30: Scientists discover cave creature that can survive without sunlight: Life & Arts Editor

Mae Hamilton

Editor’s note: A 30 column is a chance for departing permanent staff to say farewell and reflect on their time spent in the The Daily Texan. The term comes from the old typesetting mark (-30-) to denote the end of a line.

An underclassman with no idea what to do with an English degree or her life and with no journalism experience whatsoever, I was really determined to just not make a fool of myself during tryouts. That is, if I could find the office first. I probably circled the block three times trying to find the entrance to the Daily Texan office all the while nervously apologizing to the then-copy chief on the phone for being late. Looking at those dark, dank and slightly mildewy basement steps from the top of the staircase off of Whitis Avenue, I knew I would be having to say goodbye to the beautiful Texas sunshine and fresh air for awhile. 

Starting off as a copy editor, learning the finer points of AP style and fact checking, I never imagined that I would end up writing for the Texan, much less be trusted enough to edit other people’s stories. Leaving the basement in the wee hours of the morning to make the mad dash back home on the other side of campus as a copy editor left me with a thrill. Though, it could’ve just been the adrenaline of having to run through West Campus in the dark. But really, I think I must have left my cold, clammy heart in a rolly chair there. 

First of all, a very heartfelt and humble thank you to Elizabeth, Cat and Katie for trusting me enough to a) give me the position of being a senior writer b) believing I could make the jump from senior writer to editor. Another heartfelt and humble thank you to Daisy and Morgan for listening to me moan and groan during the length of said editorship. Thank you to Akshay and Peter for having the good patience to answer all of my incessant questions and the warm and positive feedback. Special thanks to Eva for just being the sweetest. And of course, thank you to all of the beautiful Austinites that entrusted me with their stories enough to tell them.

My time in Life and Arts has been unreal. I got to read, write and talk about some of the coolest music, movies and events happening in Austin with some of the most driven and passionate budding new writers the city has to offer. I’ll never forget getting to cover SXSW with my fellow cave dwellers and seeing some of my favorite musicians. It more than made up for the blisters.  

I don’t know long that copy of Cyanu Reeves has been in the basement, but I like to think that we’ve grown old and faded together. In my time at the Texan, I’ve not only grown as a writer, but fundamentally as a person. Sitting here typing this during a typhoon on the other side of the planet, I know that I wouldn’t have been able to get this internship had it not been for my time at the Texan.

Here’s to the lovely future Life and Arts cave creatures, Morgan, Justin and Daisy, and the many more that will come after them. Take it easy, but take it!