Every fall for the past decade, I’ve presented three sessions at a high-school journalism workshop in South Florida. Last weekend, between sessions 2 and 3, there was spontaneous dancing.
That surely displeased some teachers, because dancing ain’t learning.
My design-and-writing sessions are called Chicken Salad. As I tell the students, a journalist’s job is making chicken salad out of chicken shit. That definition also displeases some teachers.
Every year – at both high-school and college conventions – at least one student tells me as I’m setting up for Chicken Salad, “My adviser told me not to come here.”
Regardless, my sessions are often the most popular, and not because I’m God’s gift to journalism. It’s because I believe journalism should be fun, both to produce and consume.
I’ve never understood high schools and j-schools that insist students entice readers with crisp writing and gripping art – yet they teach those lessons without taking their own advice.
So let’s dance.