my future. And thanks Bevo XIV for dying, because that brought Jamie and I together. 

Eventually I found the girls I’d run L&A with: Megan, Cat and Elizabeth. 

We must have edited a few hundred stories together, but for me, all I remember are the laughs. 

Megan, the jokes Cat and I made both at and with you will forever make me chuckle. You are the blurb queen, a Spotify hog and the ideal person to walk home with every night. 

Cat, you are the best worst influence in my life. If Megan was the angel on my shoulder, you were my “scrappy” devil. Thanks for always defending me in the GroupMe and being the glue that brought this little dysfunctional family together. 

Elizabeth, we fell into perfect sync the night you brought me a stapler stuck in Jell-O and haven’t fallen out since. Thanks for the nods and silent side glances that reaffirmed we were always on the same page. My afternoons won’t be the same without your periodic burps.

And Peter, thanks for caring about us so much. Pardone the cliché, but you are the real hero without a cape. 

It’s going to be a bummer walking up the urine-soaked basement stairs for the last time, squashing dead crickets with every step, but I feel beyond lucky to have been a part of something that is so hard to say goodbye to. 

Life&Arts out. 

—30—