Whisper sister looks back on collecting data, friends


Marisa Vasquez

Megan Strickland started working at The Daily Texan in fall 2011 as a general reporter. She worked as an enterprise reporter from spring 2012 until spring 2013, covering topics including external foundations, parking, the oil boom and University demographics. 

Megan Strickland

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 wish I had more time. That sentence sums up how I feel about writing this on my last day in the basement that has, in the past two years, become more of a home to me than the place where I sleep at night.

I wish I had more time to hear the incredible stories of people on this campus and try to find the words to tell them.

I wish I had more time to sit with Alexa on the green sofa, nerding out over numbers, trying to whisper out fragile stories and find ways to make people care about them half as much as we did.

I wish I had more time with to hear Natasha grumble about how I had too many or too few numbers before she breathed life onto a gray page.

I wish I had more time to spend antagonizing over the most effective way to tell stories with the best editors, Audrey and Matt, both of whom have the rare talent to take mammoth projects jumbled together and dissect them into readable content, always while fitting in some sort of grammar lesson or nugget of wisdom along the way. They’ve encouraged me, reined me in and put up with my pre-print anxiety and believed I could finish stories I honestly thought I couldn’t. I don’t know what I’ll do without them.

I wish I had more time with Andrew, who challenges me to think from new angles.

I wish I had one more Friday with Shabab and Susannah, waiting for our 5 p.m. weekly fight with the Tower over document requests.

I wish I had one more time to feel that giddy, anxious feeling I get every afternoon when Doug’s critique is due and I find out if my stories flopped, flew or faltered. It’s been my compass. I feel directionless without it.

I wish I had more time to spend with the people and working on the stories I’ve come to love during my time at the Texan, but my time for wishing is done, so I’ll make a wish for those of you coming back next year instead.

I wish you all the best of stories.