I received this note from a student who I had in a number of classes for the journalism specialty. Now, I don’t see him very often. This is what he wrote me. I asked his permission to place it here.
Dear Dr. James,
While wasting my time on Facebook, I stumbled upon some status updates written by members of the current generation of journalism students. After using my critical thinking skills (), I figured out that it must be close to the due date for the Race and Ethnicity essays.
This reminded me of what I had planned to tell you earlier: I somewhat miss the assignments which you gave us.
I wouldn’t say that I thoroughly miss them, for there were times when I had no idea, and I was just staring at the computer screen for hours not knowing what to write about, but it’s indisputable that they were useful. I think I won’t hurt you if I confess that I never liked Race and Ethnicity. And, quite frankly, there were times when I just hated the blogging tasks. But every writing assignment is useful in some way.
The most difficult part of writing, as you told us at the beginning of our Creative Writing classes, is to start it. Indeed, it is. In this semester I only have to submit two essays. This makes me extremely lazy. Previously, I thought I couldn’t be any lazier, but I was wrong.
Since I don’t have to write, I really rarely do it. I even questioned whether journalism and professional writing are right up my alley. (I still don’t know the answer.) I am concerned that I might forget words and how to write in English. Interestingly, seldom do I update my Hungarian blog, so I’m also concerned about that, but to a less extent because I suppose it’s impossible to forget one’s mother tongue. To make a long story short, I think the assignments were really good for keeping us in the routine.
Of course I don’t say that I was always fond of what we had to do. But I realized that those assignments had helped us a lot.
There’s a nice quote, I think from Daniel H. Pink: “Write every day. Regaining momentum takes three times as much energy as sustaining momentum.”
So, to put it in a nutshell, this is what I wanted to say.
Enjoy the break (and have fun while grading the essays),