Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Back to school

I was going to title this "Hot for Teacher" thinking the salacious title might titillate. However, that title might actually work against me. See, my wife is that teacher and she might swing by my ramblings here and I'd have to answer for the things I've done(believe me, I already have enough to answer for).

My wife has been a teacher for 7 years now. Teaching 4th through 8th grades. I've talked to her students several time through the years. Actually they've talked mostly to the reporters I've convinced to come along. I think I like it that way. I like the safety and security of being the unseen force behind the viewfinder. I do like the kids. So, when the lovely Mrs. Sapphoto asked if I'd come in and tell her 7th & 8th graders the magic and process of TV news, I easily obliged. Oh yeah, the free lunch helped entice me too. I also convinced my reporter friend Dustin Grove and my night side producer Jason Brocklesby to come along and help me tell the students how the rough draft of history is churned out.

After I finished munching on my sandwich it was my turn to talk.

I started a brief overview of my broadcast career. That's easy since it's been a relatively brief career. 2 years junior college, 2 years Southern Illinois University, 2 years schlepping away in southern Illinois, 5 years in Tampa driving around a Ford E350 van with a big pole impaling it's middle with a camera stashed behind my passenger seat. And now 2 years of rolling tape and rolling out cables on the events and happenings of Michiana.

Slight Aside here: I just realized that I've spent 9 years filling the insatiable appetite of the news beast this month. Wow. I'm getting older. (Not old.)

Dustin and Jason finished out the introductions talking about their backgrounds and why they decided to pursue the Siren of News that sings out her alluring song, trapping us much like flies to flypaper.

Then we answered questions from the students. Where do hurricanes come from?(They had been talking about Katrina for several days at school.) Sorry, we didn't bring the meterologist this time.

Do you travel? Some.

What's your favorite thing about your job? Being able to get outside and see something different everyday.

Can you be late? ...pause...ummm...pause...nervous looks...

From our initial response, you think they would have asked us the square root of pi.

Next came the nervous chuckles, and the reply, "Ummm, no you can't be late."

Living inside the little box of television news the only constants are: change, liveshots, stand-ups, and the unmovable, unrelenting deadline.

I don't remember exactly what we said, but we made sure the kids understood that the news was on at 5 and we had to have the story ready NO MATTER WHAT!

I'm not sure how we did talking to the students but my wife says there were plenty of "teachable moments."

Yeah school!!!

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