Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer School

The first thing that people tell me about how great it would be to be a teacher is that you get summers off.  Well, when I started teaching, I was looking forward to it, too.  For way too long in the "Real World", I had toiled during the sweltering months of June and July.  When I was hired on as a teacher, it was finally going to be my time to sit back, drink a few Coronas over the lunch hour, catch up on past episodes of Friends The A-Team and, when August rolled around, I'd be re-energized, sobered up and ready to go.  Well, that hasn't exactly been the case.  As I see it, things still need to be done and summer is a good time to take advantage.  Here's a rundown of my past 8 summers.

Summer #1 - Take accelerated teaching program - with 15 hours of course work - in order for me to get my teaching license
Summer #2 - Take classes for my Masters (9 more hours) PLUS my first year as a father
Summer #3 - Last 2 classes plus Comps
Summer #4 - Kid #2 arrives
Summer #5 - Teach summer journalism workshop
Summer #6 - Final Cut Pro training, journalism workshop
Summer #7 - Advanced Final Cut Pro training, workshop
Summer #8 - New curriculum for new class, workshop

For the record, I appreciate having June and July off and I'd like to think that I still maintain a decent perspective.  I'm definitely not the guy who says "280 days and counting" on the first day.  Don't even get me started on That Guy. My point?  Yeah, it's 2 months off, but there's still work to be done.

Now if you'll excuse me, Friends The A-Team is on and I have a few limes left.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

About That Blog Title

I suppose I should explain the title of this blog.  The title derives from a "theme", if you will, from one of my classes a few years back. Let me explain.....

At some point during deadlines, my students get stressed out.  I'd like to think that I don't put that much pressure on them, but seeing as though many of them are Type A personalities that have never gotten a B in their life and they sure as HELL aren't going to get one in TV class......gasp!....well, you can see how things can get stressful.  I try to put things in perspective for them.  I tell them that, yes, meeting deadlines are important, but just because you're way behind on your review of the coffee shop across the street, does not mean you're a complete failure in life.  A former colleague of mine put it best:

"We're making TV, not curing cancer."

Truer words have never been spoken.  So where was I?  Oh yeah, the blog title.  Well, for the next round of deadlines, a couple of my enterprising students had some t-shirts made up and presented them to the class.  On the front of  it read "There's No Crying in TV".  On the back were all of their names.  At first, it could be construed as a dictatorial statement.

ME:  (cue echo and menacing music) There will be no crying in my class.

Instead, they made them to keep things in perspective.  I still have that shirt....somewhere.  I have a lot of staff shirts, but that one sticks out the most and the mantra lives to that day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Lead

Every good story starts with a solid lead, right?  Well, here's one thing that you need to know about my writing:

I suck at writing a lead.

Actually, that's not true.  I"m actually pretty good, but I can guarantee you it's the last thing that I write.  And, since my background is in TV, sometimes I don't even have to write a lead....I can just let the video and/or sound bite do it for me.  Who says TV reporters aren't real journalists, huh?

Speaking of my background, I should probably introduce myself.  I am a high school journalism adviser who just finished his 8th year of teaching.  Previously, I was in the "real biz*" (a.k.a.-broadcast journalism) for about 14 years or so.  Give or take some internships that involved me getting copy and having to look for the key to the chroma (not kidding).

I;m a proud father of a 6 year old and a 3 year old who, from here on out, will be referred to as Kid1 and Kid2.  Trust me, they'll be involved in this blog more often than you think.

When I'm not teaching, I enjoy reading, playing golf, and running. In fact, I love running so much, I just wrapped up writing my running blog, Running Off at the Mind.  It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of great people, but like many things I felt that it had to come to an end.  There were only so many things that I could write about.on that subject.  A nod to my "Running Buddies" can be found off to the right.  Anywho, I thought I was over my blogging itch, we are.  There's just something about writing that makes things more gooder.

Normally, you should start a blog with a certain focus.  A topic, if you will.  Well, as you'll quickly learn.....I'm not normal.  The main focus will be about the ups and downs of teaching.  However, I can almost guarantee that I'll go off on a tangent about something more often than not.  Sometimes, I even have a point!  Bonus for me AND you!

If you've come here for information, I can't guarantee that.  If you've come here for a laugh, I can't guarantee that either, but I'll give it one helluva shot.  If you've come here thinking you've stumbled on some weird adults only site, I'm not going to guarantee anything NOR will I give it a shot.  Nope, just keep on browsing.

*because apparently teaching isn't a "real biz".  OK, then.