SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - With more whimper than bang, this week 100 journalism students at CSU, Sacramento were launched in my four classes, a flood of stories and columns and story ideas about to engulf everyone and everything.
The first group reporting in, with missives about the first week of school, will be the 25 students in Column Writing, an upper-division elective class in the major. A few have a little writing experience. Some already have their own web pages. The majority are realizing that they have been thrown into the deep end of the pool with precious little instruction on how to swim.
I reminded them on the first day of school that they have all volunteered for the class. And in coming weeks, I will likely remind them again,
The weekly column deadlines are not horrific - provided the students do some prep work and push their way through early enough.
But if history is any indicator, the majority of the class will wait until Friday morning to start any part of the project, with a noon drop-dead deadline facing them.
Such deadlines are the exception around most of the academic classes at my university, but not in my classrooms.
As soon as the columns trickle in, I will post them on this page (to the right) as I have in past semesters.
And as it is the last semester I will be teaching - at least at California State University, Sacramento - it should be a real sleigh ride.
Here's a brief video about deadlines that pretty amusing: