Design editor finally learns to leave basement on time

Megan Fletcher

As I write this, I’m taking ibuprofen. I have a splitting headache. I left the basement last night at about 3 a.m., after losing track of time talking with the same six people I always do. It was (is) our last week in it, some of us for good, and I don’t think anyone really wanted to leave.

That I was comfortable spending almost 12 hours in the basement is shocking. The basement is probably the exact opposite of my ideal space, what with its harsh lighting and lack of windows. I’m photophobic — most bright lights and screens cause me pain — but the dingy fluorescents of the basement have never given me the slightest bit of a headache.

Since my fourth week of college, I’ve been confused as to how the Texan became such a huge source of comfort, even as most of my nights working were fueled by print anxiety adrenaline. I did not realize at the time how lucky I was that I was able to be here my very first semester.

The irony is, I owe my entire career here to misinterpreting an email from the copy department — I actually wanted to work for them. I love that it happened, and the seven semesters since then have been marked by my confusion that I enjoy my second choice department so much. (It became my first choice in my third semester. Sorry.)

I would not have made it here without the help and mentorship of my high school journalism adviser, Ms. Riemer.

Christiana, Sierra and Maria, thank you for making me feel welcome and teaching me everything I know.

Christina, thank you for guiding and mentoring me through the spring. I’ll miss the spontaneous Zoom calls for d3.js graphs and the fresh excitement of the new website.

Peter, thank you for your guidance and critique over these last years. I will miss the adequate ratings.

Myah, thank you for an amazing last semester. I was only comfortable applying for this job when I saw you were in charge, and I don’t regret it at all.

To the motley crew that deprives me of sleep after production ends — Nathan, Mantra, Phoebe, Jack and Jenny — thanks for the time.

Juleanna and Jenny, I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful ideas and insight for the paper, listening to my incoherent rambling, and just being amazing.

To my team: Ciara, Marissa, Grace, Karina, Morgan, Sam, Sara, Isabella and Sally, thank you for your amazing work and conversation in yet another chaotic semester. I just hope I didn’t scare any of you off.