Tap your heels. I want to go home, I want to go home, after we win the NCAA tournament

yellow shoes I’m in St. Louis with five of my favorite students in the world, to cover the Missouri Valley Conference Mens Basketball Tournament. Loyola University Chicago made the decision to begin competing once again in athletics, or at least in men’s basketball. They impressively won one game, a game no one ever expected them to win. Today Witchita State University beat a worthy opponent in Indiana State University. WSU is for real. I believe these guys could make a run for it. Rather than go for the crazy faces and bulging muscles, I decided I liked their shoes. Kansas has to be proud of these guys and their coaches.

Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois

The Governor of Illinois was on the Loyola University Chicago Campus last night at the invitation of student Democrats. I liked Quinn, but I really enjoyed the moxee of the young people who pulled this off. One of the students simply got in a meet and greet line months back and when it was his turn to talk, he asked the CEO of Illinois to visit. Boom. Done. Nice job College Democrats. Good lesson for my students. You have to ask!quinn

Shots fired

Shots fired

One of common and most feared dispatcher calls is “shots fired.” About 10 CPD officers answered a call just two blocks away from Loyola on Sheridan. There were no injuries as far as anyone could tell. No blood. Just a dozen or so spent shells in the snow. For police another day at the office, but for residents, an increase in fear as two rival gangs are clashing more in a neighborhood neither had claimed before.

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

A perfect late summer day. Slight breeze, 81 degrees and Lake Michigan as a backdrop. Inspiring. As a student it likely would have inspired me to do something other than study.

Loyola University Chicago

A perfect late summer day. Slight breeze, 81 degrees and Lake Michigan as a backdrop. Inspiring. As a student it likely would have inspired me to do something other than study.

Rambler Sports Locker

In the next four photos you will see members of Loyola’s first ever regularly scheduled TV show. Loyola’s “Rambler Sports Locker.” I am incredibly proud of these students. In January of 2011, junior Garrison Carr approached me about starting a sports show. I told him I would consider being his faculty adviser if he could find 12 or so other students who would join him in helping produce the show. Of course I was completely skeptical it would ever happen. In less than two weeks, he came to my office and said he had more than enough students. We decided to meet on Thursday evenings. Most of the students had never picked up a camera before let alone produced news packages, worked in a studio or read broadcast copy from an anchor desk. Most of the students were from outside the School of Communication. What they had in common was a passion for sports. Within six weeks, the students produced their first show. It wasn’t the prettiest, but it was incredibly impressive to me. It has now been almost a year and they are producing a show of real quality. Another few months and I will stack this show up against any college sportscast. As a teacher, one of the truly great rewards is watching students grow and exceed your expectations. I have such respect for these students. Forever more, they can make the claim to have produced the first regularly scheduled TV show in Loyola’s history. Of course, I’m particularly tough on them. Two weeks ago, I made them go stand on Michigan Avenue to do their first standups. The more distractions, the better. Again, they excelled.

Standups on Michigan AvenueThe Round Table Discussion, Rambler Sports LockerThe Ramble Sports Locker Rank and File

The nobility of education

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

Chicago's future, you're looking at them and you should be encouraged

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?