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.
It seems only fitting that I would miss the deadline to submit a 30-column and have to bribe Aleks with the promise of fancy cocktails to get one in on time. I suppose anything less wouldn’t be true to form. Perhaps it was fate helping me to avoid a Brady Bunch portrait.
So here we are. The day has come. I guess not working here anymore had to happen eventually. I’ll say what everyone else always says because it’s true: this place has been many things for me. An anytime nap spot, computer lab, cafeteria, nightclub, home away from home. There was a time when I knew I could walk down here and find my best friends and roommates, sometimes talking photography but more often not. This was just a safe place we all had in common. I don’t know where I would have made friends if not here. Most of my best friends can recall praying that Lauren or Jeff would let us out of the photo meeting before midnight so we could haul ass to the convenience store to buy beer. Editing with Shannon and Fanny or Andrew late into the night, blaring the best and worst music. The countless things I got into for free with a press badge and a smile. A few of us like to reminisce about the salad days on the photo staff, a glorious semester or two when it seemed an omnipotent photography god had handpicked our staff. I can say in earnest that I owe those photographers as much as this place for any skill I might have gleaned in my time here, Lord knows I didn’t learn it in class. I already miss this place so much, as much for the time I know I can’t have back as for the knowledge that life continues down that path of irreversibility, only faster and with ever less room for the type of egregious mistakes I’m prone to make. Chaos precedes great change, or something like that.
Thomas Allison started at The Daily Texan in fall 2010 as a staff photographer. He has been a senior photographer and is now a senior videographer.