Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hardly an authority

Skidmore invited me to come be on a panel talking about new media/publishing jobs this past Sunday. I admit, I probably would not have done it except that they offered to put us up. The Adirondack Inn is definitely no frills, but it was fine. They had wifi and cable and the bathroom was gigantic. What more does a person really need?

The panel took place in the "new dining hall," I was told in an email beforehand. When we arrived, I had Jeff stop the car in front of the map at the top of the main drive. I was leaning in, squinting at the map, trying to find the location of this new dining hall. A student walked up and asked if I needed help. I said, "I can't seem to find the new dining hall," I said. "Oh..." she started and then stopped. "Um, the new dining hall is the old dining hall. It's just been rebuilt." Oh. If we had driven onto campus and gotten a look at the new/old dining hall, this would have been readily apparent. It looks much different. It's cozier and there's a 2nd floor with meeting spaces and cozy nooks.

I don't think I gave any terrible advice per se, but I do marvel at me giving advice to these students. When they asked me questions afterward, they eagerly awaited my responses, looking expectantly into my eyes. I wanted to say, "I have no idea! Do you realize I still have no idea?!" But I did the best I could and they seemed satisfied. All I could do was tell them what I had done and how it worked out for me. Not necessarily the best "advice," but at least I wasn't fudging that part.

There were a good number of sophomores present, even. The ones who asked what I think they should do to prepare for getting jobs in a few years I told, "the fact that you are here and you are applying for internships is huge. I think you are incredibly well prepared!" That's probably not what they were looking to hear, but maybe just being told they are doing the right thing is helpful. If it is even the right thing. Who knows!

I wish there had been panels like this when I was still in college. Of course, whether or not I would have attended is another story.

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