Sophomoronic Musings

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

20/20 Vision

In my last post, I blogged about needing some sunshine and then it was magically sunny, but still cold. And then it got warmer. It was even warm enough to spend the weekend in brightly colored sundresses. But now it is rainy. And that is sad.

So this blog is again about needing some more sunshine but about the need for vision.

Not just the 20/20 vision I will have after getting Lasik someday, but vision for the future.

I'm a planner. I would be completely lost without my iCal or my hard copy planner. And not having a plan makes me a little nervous and interferes with my New Year's resolution to be more spontaneous.

I'd like some sunshiny news about my future. I just want to see what I'll be doing in 10 years so I can stop stressing about it.I want to know what avenue to pursue, I want to know where to apply for jobs, I want to know the best place for a media-related internship this summer. But most of all, I just want to know that I'll be happy and wildly successful in whatever I choose. Not to much to ask, right?

The University of Missouri Journalism School is looking at 2020 as well. Last week they sent students an E-mail asking for input on what we want to see changed at the J School in 10 years. And I have tons of suggestions for them, starting with coming up with a better admissions process.

I'd like to see the school judge potential students by their portfolio and dedication to the field instead of accepting new students merely on grades alone. I think grades mean nothing and do not adequately measure a budding journalist's commitment to good journalism or talent. Grades are something you send home to your parents so they can stick them on the fridge in the kitchen. Good journalism is world changing; even if your world is just a small microcosm of society. Producing good journalism starts early. That inner drive is something that a student must possess if young journalists are going to change the way the masses view the media.

Grades are pretentious. Good journalism is not pretentious or self-serving.

I also think that just one or two semesters spent reporting is not enough to prepare new journalists for the real world. After all, the famed "Missouri Method" is to teach students by doing and not by sitting in a huge lecture hall. I’ve spent three semesters in huge lecture halls with professors hiding behind a lectern making classes as boring as possible to weed out potential journalists. Anybody who has taken J1010, J1100 or J2000 at MU can vouch for that point.

I think that students should spend a reporting semester someplace besides Columbia. MU has campuses in major metropolitan areas across the state. So why can’t we utilize those campuses as a base for branching out and teaching journalism in new, exciting environments?

Just like me, my college has a lot of growing to do in the next decade. Tomorrow night, I’ll find out where the J School is going in the next decade.

Even after Thursday, I have no idea where I will be heading in the next 10 years. But I can foresee with nearly perfect clarity that Lady Gaga and Fratmusic.com will provide an epic soundtrack for this weekend and all remaining weekends of my college career. And just knowing how 2/7 of my the rest of my collegiate life will go is good enough for me at the time being.

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