Copy desk chief fixes commas, makes friends

Taiki Miki

Editor’s note: A 30 column is a chance for departing senior staffers 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 wasn’t supposed to become a copy editor. And no, it’s not because I was a pre-med finance student. I tried out, and I wasn’t supposed to get the job. Apparently, my 710 SAT writing score didn’t adequately prepare me for this job (thanks, standardized testing). 

But I’m thankful for whoever decided that going downtown Thursdays would be more fun than working here because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work with these weirdos. Not even the prestigious, leadership-building McCombs School of Business could have prepared me for the challenges of leading the fiery depths of copy, where writers’ so-called “facts” go to die.

I’ll never forget tryouts. I hadn’t felt as incompetent as I did during those first three weeks since the night your mother invited me over. And I’m still three weeks behind on coursework, so I’ll probably have to turn in some essays as I walk across the stage to get my diploma.

Many people told me that I brightened the office, but it is rather the opposite. Even when I had three tests the next day, I didn’t mind working from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. because I could always count on my friends, not co-workers, to keep my spirits up. Uploading stories at the end of the night after everyone’s left is such a terrible experience, but it’s a little bit better when you have someone to talk with.

The only regret I have is that I didn’t get to know these people sooner. I would do anything to relive this semester again because the basement opened up my eyes to so many beautiful things, in and out of the office, that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. Staffers, don’t be afraid to talk to people in other departments because you’ll never know what hidden gems are out there. I had been working with someone in design for three semesters prior to this one, but I didn’t get to know her until now. And she turned out to be absolutely delightful.

I hope you have the most amazing time in Europe, and don’t forget to write.

And make sure to read The Daily Texan in the summer, too, because the managing editor is a fantastic copy editor and an even better person.

–30–