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« ceciladkins wrote on Wednesday, Jun 18 at 10:14 PM »
« ceciladkins wrote on Wednesday, Jun 04 at 07:54 PM »
« wgl2ya wrote on Wednesday, Jun 04 at 05:12 PM »
J.T., as a young reporter who had finally earned a spot on staff during my sophomore year, I was incredibly eager to do all I could in 1994 at the Plainsman. I stayed up late, covered this story and that, and spent so much time there that Foy basement became my second home. I was so focused on my experiences at the paper and with my fellow staffers, I neglected to study my JM101 assignments -- spelling, grammar, AP Style -- and ended up with my first "F" of my entire scholastic career. I was ashamed of myself for achieving the worst grade in my life -- or should I say "earning" that grade -- but even more I was embarrassed having to look my professor in the eye knowing I had not done my best. I also was embarrassed because that same professor was the Plainsman adviser and -- while he and the others never said a word about it -- I knew I had let my newspaper family down by not thinking it important enough to try to perfect our craft. I am quick to acknowledge today that failing JM101 in 1994 was the best thing that could have happened to me on my road to becoming editor in 1996. It forced me to focus and to take my studies seriously. It also was proof I could finish what I started. As an Auburn graduate and former Plainsman editor I am troubled by your column regarding where grades fit within the Auburn Experience. You say that what is important is that you have the necessary technical and social skills for future endeavors, that you learn to collaborate with others, and that you find your passion. How will you know if you're any good at any of those unless you're tested? I'm not sure how you measure success in regards to social skills but if you seek technical skills, I would hope you would want to know you've become great at whatever those are. Teamwork and collaboration have been hallmarks of the Auburn Experience in and out of the classroom for generations, but if you think success comes from working with multicultural partners with different backgrounds, try working with a PR Case Studies team made up of a bunch of folks who look just like you and either all want to take lead or else do nothing. And, how will you know you're passionate about anything unless you're willing to also work to be the best at it and be willing to prove it? Your grades are not meaningless letters on a page. They are a reflection of your commitment. You may find, like many students, that some of your classes feel worthless toward your endeavors. And that may be true. But in the "real world" you're going to face the boring and mundane and be asked to do a lot you may not like. There are reasons to work through those classes too. I will agree that your grades are only a part of your Auburn Experience. I have incredibly fond memories of the good and bad times that shaped my time there. I wouldn't trade them for anything. But I always had a deep feeling that the Auburn men and women who went before me expected my best. My peers and eventually my staff and readers expected my best. And I owed it to myself and my family to achieve my best. And grades were a part of that. When you argue that learning isn't represented by a diploma, I question whether you're having a genuine Auburn Experience. (Why even have copy editors when, through our experiences, we can just discern what you meant?) Your comments fly in the face of former Plainsman staffers who worked hard to build the foundation upon which you write today. I am reminded of the faculty, photographers, lab students, section chiefs and writers -- among others -- who helped shape the journalism program. I wonder how George Petrie would respond if he were able. I wonder how Ed Williams feels about this. I can generally stomach the eager Plainsman writer or editor who may not completely understand what he or she may be railing against or that person who genuinely wants to effect change with youthful vigor. But your comments today make you sound ignorant and lend credence to the argument that today's students want everything and are willing to give or commit nothing. And J.T -- it's the commitment that IS the Auburn Experience. Greg Walker 1996-97 Plainsman Editor Pacemaker Winner
« DaCampusKid wrote on Wednesday, Jun 04 at 03:26 PM »