Life&Arts writer reviews his experience at the Texan

James Preston Poole

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

I never thought I’d be writing this column. Words can’t express how elated I am to get the opportunity to do one, but I’m going to try. After all, that’s kind of the point of these things, isn’t it?

Ever since I could talk, I’ve been talking about movies, perhaps a little too much. Gradually, this evolved into movie reviews, which I mostly kept on my Facebook until freshman year of college, when my friend Charles Liu suggested that I apply for The Daily Texan. So of course, I waited until the spring semester of my senior year to try out.

What a journey it’s been. After being hired, I packed all my spare time that wasn’t spent on schoolwork or projects into catching up on the latest movies and television series, interviewing people I hugely respected, such as John Krasinski and Ethan Hawke, covering fascinating student projects and, the crown jewel, getting to attend South By Southwest as press.

Under the guidance of my wonderful editors Andrea Tinning, Chris Duncan and, of course, Charles, I developed my skills as a writer. It wasn’t always easy, but working alongside some of the best and brightest at The University of Texas at Austin was worth it.

Then came the summer semester, when I was promoted to senior writer, with the equally outstanding Ruben Paquian and Collyn Burke watching over me. I pumped out more movie reviews than ever, to the point where I had at least two coming out every week, and it was worth every late night scrambling to get them done.

As I reach the end of my time at The Daily Texan, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of my friends and family who supported me through it all. Having even one person read my work means more to me than you can ever know. Even if I never review a movie for a publication again, it was worth it to bring even a little enjoyment to your day.

College is never easy, but working at the Texan gave me a platform, a space where I finally felt like I was able to properly express and talk about something I loved. I found my voice here, and it’s an experience I’ll cherish forever. The only regret I have is that I didn’t try out sooner. 

This entire experience has been a beautiful dream, and I’d like to thank you for sharing it with me.

Five stars.