The first actual day of WJI passed, and I have to say that I’m impressed. We WJIers were put through a crash-course about how World Magazine came to be, by none other than World Magazine’s founder, Joel Belz. He educated us on the magazine’s travails and successes, which made me realize how fortunate we were to be sitting there, listening to him.
Dr. Marvin Olasky and his wife, Susan, then proceeded to tear apart our writing assignments (obituaries) that were due before class began. In a good way!
I noticed especially that he liked to tear apart wordiness, passive voice, and exaggerations. He would probably tear this blog apart as well.
My heart was actually pounding in my chest when it neared my turn for my obituary on Chuck Yeager, the first human to break the sound barrier, to be critiqued. I had heard beforehand that Dr. Olasky was a Yeager enthusiast and that he would already know tons about the pilot.
Well, he did find a factual error in my obituary and also pointed out other minor (stylistic) errors in my writing and advised me on how to improve it. Honestly though, he was distractedly — and enthusiastically — going off on tangents about Yeager, which definitely changed what he could have said about my obituary. He ended up talking a lot about Yeager, and not necessarily about what I wrote, which meant two things: 1) That I was spared embarrassment in front of my classmates because he could have critiqued it more harshly, and 2) That I probably didn’t get as in-depth of an analysis as the other students did. That may mean that I actually learned a little less and therefore didn’t grow as much as the students whose work was thoroughly lashed.
I was still very surprised and grateful that the editor of World Magazine came down to hold that writing session with us. He had so much wisdom and writing expertise, and I was definitely glad that he helped me out.
I mentioned it briefly before — but now it’s time to talk about it in depth! I’m sitting in a beautiful boutique hostel in downtown Asheville, NC, preparing my mind and soul for the first official day of the “Backpack Journalism in a Digital Age” course through the World Journalism Institute. WJI runs through World Magazine, a well-known Christian watchdog magazine.
I’m excited for this! Glancing over the schedule, it looks like I will be learning lots of different techniques and skills that cover both print and broadcast journalism. I cannot wait to be able to list some of those skills on my resume.
Also, being surrounded by a small community — 13 of us — of Christians is a good feeling. I’ve been in community with Christians for a very long time, since I attend Wheaton, but this is a little different, because these are all Christians with similar career aspirations. We all share passions and callings, and I think that this will result in friendships, solid connections, and maybe even collaborations in the future.
Stay tuned these next two weeks as I tackle this program!
What a year this has been! I’m so incredibly blessed and stunned that all this has happened. Let me break it down for you:
1. I was accepted to a 2-week program with World Magazine, called “World Journalism Institute,” taking a course called “Backpack Journalism in a Digital Age.” It’s held in the mountains of Asheville, NC and is supposed to be beautiful. I hope to learn a ton about journalism from a Christian perspective from some of the best Christian journalists in the business.
2. I’ll be in Chicago this summer, interning with the Chicago Tribune! That’s definitely going to be a blast, especially since the internship will consist of me editing and designing in every single section of the Tribune on a rotational basis. I can’t believe that I will have that opportunity. It will allow me to bring a TON of experience and insight back to The Wheaton Record next semester, where I will be …
3. EDITOR of The Wheaton Record!!! It has been a nail-biting past few weeks as I’ve prepared for the interview with the college’s committee for student publications, but it’s all paid off. I’m excited to take charge of the campus newspaper and be able to minister to the campus in this special way.
I can’t believe how well this year has went … and I’m so thankful that this upcoming year is shaping up to be a good one.