I think I cry at least once a week in this office

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A -30- Column

The news staff from left to right, Aziza Musa, Bobby Cervantes and Claire Cardona, laugh after having inhaled paint fumes for several hours.

Photo Credit: Thomas Allison | Daily Texan Staff

Something big happens every semester.

At least, that’s what I have come to believe and remember.

This spring, President Barack Obama announced Osama bin Laden died, and the United States had his body. Last semester, it was a public suicide, and during the summer, a continuing murder trial.

And though it may be insensitive, these types of situations remind me — and sometimes, I really need it — of the true reason I got into journalism: to make a difference.

When I tried out for the Texan one year ago, I really didn’t have a purpose. I liked learning new things and piecing together a story about it.

As cheesy as it sounds, I really found my home and my passion at the Texan during the past two semesters.

I couldn’t tell you how many stories I pitched, how many my editors shot down, or how many classes I skipped for the paper. But what I can tell you is how we came together to work together through the toughest times no matter how high tensions ran — and they were pretty damned high.

On Sept. 28, our staff was as most stressed as I’ve ever seen. I covered cops and courts for the paper at the time. That same day, I woke up to a text message from the assigning editor, who asked me if I had heard about an armed man on campus.

They say the only people who rush to the fire are doctors and journalists. Well, despite the warnings to stay away, my assigning editor picked me up and haphazardly drove in the opposite direction. In spite of the events that transpired — a former mathematics sophomore fired several rounds of his AK-47 into the air and ground before taking his own life — we were able to put everything aside and put out some of the best papers.

That semester, I learned more about myself, the staff and the paper than ever before. And after the blood, sweat and tears (“I think I cry at least once a week in this office”) for three long semesters, the Texan has been one of the most beneficial experiences during my college career — not just professionally, but also personally.

All I know is when I walk out of the door and trudge up those 25 steps in a record minute (unlikely) Thursday night — just like our last Trudy’s run — I will already miss what I left behind.

Hook ‘em.

Aziza Musa is a journalism and psychology senior. She joined the Texan in spring 2010 and worked as an associate news editor in spring 2011.