Ok, so I didn’t beat the Soviet Union 4-3 to head onto the gold medal game of the 1980 Olympics. I am not Jack O’Callahan coming back from a knee injury to deliver a check in my first few seconds on the ice to turn the puck over for the Americans, catch the Soviets off guard and set up “Buzz” Schneider’s goal to tie the game.
I did, however, survive this semester.
That in itself is a small miracle.
I feel like if I had Herb Brooks (God rest his fantastic soul) giving me pep talks every day*, I’d have demolished this semester instead of just surviving it.
Alas, I did not have Mr. Brooks guiding me. I did have more stressors than I ever thought humanly possible, but that’s out of my control. What was in my control was the time I had this semester and how I utilized it.
No matter what, though, “I write a little every day, without hope and without despair.” Isak Dinesen (as quoted by our dear friend Kershner) made me realize something: a little time writing each day makes everything worth it. I love to write. There’s a reason I chose to become a journalism major. There’s a reason I knew sports writing was what I wanted to do with my life. No matter what’s going on in my life or how much time I have in my day, I always write and I love it.
Just because we love something, though, doesn’t mean it can’t drive us up a wall. There are times I want to throw my computer across the room and stomp off in a tantrum because I don’t want to write. I love it, but we had an argument.
I had more than one moment like that during this semester. I had even more during this class. I did, however, learn. I loved writing the story in Washington. Yes, it was the most closely related to my own field. However, it taught me a lot about just getting up the guts to walk up to strangers and interview them. I didn’t have any friends around that I could fall back on that time. I had to walk right up to a group of people who would have probably rather punched me in the face than given me the time of day.
One experience I can take away from my time in class is that of the press conference with President Boyle. I loved having the opportunity to ask her my questions as well as take part in a simulation conference.
Yes, I’ve pitched a story before. However, I was also glad to have the input of my peers when I was pitching my stories. It was nice to see what others thought of my ideas.
Obviously, this class also had learning objectives. The public has to get their information somewhere. Being responsible for that transfer is daunting, but it’s also rewarding. Knowing that I’m developing those skills on more than one platform (twitter, this blog, The Pens Nation, ect) is exciting.
I’m also more than thankful for journalistic ethics. I’m glad to know that there are people out there who are still held on the standard of avoiding harm. More importantly, I’m glad that I get to be one of them.
While Herb Brooks might not have been talking about the power of words, the power of his words inspires me every single day when I think I don’t have a chance in the world.
“You were born to be hockey players — every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time.”
I wasn’t meant to be a world-class hockey player, but I was born to be a writer.
I’m going to go out there and take it.
*I am fully aware that Kurt Russell is giving the speech in the movie “Miracle.” However, it is still the best speech I have ever heard.