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Help! I'm invited to Career Day...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Hustle, May 12, 2008.

  1. Hustle

    Hustle Guest

    I'm going as a favor to my cousin, a middle school librarian, on Wednesday. I've got two groups to speak to, 30 minutes each.

    We all know why they'll be there - because sports as a job, in their eyes, is really cool. At the same time, I feel like I wouldn't be doing a 'Career Day' justice if I didn't at least mention just how sick our industry is right now. But I somehow feel like such a message would be easier to convey to someone in HS, not someone in MS.

    Is such a balance even necessary, since the writing is secondary to the sports (in their eyes)? I'm struggling to come up with a way to somehow represent what I do on a daily basis that won't make their eyes gloss over - because we all know there's a lot of adults who think it's more glamorous than it really is, let alone middle school kids.

    Any ideas?
  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    "Hi kids I'm Hustle. I write for the Daily Bugle. None of you will ever actually pick up a newspaper, but you can work for one since you're young and cheap. You'll be hired and fired by the time freshman orientation starts. Any questions? I need a Yuengling."

    "Hustle that was only 36 seconds."
  3. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Just give them what they want to hear. They're middle school kids, what you say isn't really going to matter to them, and the only impact it will have on anyone is maybe someday motivating someone to write for real. If that day comes though, it will be because he/she still thinks it's a cool gig, not because they think the person who talked to them in middle school was cool.

    If it were high school, I'd say tell them the truth. But, since they're so young, just shield them from the pain.
  4. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Bingo. Let them know what you do, not necessarily how hard it is to have any kind of success/stability at what you do.
  5. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    What's the deal with homework?
  6. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    I had writers tell me to stay the fuck away from the business, but I didn't listen.

    Neither will these kids. So talk about sports with them. Tell them that the locker room smells like a rotten asshole. Tell them that Joe Superstar is actually an amazing prick who snorts coke and beats his wife. Tell them that while you rub elbows with real live athletes, half of them don't even know who the fuck you are, and most of them don't give a shit about you because their college coaches carefully trained them to be that way. Tell them that all college coaches (football specifically) are the most paranoid control-freak fuckwads that roam this great Earth of ours, and mingling with them on a daily basis gives you less and less hope regarding civilization. Tell them that the people you write about are, usually, bigger failures at life than most people, but they won the genetic lottery so they're given this hollow legacy in life. Tell them that the fans who make you a minor celebrity are the meanest collection of cocksuckers on the planet, full of hate, irrationality and an amazing ability to never, ever be satisfied at both the work you do and the work their favorite team does.

    Then take questions.
  7. Screwball

    Screwball Member

    No middle school kid will sit for 30 minutes and listen to a lecture. Ask questions, spark a discussion about their favorite teams, tell some stories, hope they don't ask what your salary is.

    See if you can get your hands on any promotional items. Does your paper's marketing department have some stickers, bookmarks, pens, T-shirts, etc. that you could bring to the class? (Or maybe one of the teams in your area has some surplus promotional items, from the day they ordered 50,000 caps and 30,000 fans showed up.) You can use those to prompt discussion ... give one to any kid that asks a question ... and of course make sure the kids that don't ask anything get one too, at the end.
  8. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    you haven't gotten over your 8th-grade teacher telling you you had no hope as a stand-up comic, have you?
  9. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    As you're wrapping up, pull aside the kids who appear to be dressed well and ask them if either of their parents can hire you to save you from the bone-crushing sadness of a career in newspapers.
  10. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    "Well kids, if trends continue, I'll probably get bought out in 15 years so one of you can take my job. SO STEP THE FUCK OFF!"
  11. I wouldn't bring it up, though I'd say there's a pretty good chance that a teacher fills the awkward silence immediately following your speech by asking if there's lots of journalism jobs available ... :)
  12. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    Poindexter needs you to pick up a couple tips for him
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