Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ask and You Shall Receive

The e-mail blared a message of congratulations from the subject line:

"You're Accepted! Seminar for New Education Reporters"

So, I know what you're thinking. No, I'm not an education reporter and yes, I have been on my job for almost two years now (my how time flies). But I'm one who always jumps at an opportunity.

A few weeks ago, a message to a journalism listserv I subscribe to mentioned the seminar and encouraged us to apply. I figured it might be cool to get some additional training. I mean, even though I don't cover schools exclusively, almost half of my job is covering my town school department, which makes up about 60 percent of the municipal budget. If a beat reporter ever tells you he or she doesn't need to cover education, pray for them. They're going to need all the help they can get to make it through this industry. I wrote how education stories are vital to understanding a community in my application essay:

Education is the stick by which all communities can be measured. Spend one day in a school and a person is guaranteed to have a better idea of what that community values and what is being passed on to the next generation. Battles over funding are evidenced by tattered social studies books and crowded classrooms. Changes in demographics manifest themselves in additional ESL teachers and adjustments to the curriculum. Racial disputes and criminal trends are often seen in truancy court or disciplinary hearings.

So, I applied. And even though the deadline had long since passed, the organizers agreed to take a look at my application. The next day, I got that congratulatory e-mail.

Just goes to show that it never hurts to ask. I kind of assumed the deadline had passed, but I figured I'd ask if I could still apply. Worst they could say is no. But, it also illustrates how important it is to be cognizant of deadlines: and to meet them. If I'd been keeping up with seminars I was interested in, I wouldn't have needed to be dependent upon the kindness of strangers.

Lesson learned.

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Posted by T Dot at 11:27 AM | link

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