Associate copy desk chief removes last Oxford comma

Megan Shankle

This spring has been my seventh and last semester at the Texan, and it’s nothing like I expected it to be. I haven’t set foot in the basement in over a year. I’ve attended virtual staff meetings and budget and page edits. I’ve edited an absolutely ridiculous number of stories on Google Docs.

But even though COVID-19 foiled my plans for a grand goodbye, I’m so grateful that I’ve had the Texan to ground me over the past year of madness.

I tried out for the copy department in the fall of my sophomore year after a freshman year that, frankly, sucked. I was looking for something to center my college experience, a place where I felt I belonged, and I truly found that in the copy department’s wacky corner of the basement.

There have been so many good memories over the course of the past three years that I don’t think I can capture them all here. Laughter. Shenanigans. Spotify playlists. Personality tests. Late-night pizza delivery and Starbucks. Super Tuesday (if you know, you know).

I don’t think I’ll ever forget my time in copy, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop subconsciously editing every piece of text I read for AP style.

Now for the customary acknowledgments:

To Divya, Sara and Julia: I miss waving to each other across the basement from our various departments, but I guess we can just wave at each other from opposite sides of the couch.

To Mak: My journalism buddy for life. You’ve listened to me talk about the intricacies of AP style and copy editing more than anyone should have to, and for that I am eternally grateful.

To Kirsten: Thank you for hiring me in fall 2018 and believing in me always. I have such fond memories of my first semester as an issue staffer working with you Thursday nights.

To copy p-staff this semester: Let’s picnic together soon. Lawson, thank you for being my English major buddy and always giving me book recs. I’ve loved watching you lead this year. Irissa, I’m looking forward to our tour of England and Scotland and our accompanying curated playlist. Phoebe, you are so genuine and kind and you’ve done an amazing job as co-chief this semester. Chloe, thank you for making p-staff meetings hilarious.

To copy p-staffers of semesters past: I miss hanging out in the basement with y’all waiting for sports stories to come in. Jason, Jimena and Brittany: Y’all shaped so much of my experience in the copy department, and I’m so grateful for your leadership and friendship.

To every crew of issue staffers who’ve worked with me over my semesters as an ACDC: I’m so glad I got to see you guys on a weekly basis and watch you grow as editors, even if it was just over Zoom. Special shoutout to the spring 2020 crew for being subjected to my playlists of sad folk music in the basement and not complaining once.

To my grandma, who I miss dearly: You always made a point to ask me how “the paper” was going. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

Finally, to Mr. Sufjan Stevens: I owe it all to you and your catalog of music that somehow captures the full spectrum of human emotion.