Junior High Journalism and Speech

During my teen novel library book talk this afternoon my vision filled with the image of my junior high speech teacher, Mrs. Walker. My mom made me take that speech class. It was pure torture. I hated every minute in Mrs. Walker's class, every lined index card, each bibliographic citation, and every moment spent with the musty-smelling greenish Reader's Guide to Periodicals under the watchful eye of the balding librarian with the woolly-bear caterpillar chin mole. I hated doing the How-To speech on broiling the perfect T-bone steak. I detested the group project radio show. Then there was the Persuasive speech about why we should all read "The Odyssey." Because we were reading "The Odyssey" in ninth grade English, Mrs. Walker made me go give that speech in the English classes, too.
On the way home from the book talk I picked up a Plano Star Courier. Looked at the sidebar headline, and was whooshed back to junior high, this time to journalism class. Ah, the sweet scent of blue mimeograph stencil correction fluid!

I learned a few things in journalism class besides that boys will always wonder if Cindy wore underpants. I learned about the Five Ws. Who, What, When, Where, and Why were pronounced Dubyu back then in Nebraska, not Dubya. [Five Dubyas is a pretty scary concept] We also learned to Get The Facts and Interview Sources. And it was impressed upon us that we must never, ever, ever hyphenate a word in a headline.

Yes, I knew that Collin County is Bush Country, but until I saw the Plano Star Courier I didn't realize I might be rounded up for ranting about the war in Iraq:

Collin County
officials to
initiate war-
rant round-up

Oh, yes. I learned something else important in junior high journalism class. Make sure when you name your baby that the initials don't spell something embarrassing, like

*Probably a good thing I don't have any outstanding traffic or hot check warrants in the county.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...