Curly-headed photographer wanders out into the real world

Marshall Tidrick

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 started my time at UT as a music major, actually. People ask me all the time what it was that pushed me away from music, and I said, somewhat naïvely, the solitude. I hated having to lock myself away in a practice room for hours at a time, away from the outside world. 

In contrast, I’ve spent countless hours during these past three semesters locked away in a dank, poorly lit, weird-smelling basement full of people pulling their hair out from stress — and I couldn’t imagine anything better. 

People also like to ask me why I started working at the Texan so late. The answer to that is simple: I was terrified. I had heard horrific stories of sleepless nights and dropping grades, and I was easily deterred. I knew that many people think negatively of the Texan, and I thought it must be hard to work for an entity knowing some people don’t take it seriously. 

Now I understand what the reality of life is, down in this basement. Everyone is sleep deprived, all the time. People put off assignments to work into the wee hours of the night making this paper. And yes, some people think negatively of the Texan, and it’s hard to deal with sometimes. But the most salient realization I’ve had down here is that, despite all of this, everyone sincerely loves this place. 

To the haters, I wish that I could accurately describe to you why the Texan deserves respect. Ok, we make mistakes. We are a student newspaper, and mistakes are part of the learning process. It pains me when I hear people talking, at times directly to me, about how they dislike the Texan. My concise advice to you would be: Try to see the beauty in this instead of only the faults.

To our adviser Peter, the sincere enthusiasm that you show in watching us grow as journalists — from your daily critiques of the paper to the Staff Olympics you organized — was one of the best things about working here. We are so lucky to have you. 

And finally, to those I’ve met at the Texan, you are all wonderful. As I look to my own future with my impending graduation, I can’t help but think about all of the crazy-awesome things you’ll all accomplish, and I can’t wait to see your successes and what you all become. 

I’m not a writer, so this was a pretty intimidating thing to do, but I would be remiss if I missed out on saying my piece to this beautiful mess of misfits. This has easily been one of my best decisions in college, and I’ll miss you all so much.