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.
I walked into the basement for the first time in the spring of 2010. Little did I know I would stay there for five semesters.
During my first tryout day, I shot film and didn’t know we were suppose to have the images ready for the next day’s paper. So of course, my photos didn’t come out until a week later (thanks CVS photo lab!). The second day I shot, I had borrowed a friend’s camera. I almost got “wild” in the paper that day, but I was too shy to ask the person’s name for the caption, so it didn’t run. Yet, I was still hired, along with a bunch of people who later became some of my best friends.
It’s hard to describe what my best memory was at the Texan because there were so many. A few stood out though:
I remember when I got stranded at the Kramer station after hopping on the Metro Rail for its inauguration my first semester as a staffer. A hardcore bicyclist was kind enough to show me the way back to campus. We rode our bikes together for a good hour up hills, in parks and next to the highway. Through all of my assignments, I met so many generous people like him; people who took the time to share their stories with me.
Another good memory was when I photographed former president Jimmy Carter at the LBJ library. It was one of the most exciting assignments I have ever had, and the first time I was picked up by the Associated Press.
I also remember all the long nights we spent in the office, trying to finish editing while blasting the music so loud we pissed off the entire newsroom (sorry guys). I remember Ryan’s butt-naked errands around the basement. I remember those moments of complete fatigue and hysteria (we were so “good public”). I remember choosing our new staff until the early hours of the day after two intense weeks of tryouts. I remember the pizza and the veggie trays, the movie nights in the parking lot, the comfortable but smelly couches, the electrocuting tables, the late and long meetings, the many times I was “lost in translation” and so on.
I remember Sara, Peter, Bruno, Dani, Bryant, Mary, Danielle, Peyton, Jeff, Trent, Shannon, Thomas, Corey, Lawrence, Ryan, Tamir, Elisabeth, Allen, Andrew, Pu, Zach, Marisa, Jorge, Demi, Andrea and so many more! I remember Eli, the giant, always there even in the latest hours.
I will also remember all of the designers, the writers, the copy editors, the comic artists, the sports writers, the life and arts kids, the opinionators and you, Doug. We all worked so hard to get that paper out everyday, and I sometimes honestly thought we would not make it. But we did, without exception, because the Texan is full of talented and dedicated people.
I will remember all of you guys and I will miss you a lot! I wish you all the best of luck.
Thanks for making me grow both as a person and as a photographer. And thank you for offering me a home when mine was so far away.
Fanny Trang, from Brussels, Belgium, starting at The Daily Texan in spring 2010 as a staff photographer. She has been a senior photographer and an associate photo editor.