Saturday, November 01, 2008

Lunch with former students brings back the memories

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., USA - Catching up with former journalism students is always fun, more so when you can span two generations.

Friday, the Admiral and I dined with Natalye Childress Smith, Josh Stabb and Bill Meagher - all students who suffered through my lectures and bad jokes over the years. Natalye and Josh are relative newbies, having just graduated and who are now working as writers for Crittenden Research in Novato, Calif. Bill works there, too - but as an editor.

And while Josh and Natalye caught me at CSU, Sacramento in the last couple of years, Bill is a alum of Chico State where I taught back in the mid 1980s, before make the long academic trek down the valley to Sacramento where I have been since 1986.

Four amigos
A class reunion or a reunion of class?

Bill was a student columnist for the campus newspaper, The Orion, and had (and still has) great news instincts. His columns about then Chico State President Robin Wilson got Wilson so angry that Wilson would call me late at night (because I was the faculty adviser) and rail about Bill's work.

Wilson never said any of the columns contained information that was inaccurate, he was just totally pissed off that Bill had printed anything about him. And Bill broke many good (journalistically speaking) stories about Wilson, which kept my phone ringing.

Seeing students succeed - as all three of them have, they have jobs after all - is one of the rewards of teaching. I suspect teachers at all levels get the same kick out of seeing their former students out there, practicing what was once largely a classroom exercise.

The only sad part about such reunions is that they are usually way too short, as this one was.

But I know the solution to that problem.