Time flies when you stay busy


Are you as shocked as I am that this semester is already more than half-way over? I guess the saying, “time flies when you’re having fun” is true... if you can consider going to classes, editing a college newspaper and keeping the milk stocked at the local Winn-Dixie fun. Maybe a more appropriate version of the saying would be, “time flies when you stay busy.”

Honestly, my time at Jacksonville State University’s communication department has been fun. With each semester that blurs by, it draws closer to an end, though.

If everything goes according to my advisor’s plan, this semester will be one of my last at JSU.

My ending will include an internship this summer, then (powers that be in Bibb-Graves willing) graduation in December.

I could never, ever have made it this far in my college career without a lot of encouragement. More than money from my relatives or free meals or anything else, encouragement has kept me going when all I wanted to do was give up.

My mom was the first source of encouragement for me. If it weren’t for her pushing me to apply myself, I probably wouldn’t be in college. I definitely wouldn’t be going to Jacksonville State.

I’ve suffered setbacks and experienced failure regularly during the last three years, and every time I felt broken down to the point of defeat, she was there to put it all in perspective. Now, she’s going back to school, too, and I only hope that I can be as encouraging to her as she has been to me.

Professor Jerry Chandler has been a font of advice and encouragement for me since I took his Intro to Communication class in 2011. He and his wife, Kathy, do their grocery shopping every Saturday at the Winn-Dixie where I work, and they never fail to stop and say hello to me.

Although it sometimes seems like he likes assigning impossible tasks to his students—if you’d ever taken his Media Features class, or had him ask you where the toasted hazelnut oil is in your grocery store, you’d know what I mean—Jerry always has something good to say about work I did in one of his courses, or an article that ran in The Chanticleer. It’s hard to express how encouraging that is; to have someone like him in your corner is an awesome feeling.

But the person who might deserve the most credit for the student journalist I am today and the professional I want to be tomorrow is no longer teaching at Self Hall.

Chris Waddle is responsible for instilling in me the values of a journalist. He encouraged me to pursue a career in the field of news writing when most other people said it was dying and I’d never find a job.

Like Professor Chandler, the standards he held his students to were high, but not unreachable. Meeting those standards always made me feel like more than just a kid in college.

JSU’s failure to renew his contract is a loss for all future students of Communication who attend this university, especially any who want to write for a living.

10/24/2013


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