Time you take too long, too long

Blogger note: This blog runs thick with confusion. It hasn’t been edited very well and is basically a free fall of what has been running through my mind over the past few months told through recent experiences.

In a two hour drive from Middlesboro to Lexington, I managed to explain to Mary Margaret that I think too much, hate school, love life and don’t like how the two have to involve each other for so long.

“Well, you like learning,” she said.

That’s true. I like teaching too. Which has been a recent battle within me. Mary Margaret pointed out to me that to teach I would need more schooling after getting my degree in a year and a half. Great. I love learning, want to teach so others can learn. I hate school, which is ironically where I’m thinking about coming back to but also want to avoid. You still with me? No. OK.

I seem like the type who would have hated high school and loved college, at least that’s how I thought I was. But now I find myself with a sincere hate for all the ambiguous work a degree involves. I am just now getting to where I can take classes that actually have something to do with my major. All this time I have just relished in working for the school paper, and I don’t enjoy working for the Kernel by any means anymore. Not designing it or shooting for it.

In my reporting class tonight, our substitute, Mark Story, did a guest lecture about doing investigative reporting and it was a really good class. I thought he brought up some things I had never thought of before about that type of journalism. But apart from that, what I took with me was something he said after his lecture in questioning. Someone asked him if there was a set age that people retire in journalism. And he said something that helped me to align my thoughts.

“You get older but the people you’re covering stay the same,” Story said. That’s particularly true for him, a great sports columnist. His subjects are nearly always going to be college athletes and their coaches. But through questioning he said that it is fairly common to see journalist turn to teaching or other professions and not see them stay with it for their whole career. Which may be the direction I want to do.

I turn to Allie’s most recent blog post now. I think about how she says she truly believes in what journalism can do for a community. I think about how she loves it and has faith in what it can do and does. I am with her. I believe in journalism. I will, always. And while I believe I will graduate and be a photographer for a newspaper for a while, I am coming to find my skills to be more in the likes of being an editor (kind of in sync with that whole teacher aspect). I am realizing that my strengths. I feel I am cut out to be a better editor than I am photographer.

I used to be afraid of admitting my strengths and telling people I want to use them. But after spending two years with Dave LaBelle, I was able to understand that it’s silly to let it slide. It’s not conceit, it’s using your abilities. My abilities as a picture editor and leader are better than my photography skills. I’m not giving up on my photography. I will always be a shooter. But my natural talent seems to be in editing.

I’ve always felt comfortable taking the reigns, but this year, having no role as an editor for the Kernel, I notice myself picking up the Kernel and critiquing it everyday. My immediate response is to want to help and tell people how I think we could have made the paper better. But I have the feeling I come across as a know-it-all, which is fine. I feel everyone gets better through critique, so I’ll keep speaking up when I feel necessary. Besides, in a college paper people should be looking for help and opportunities to learn.

As Mary Margaret and I sit pulled over at a Sonic in Corbin, Ky we chat about school, the future and once again a peek at my lack of love for college. Pause. Pay the girl on roller skates $1.90. Somehow we got two drinks for two dollars. I still don’t know how. Mary Margaret starts sucking down her cherry-limeade while I start on my green apple-watermelon slushy.

“It scares you when I talk about how much I hate school, doesn’t it?” I say in between sips of my drink. I am upset because there isn’t enough ice. I begin to thrust my straw about in search of it.

“No.”

What? How could it not? It seems like if she took this relationship serious she would fear my hate for school, in fear of ending up stuck with this loser.

“You have a good head on your shoulders,” she said. At first I took this to be slightly vague and as filler to keep from saying she is just inspecting me. You know, waiting around to see if I really am a loser. But she convinced me.

Mary Margaret says I will prevail, and that she knows despite how much I don’t like school or work, that I will find something to do. Of everything we talked about, that made me feel the best about myself. She said she knows I will come through with a game plan. A good head on my shoulders.

Found the ice. I immediately take three large drinks, only to follow up with a brain freeze.

Everything will be OK.

My head hurts. Like pressure. I’m OK with it though. I know it’s only temporary.

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7 Responses to “Time you take too long, too long”

  1. Lauren was asking me one day if I could explain taking pictures to her. that she wanted to learn how to take pictures and wanted to go picture hunting with me.

