Copy desk chief logs off of Zoom at midnight for the last time

Lawson Freeman

When I first walked down the tunnel of a stairwell that leads into The Daily Texan basement, I thought to myself, “Ya know, I’m not so sure about this.” But after a tryout and a chat with some of the staff, I decided to give it a go. And I’m so grateful I did.

My time at the Texan has shown me that a lot can be achieved with hard work. The students at this paper truly put their all into being a meaningful and accessible resource to our campus. We’ve worked through times of crisis such as Winter Storm Uri and late enough into the night to all lose our minds during page edits. This paper and its people have taught me so much.

Thank you to my friends and family, who don’t really understand what I do for the Texan but support me anyway. I appreciate you for the times you’ve picked up a copy of the paper for me, sat with me while I’ve edited and listened to me stress about everything. I couldn’t do it without you.

To my copy family:

Brittany, you’ve been a great friend and mentor, and the copy department was very lucky to have you as its one and only sports-watcher. Jason, most things I’ve learned at the Texan, I’ve learned from you. No one is more dedicated to teaching and making people laugh.

Chloe, you are so funny and good at letting people in. Thank you for always saying what you think and for making people feel welcome here. Irissa, you brighten every room or computer screen. I have been so blessed by your kindness and thoughtfulness toward others. Megan, you are the most selfless and hardworking of all of us. Thank you for your dedication, unwavering editing accuracy and constant willingness to help a friend.

Jimena, you were such a reliable co-chief in the fall, and I really couldn’t have done it without your hilarious, driven and understanding nature. I’m so thankful we joined the paper at the same time in 2018. Phoebe, I owe this semester to you, your great ideas and your take-charge attitude. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to work so closely with you to make this virtual copy desk what it’s been this spring.

And a very special thanks to Kirsten, our fearless leader. Thank you for believing in me and always being the most thoughtful friend to all of us in copy.

Thank you times a million to every issue staffer that has joined us at the copy desk in the last three years. You guys are the reason I’ve been around so long, and I’ve learned so much through leading you this year. I have loved laughing with you through all the Zoom calls and Slack threads.

And finally, thank you to all of the leaders at this paper advocating for what’s right in our coverage and newsroom. You guys — department heads, management and the diversity and inclusion board — are making this place better with everything you do for our staff and our audience.

Now let’s get off Zoom and go to sleep!