Face to face with the past, adults turn kids’ attention toward their future
I went back to high school last week.
I’m not sure how impressed the students were by the movers and shakers moving among them — including Goleta Mayor Jean Blois, Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum, Olympic volleyball star Dax Holdren, sculptor Bud Bottoms (of Dolphin Fountain fame) and Santa Barbara Fire Chief Warner McGrew — but I sure was intimidated, especially when I spotted the sleek race car that NASCAR driver Greg Voight brought along.
Was that what they meant by props? All I brought with me was some copies of that week’s Beacon, which just happened to feature student body president — and Beacon intern — Eric Lauritsen on the cover.
But when I reported to the King’s Page classroom, I immediately felt right at home. While the adviser, Cara Gamberdella, was a few decades younger than my adviser, Virginia Chennell, seemed when I was 15, she had the same efficiency Mrs. Chennell did, as she introduced me to the first group of students and simultaneously recruited new editors for the paper.
I told the students the best way to find out if you’re cut out to be a journalist is to give it a try. There were definitely sparks in the eyes of a few students. They were the ones who asked good questions, like, “What’s your work environment like?” (Answer: Noisy, but fun.) and, “Do you spend a lot of time chained to your desk?” (Answer: No, as little as possible.)
One girl, who I’m sure is destined to be an investigative reporter, even asked me how much money I made. (Answer: Not enough.)
Another favorite question was, “What do you like about being a journalist?” As I told them, “It’s never boring and it’s really fun to do something different every day and be learning all the time.”
Later when I peeked in on Chief McGrew’s presentation, he said something very similar about his career as a firefighter: “I can’t wait to get out of bed and go to work.”
I hope those students get to go back to school and say the same thing someday.