8/13/07 "A Learning Lesson"
I just got back from a convention in Las Vegas. Every year the National Association of Black Journalists draws thousands of professionals from all over the country. It also attracts aspiring journalists.
What a thrill it was to meet this pool of young talent!
This year I spent a lot of time at the Journal Communications booth. That is where we had machines set up to critique the tapes of young reporters and anchors. I saw some incredible talent. Young people today are much more sophisticated. Maybe it's the former teacher in me, but I found the experience truly rewarding. There were many moments where I know I connected. One young reporter hugged me and had tears in her eyes. She was filled with such gratitude for my advice.
It's a special moment when the teacher enlightens the pupil. Being at NABJ reminded me of how much I missed that aesthetic experience. I started teaching private piano lessons when I was 16. I used to travel to homes southern Illinois giving kids piano lessons. I had a pretty good business that grew by word of mouth. I have no idea what made me believe I would be a good teacher. I just knew, and I was. I continued to teach in public schools, and even taught a broadcasting class on the college level.
Often people ask me about my job. They want to know what it's like to be on television every day. Or how it feels to be an anchor. I tell them the truth. I am blessed to have a job I enjoy. But the most rewarding? No!! Nothing compares to those magic moments of lighting a spark that you know will last a lifetime.