One of the aspects of being an instructor of journalism is the interview—both in teaching how to give one and, in order to practice, allowing students to conduct them.
Luckily there are multiple instructors. However, there are also multiple classes, so it comes out in the wash. Already in two-ish weeks of student interaction (remember, I’m still in training myself), I’ve done around six or seven.
Which is fine, but I can only imagine just how many times I’ll have a sit down and chat with students about all manner of crap during these next couple of years. It does stroke the ego, thinking that the budding writers actually want to hear what I have to say. But then they are using another aspect of being good journalists—active listening.
Every time they nod or look concerned, the sneaks are using the techniques we taught them to show interest in what’s being said. I guess its all a sham unless you want to believe the charade.
It is a switch, to change the subject, going from intrepid reporter to supposed sage of writing wisdom. I have to remind these guys that some of them have been in the military longer than I have. I’m just four and a half years into this thing—not too long at all. So I definitely don’t think I’m the end all be all of insight and experience.
Still, I have done the war thing, have received a couple of award nods along the way. I guess that counts for something (enough to get this job in the first place). I’ll go from there.
And there is the requisite of good teaching that is to want to learn. I hope to get as much out of interacting with my students as they get from me. I think that’s a good place to start, and a healthy way to endow technical knowledge and writing savvy.
I look forward to the scores of interviews. Its why I fundamentally enjoy being a journalist—learning about people.