Managing editor teaches love of Russia, grammar

Brett Donohoe

Whenever people ask me why I work at the Texan, I always respond that it’s the only place where it’s socially acceptable for me to talk about a comma for 30 minutes. While it may not actually be OK in any context, the Texan has always allowed me to be myself — strange interests and all.

When I applied for copy my freshman year, I shouldn’t have been hired. I missed second tryout and resigned to not joining. But then, at 10 p.m. that night, the copy chief texted me about my tryout, and I scurried over to the office. Ever since, that basement has been a home for me.

Working at the Texan helped me to grow as a person. I’ll always remember that abortion headline — as I’m sure everybody who worked in the basement at that time does — but I’ll also remember, in less specific terms, the countless facts I fixed and names I corrected. The Texan taught me to learn from my mistakes and relish in my successes. 

While the Texan has its fair share of critics, the people working seemingly endless nights in a dirty basement truly believe in their work. Seeing the dedication of my friends — not coworkers — inspired me every day.

Working in copy showed me that I’m not the only one who wants to think about grammar for hours on end. My copy cats, though, taught me more than anything else. They showed me what real dedication is and that doing a thankless job is still a worthwhile endeavor. 

As associate managing editor, I learned how to relate to people different from me. As I’m sure most department heads know, I know nothing about how to make a video, and I can’t draw to save my life. Nevertheless, the department heads helped me learn and indulged me for my ignorance.

As managing editor, I learned that hard work is the most valuable trait to have. Time and time again, I was impressed by the dedication of my team — from sprinting across town on a tip to spending hours on FaceTime to edit a story.

I’ll miss working at the Texan, but I know that my successor is one of the best people around. 

To all my friends from that basement — both there now and already out in the real world — я люблю вас всех.