    I told her that yeah, I’d love to. But then I thought about it: I’m horrible at explaining things.

    So I told Lauren, “You know what? We should go with Brad. I was watching him explain photography to Chris Miles and I think he’d to a better job at showing you things than I could.”

    You’re a good teacher. I think you’ll figure out what is it you’ll want to do with this gift. Just give it some time.

    And I hate school, too.

  2. I completely agree with Mary Margaret!! You have an excellent head on your shoulders. You will figure out what you want to do and you will excel. I think you’ll make a great teacher or editor or whatever it is you want to be!!!

    And I hate school too!!!

  3. captureamoment Says:

    i decided last night that im not graduatiing in four years because i hate school. I hate going to class, and i hate that i have to do well because i stress myself out if im not. i feel your pain.

    Fyi, you’ve taught me a lot. Like that time at the Greenwheel concert when you shoved me into the crowd… Im a visual person, and that finally made me see what everyone had been telling me for so long.

  4. Brad…I feel your pain. I (along with the other awesome people who commented before me)hate school. I love making friends and connections though. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to get a degree to say that I have one, and to use it as a last resort back-up plan. No one really looks at your degree anyway. If you’re the best at what you do, no one cares about what you majored in. You don’t have to go back to school to be a teacher. You can still do what you love and not have a degree that says that you can teach (unless you want a teaching job for a state school). A lot of bad teachers have degrees. However, if you do something well enough, and you become the best, you can teach wherever and whenever you want without a fancy teaching degree. I say, one degree will be plenty. Mary Margaret was right…you have an excellent head on your shoulders, just make sure you keep your chin up so people can see it.

  5. Found your site through a comment post on Chase Jarvis’ blog. As somebody that recently finished school, I can say that you’re not alone. I didn’t excel in college except for those classes within my major where I actually saw a purpose to learning the information. Three years later, I’ve come to realize that the classes I took an interest in appealed to my strong points and made them better than I could have done alone. However, I’ve also learned that the classes that I had absolutely no interest in should have played a stronger role. While I was blowing them off, I was missing stories and pieces of information that could have helped me have a deeper knowledge of the rest of the world.

    First, disregarding all of the irrelevant material implies that you know exactly where you’ll end up and who you’ll become. Not everybody is like me, but I’ve changed more in the past three years than I ever would have expected. I went to a school with a major photo program and never touched a single photo class (despite what my mother told me). I wasn’t a photographer then. That was somebody else’s bag. Sure I appreciated photo, but not nearly at the level I do now. Today I appreciate it because I want to be a photographer. Damn, should have taken a photo class. However! I keep finding that the classes I did take have all led me to this point. I pick out (and use!) obscure facts that my brain held on to from history and marketing class and wish that I knew more about the information surrounding them.

    So much of my life now involves networking with others, getting conversations going and learning about the other person — most often those with interests don’t match necessarily match my own. While I was passing off classes as useless, I could have been absorbing the information to expand my range of knowledge. I’m not suggesting that you memorize every fact that’s placed in front of you, but at the very least take the role of interested listener. The professor of the lame class still got to the point they’re at for a reason. They have some sort of knowledge to share, just as much as you might share a tip on photography or one of the finer aspects of journalism. Not everybody is going to take on the same level of interest in the what you might describe. An intelligent person is going to find a way to relate to what you’re communicating. You should give yourself the opportunity to be that intelligent person also. This is part of the magic that makes opportunities happen between two people.

    But hey – I’ve been there and I know the mindset. There is a reason that schools push people through a wide curriculum. I’m proof that you can skate through it, focus on what you like and disregard you like. I’m also proof that it isn’t always the wisest decision because right now I think it’d be great to hear some of those lectures again.

    Cheers man, this is the first post I read and I’ll definitely be checking out some more… probably with less commenting :p

  6. […] publication, is now being resolved. This goes back to my questioning of my skills and development. Am I a better photographer than I am an editor? Now I have that […]

  7. […] I have been a photo editor through college, even before I should have been. So back to my question, “Am I a better photo editor than a photographer?” Yes. But I have made myself that […]

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