Last week marked the officially end of summer for me. Ahh, the first day of school. So much anticipation. So much promise. So much excitement swirling in the air. And of course, so many nerves rumbling in our stomachs. I’m working as the adviser to the Kishwaukee College student newspaper again this semester, and honestly, it was nice to be back. I was fully getting into summer mode, and it simply wasn’t good for my health anymore. You can only have so many days of endless shopping and gorging yourself on gooey goodness. Pretty soon, it actually starts to feel like a chore. Surprising, I know.
But, as is usually the case with me, returning to my (clean!) office, I couldn’t help but ponder: Shouldn’t I feel a bit more like an adult? Do I really have what it takes to be in such a position of authority and guidance?
My students are young and eager, so I’m anxious to get them excited about the wonderful world of journalism – who knows, maybe there’s a future Bob Woodward in the mix. Some of them seemed a bit stunned and nervous, but I assured them that I was once in their shoes, in that very same room, with even more of a deer-in-the-headlights look in my eyes, and look how I turned out. I’m not sure if know if that should have made them feel better or worse. I’m going to go with better!
I must confess, though. It’s pretty cool to be in a position to watch young journalism minds develop. I already feel like I’m molding and shaping them into the journalistic leaders of tomorrow. I’m eternally grateful to all my mentors who guided me during my tenure at Kish and NIU, and if I can be that for even one or two students, then that’s more than enough for me. And if they all walk away loving the field as much as I do, well, then, that would be icing on the cake – oooh, cake.
And I even felt like a real teacher last week when I gave them the newest assignment. In my most teacherly voice, I passed out the papers. Listed were the typical newspaper categories (news, editorial, features, sports, etc.) and in each category, they were to come up with four story ideas. My task was met with a few silent stares and confused looks – just the same looks I’d give my professors back in the day – and I actually felt a bit of sympathy for my poor former professors. They really did have our best interest at heart.
We shall see what the rest of the semester brings. I have a feeling that somehow, I’m going to learn just as much from them as they do from me. Who knows, maybe this teaching thing of my will catch on.
I hope everyone who went back to class/work/non-summer life has a good year. Maybe September really is the new January. A time to hit rewind, pause, play or fast-forward. A time to start over or begin or maybe even finish.
As one of my mother’s co-workers used to say, “Make it a good day or not. The choice is yours.” I’m going to work my hardest to make it an exceptionally fantastic day. What is the forecast for your day?