30: Life&Arts editor trades headphones for a suit and tie

Chris Duncan

After spending three hours in a dingy basement office, listening to feedback about my tryout piece, Kat pulled me aside, looked me dead in the eye and delivered something along the line of these two sentences.

“You’re not a very good writer,” she said. “But I can tell you have a good work ethic, so you’re hired.”

That day three and a half years ago marked my beleaguered beginning in journalism. I started out as a sorry excuse for a music reviewer — my only goal was to keep up with new music releases and hopefully become a better writer along the way. I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into.

The semester after that, I became a senior writer. I started attending shows and events around Austin, meeting and interviewing some of my music idols. My music horizons grew immensely, taking me on an odyssey of sorts to appreciate genres and artists I had never even given a chance. Listening to new bands and albums became a journey, one I’m still happily on today.

Although I won’t name everyone, I owe a huge thank you to my editors for making me look infinitely better than I would without their help. I’m in the midst of finishing up my undergraduate thesis, and I can confidently say there’s no way I’d be able to complete it without the skills I learned from all of you.

Beyond the festival passes and writing tips, I stayed with the paper for one reason: the people. I met some of my closest friends through this job. Charles, Cat, Brian, Sean, Danielle, KT, Thomas, Elizabeth, Jamie — the list could keep going. I love you all, thank you for putting up with my shit. Peter, you might be on that list if you ever got lunch with me and Charles. Maybe someday.

Through the ebb and flows in life, the paper and its people were a constant in my college experience, something I certainly would’ve faltered without.

It’s truly been a privilege to be a part of the Texan.