I almost forgot to post this, but this was my first write-up! I’ve spent the past eight or nine years doing literally hundreds of interviews, so it was very cool to be on the other end of that process. Caroline Coughlin, a writer in SNC’s intro to journalism class, did the interview and article and I thought she did a very professional job. It was also really cool to contrast my expectations to what the interview actually entailed. I assumed there’d be more of a focus on the writing I’d done with Tahoe Quarterly and freelance, but it was much more far-reaching, going all the way back to my growing up in a university town and watching my mom’s job as a journalist.
Anyway, very fun, though for the record, my photo got stretched horizontally in the layout. I’m not really that wide!
Back last week from a fabulous trip to Washington D.C. with my students for a national journalism conference. I hadn’t been there in a decade or so and I forget how wonderful that city is—so many museums, history and culture, and never enough time!
We went for the Associated Collegiate Press National Conference. Got in Wednesday night, spent Thursday morning sightseeing and ducking into museums, then got to the conference headquarters at the Grand Hyatt in time to get registered and grab seats to see Donna Brazile, the DNC chairwoman. She was incredible—not only was she incredibly interesting, but she was so much fun. I wanted to go out for drinks with her. And she was just the kick-off to other great speakers: On Friday, we heard from Bob Woodward (Bob fricking Woodward of Watergate fame!), then Saturday we had Edward Snowden beamed live from his secret location to address us. He was wonderful. When he got a huge ovation, he remarked that journalists are about the last group that like him. He, too, was wonderful. Both he and Woodward both had a lot to say about the importance of journalism, as well as how the future rests in the hands of the audience. I found them both incredibly inspirational.
In the meantime, some really great panels during the day. I listened to a surprisingly interesting one about the Freedom of Information Act, one about covering diversity, dealing with sexual assault victims with empathy, and a slew of other timely and informative topics.
Besides the great conference, I got to see my brother and his girlfriend, plus enjoy three full nights that I didn’t have to worry about a child waking me up in the night! The students got a ton out of the conference, too, and got to get in some additional sightseeing after I ducked out on Saturday afternoon to catch an earlier flight back so I could be home for my daughter’s fourth birthday. Anyway, great event and great to be in D.C. just two weeks before the election!
I’ve been teaching at Sierra Nevada College for about a month and a half now, and I’m loving it! The first couple of weeks were a little hard—I had a ton of information, activities, quizzes and such from the woman whose class I took over, but it was still a challenge trying to keep it all organized and figure out what was happening on a day-by-day basis, while also planning ahead. I’m still learning, but I feel like I’m on more firm footing now. And I really enjoy the students and being back in college.
Anyway, my classes just published the third issue of the Eagle’s Eye for this semester! My journalism class produces the bulk of the stories, while my editing class writes and lays out the newspaper. I wrote for Penn State’s school newspaper, the Daily Collegian, in college, but I was never around for production night, and I’m amazed by all the pieces—making stories and photos fit, dealing with articles that don’t get turned in, the elements of design and graphics, creating ads. It’s been really interesting to watch.
We’ve got midterms tomorrow, then a week off for Spring Break (woohoo, Spring Break 2016, baby!). Then we return and immediately go into production on our fourth issue. I’m hoping everyone remembers to do their articles over the break—between student travel, jobs, competitions (two students are currently at Nationals in New York) and the ease of just blowing things off due to vacation, it could be iffy, but, as I’m learning, what’s the fun of producing a newspaper without a couple disasters along the way?