I remember clearly a night I was riding my bike with my family on the Shunga Trail, which is located really close to campus, just to the south of 21st Street. Sometimes I daydream as I ride along and other times ideas will float into my mind.
There were a lot of families out last night, but so many other things were happening. I started to think about how fun it would be to turn into reporter mode and find out some interesting information. Why were two people climbing up the big tree in the open area just west of Gage Boulevard? They had climbing ropes and were high up in the tree. Were they just having a night of fun or preparing for a big climbing trip?
A little while later I noticed a trio who had set up their temporary hammocks in a trio of trees. Young people sitting in the tree, lounging, and having conversation. I wondered is this a new hobby? Was this a planned outing or a spontaneous whim realized?
Many smaller groups lined the trail engaged in games of Frisbee golf and many others were walking dogs along the generous pathway. Here a slice of the community coming together for an ordinary Tuesday evening.
Had I spent a mere 10 minutes talking to any of these groups, I would have had more than enough information to write up a quick human interest story.
I share this with you today because I have been meeting with or having phone conversations with media professionals supervising our mass media interns. The ability to write well and communicate with diverse people was mentioned to me over and over again. I'm 100 percent biased, as a trained journalist myself, but I firmly believe working as a reporter for a year gives anyone an amazing lineup of skills to begin any number of career paths.
As you all begin to consider future paths, I urge you to consider taking a journalism class or working for Student Media. This fall, I am also offering a pretty cool WTE that would look terrific on anyone's diploma. You can even complete it as an independent study if you wish, which would give you mass media elective credit. Contact me if you are interested. You can apply online for Washburn Student Media at www.washburnreview.org.