Copy desk chief finally allows herself to use Oxford comma again

Angelina Braese, Copy Desk Chief

Sophomore year of high school, I joined yearbook staff. Led by Mrs. Boehringer, I joined yearbook to venture deeper into my childhood fascination with photography, but more so to justify quitting lacrosse. I eventually quit yearbook halfway through the year under the guise of returning to the lacrosse field, and when Mrs. B found out, she kind of yelled at me. But she did so nicely. A Moody graduate herself, she instilled a deep sense of respect and admiration for student journalism in me that will never die out. And she’d probably be proud of this column.

Fast forward to my freshman fall at UT. I’m home in my boring suburb, questioning why the higher powers unleashed a once-in-a-century pandemic at the dawn of my new adult life in college. I fill out the Texan’s interest form. Social rejects me. Copy invites me to tryouts. I actually miss copy tryouts because my puppy gets out, and I spend an hour listening to my dad berate my brother for letting his third child — our dog — out without checking if the fence was closed. Jimena and Lawson were nice enough to let me reschedule. And I am eternally grateful for them having done that.

I spend two semesters on issue staff, led by Irissa in the fall and Megan in the spring. I befriend Mantra, who I can talk about European football with and bully for liking warm milk. When we hang out for the first time, we go on a walk and joke about being copy desk chiefs someday. Not even a year later, we do exactly that.

July rolls around, and Myah — having been told by Irissa I was weird enough to actually enjoy editing sports stories — texts me about a double coverage copy editor position while I’m in a remote village in Montenegro with two bars of service. I climb up a wall to connect to a coffee shop’s internet to reply. I’m in, I enthusiastically say, despite not knowing what a sack is.

My DC role ends up teaching me what a sack is, how to make small talk about college football, and to never let your hopes up when it comes to Texas. No one in sports believes me when I say we’d lose to Kansas, and I end up being the only staff pick to get it right.

In December, Phoebe interviews both me and Mantra for CDC and gives us the job, unknowingly allowing us to fulfill the half joke, half promise we made to each other months prior. While Mantra is staying on staff, I’m grateful to have done all of this with him.

To Myah, who gave me the push to apply for my first p-staff job. To Matthew, who made every Thursday bearable. And to Phoebe, who I owe basically everything to — thank you. You guys — and the basement — are in my heart forever.