Managing editor reflects on years in basement


-30- Column

Aleksander Chan, former managing editor, in the Texan basement. 

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | 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’s basement office. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line.

How do you say goodbye? How do you walk up those stairs from the basement into the world and leave your friends and the people you love and the work you’ve done nothing else but? How do you leave?

I don’t want to say, “Now, at last.” Because all I can muster is, “No, it’s too soon.”

I just want to sit with Elisabeth and Natasha on the Thinking Couch and talk about nothing. And everything. I want to slip back to the photo department, and ask Andrew about his weekend and stand outside with him while he smokes. I want to lean on Doug and ask him if I can do it and what it all means.

I want Aaron to plop down next to me in a chair, snap his fingers and tell me a hell of a story. I want Ben to saunter in and distract me and tell me about why and who and how. I want to sit in the old Life & Arts office and talk about TV and eat Chinese food with Katie all day. I just want Amber to tell me one last time, “I think you would be good at this.”

Because missing it hurts. Missing it means it ended

I don’t want to miss it when Elyana sneaks in and tells it like it is. And I don’t want to miss seeing Lawrence and Guss sleeping huddled on the couch, snoring. I don’t want to miss Riley’s stolen smiles and Matt’s mumble and Audrey running around on the tips of her feet.

Without Kristine, who will reassure me? Without Sarah-Grace, whom will I laugh with?

If I leave, will I ever know anyone as kind as Nicole? Or as gracious as Christian? Or as wise as Lena? If I don’t see Trey everyday, will I still feel his support?

Because it doesn’t make me sad to leave. It makes me sad that the memories I’ve made here will fade away with time. So I’ll print them here, so they live forever, so I never forget.

Because I don’t ever want to forget working here.


Aleksander Chan started working at The Daily Texan in spring 2011 as a Life & Arts staff writer. He has been Associate Life & Arts Editor, Life & Arts Editor, Associate Managing Editor and is now the Managing Editor.