Editor leaves relationship with Texan in a ‘good place’

Kat Sampson

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.

The Daily Texan is the biggest tease. The worst part about the Texan is that it convinces people it’s a code they can’t crack or a text message they can’t interpret. It acts like it doesn’t need you, and in the beginning, it doesn’t. The first time I entered the basement, no one noticed me and I noticed everyone. I walked out and didn’t come back for another semester.

But when I did, I didn’t look back. I remember calling my dad after Hannah hired me to gush about this “Texan place,” as if the boy I had a crush on for half a year finally asked me on a date. Hannah later told me she hired me because I was the only person to take notes during a tryout.

Once I snuck in the door, I spent my first two semesters relentlessly cracking jokes and memorizing the names and positions of my peers, all the while clinging to Lauren as if she knew the answer to everything because often, she did. She held the secrets of Life&Arts legacies and, if I was lucky, told the stories of editors that had made it big.

The Texan was also my first college love. But that’s not saying much. The Texan makes it easy to fall in love, and some time in between my quest to make people laugh and burning my afternoon popcorn, I noticed Danielle.

The first thing I remember noticing were her stunning hazel eyes that sat below immaculate, winged eyeliner. The second thing I noticed was her writing — clear, brave and poetic. Time would reveal how deep and intelligent she is, the perfect friend and teammate. I owe you too many Chick-fil-A chicken wrap combos. You’re the Sookie to my Loreli, though I’m sure you’d insist it’s the other way around.

We talk of L&A legacies, but what you’ve created is a dynasty. Stay wild and true.

The list didn’t stop there. Robert taught me to love science, punny headlines and harsh edits. Chris forced me to stop bullshitting music facts because I knew he would know the truth. Alex and Charles took me to the movies for free, and Katie wrote the “Keep Austin Weird” beat better than anyone I’ve ever read.

Marissa strings words together in ways that makes me proud and envious. Cat is scrappy and tenacious, but what I love most is her incisive wit.

To Jordan and Claire: Thank you for challenging me to create a product that was worthy of sharing. Jordan taught me that newspapers still have standards, and your job is done when you’ve exceeded those. Claire showed me there is humor in the world’s harsh realities. You should know that whatever you decided to be, you’ll be a great one.

Then there’s Peter, our guiding light. How lucky are we all to be led by someone so reliable, compassionate, critical and honest. Truly, the perfect combination for a journalist.

My relationship has run its course in a way I hope all my future ones do too. It’s hard to say where I’m headed, but wherever I end up, I know I will love this place forever.

Sampson is a journalism and French junior from Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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