I think teaching is probably like any other job in that after 25 years, ones bones grow tired. Every once in a while you need
to find a way to slap on a new set of tires in order to keep your enthusiasm and sincere care. I had one of those experiences last August. Loyola and Indiana University partnered up and put on a five-day sports journalism workshop for Chicago high school students. The workshop was made possible with a grant from the McCormick Foundation. We lived sports journalism for five days. The students interviewed a Chicago Bulls Coach, the GM of the Chicago White Sox, attended a Chicago Fire soccer game and were given press credentials for the after game interviews (the toughest question asked came from one of our students). By the end of the five days, the students produced a television show and website that can be seen here. The students said it was the educational experience of their lifetime. As for me, I sat back and watched the curiosity, the passion, the energy and the love of 15 teenagers. Teachers, especially K-12 teachers have become punching bags in this country. Some of us deserve it, the vast majority of teachers don’t much care what others think. They are too busy making a difference in the lives of young people. Is there anything more important?
When I first moved to Chicago in July of 2009, I began carrying a Kodak flip-cam. The quality isn’t great, but it’s the only way to capture video stories during daily life. I can’t and won’t lug around a professional video camera. The quality may be so-so, but who cares really. Content over quality any day of the week. At any rate, two years ago and brand new to the city, I met a guy from Mississippi and have met hundreds since.
Over the course of 10 years I’ve probably started and stopped 20 blogs. Some were too specific. Some were just plain boring. Others, while worthwhile, I simply didn’t follow through. I believe I’ve found a subject that will inspire me to actually do some work on this site every once in a while. I’m a journalism professor by trade. I’ve been teaching and practicing journalism for more than 25 years. I started out thinking I could help change the world. That changed quickly enough. I hadn’t worked in TV news six months before I figured out how screwed up it is most of the time. I become interested in crime, cops and courts. I still am. I was an agriculture reporter for two years. That was the toughest and best journalism job I ever had. Only farmers watch farm shows and those people know their business. It forced me to start double and triple checking facts. I’ve covered sports, cotton, crooks, presidents and crack addicts and all were interesting. I’m no longer interested in breaking stories. I don’t want to investigate anything. I want to express my opinion if I have something to say and I want to tell stories. I’m intensely interested in people. Given a choice I prefer old people, blue collar workers and poor people, but I like them all. So here’s to stories about people. I take ’em as I find ’em.