Senior tech staffer reminisces on time spent in basement

Adam Humphrey

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 first walked into the Daily Texan basement as a clueless orientation attendee. I had seen the orange paper stands sprinkled around campus and knew I wanted to get involved.

Bobby Blanchard, then a poster child for the school’s journalism program, enthusiastically told me all about the paper and encouraged me to join. Unfortunately, I made some typical freshman excuses to convince myself to wait a little while and figure out how to handle college life.

After taking a semester to settle in, I applied for a position. Too timid to work as a reporter, I settled on trying my hand as a copy editor. My roommate at the time, Brett Donohoe, also joined the copy staff. He stuck with it and went on to become copy desk chief and managing editor. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel quite as at home as he did, so I decided not to return.

I came to regret that decision.

During my time away I worked in and around a handful of newsrooms, but none of them came close to the what I had been a part of at the Texan. 

Two years later I returned to the basement, and I’m so happy that I did. The newsroom was filled with almost entirely new faces but it felt exactly the same as I had left it. Every staff member still put their all into every edition and loved doing it.

I rejoined the Texan as a member of the tech staff, a small group of coders from all over campus. I learned much about working with varying groups of journalists and creating interactive content on tight deadlines. Just like every other department, the team is full of talent and I’m sure it will continue to grow and flourish long after I’m gone.

After getting a taste for the Texan again I wanted more. I’d picked up a paper countless times, and I figured it was finally time to be published in it. I took on a biweekly columnist position and put my opinion on several campus issues in print. 

Working on both sides of the paper has been quite rewarding, and I’m so glad I took the time to be a part of this exceptional publication.

My only regret is that I didn’t spend more time in that surprisingly cozy basement.

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