TEACHER’S PET: Today I Saw The Future

FROM THE EDITOR: Today I saw the future — and it looked at me like a dog shown a card trick. I was invited to speak to the kids in George Miller’s journalism class at Temple about New Media. I said yes, of course, because I believe the children are our future, and that the future’s uncertain and the end is always near. I told the kids that majoring in journalism was their first mistake. They laughed. I’m not kidding, I said, you can learn everything you need in a single Journalism 101 course and six months of interning at a newspaper. Go learn something else, something useful, and bring that expertise back to journalism. And don’t expect somebody at some college to teach you how to write — it simply can’t be taught. Either you’re a Jedi or you are not. You are all here today because somebody along the way recognized some verbal aptitude in you, I said. But what you do with it is allteacher.gif on you. It’s like a muscle — it needs to push against something immovable in order to grow, it needs impossible challenges, rigorous discipline and the wisdom garnered by repetitive failure. All the learning is in the doing. So just do it, I said, and don’t expect anything for it. If you are expecting something for your trouble you are in the wrong game. Become a lawyer or a doctor, or better yet learn Farsi and go work for the CIA or the State Department and the world will be your oyster. When I was your age, I said, people said “learn computers, it’s the future.” To you I say: Learn Arabic, it’s the future. Oh, and use sunscreen. Then we opened it up to questions.

“Why do you have an ADVERTISE ON PHAWKER sign but there are no ads?” one kid asked. “I don’t know, why didn’t your parents love you more?” I shot back. “Do you read Philebrity?” somebody else wanted to know. “No,” I said, “It’s like looking at naked pictures of your ex-girlfriend, and nothing good can come from that.” “What are you trying to accomplish with Phawker?” asked another. The end of media as we currently know it, I said. Mercifully, that seems to be taking care of itself.

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