Day 2 – WJI

Yesterday, we were reminded not to be late three times. Today, we arrived late. And it was thus we were introduced to Dr. Marvin and Susan Olasky.

Dr. Olasky gave us an overview of journalistic history and mission, punctuated with remarks about English commas, Star Wars, and baseball. The Bible is a brilliant example of narrative, facts, and making sense of the world. WORLD magazine’s scope and detail, even on the unhappy, is driven by this detail. “The world is a beautiful story of God’s glory,” said Dr. Olasky, “but it is on a broken stage and we are broken actors.”

Abraham Kyuper, known as a brilliant Dutch statesman and theologian, also founded a newspaper. He once said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry Mine!”

Joel Belz, WORLD’s founder, spoke to us at lunch. (During this short period, I received five emails from the newspaper editor back home. Did you know that my city of 637 has a budget of 1.1 million? I didn’t either, and I should have for my story.)  Survival, apparently, is key to the journalistic endeavor. Especially if you are someone awesome and innovative like Mr. Belz.

And here we come to our test of doom. It comes here, not because it occurred after our potato chips and kindness from Mr. Belz, but because I just used the word “like.” Our seventy-plus page test, ahem, I mean seventy-plus question test, gave us all a bit of a fight. Being interpreted, we lost. Let us lick our wounds and learn. Our battle scars will mature to muscles with a constant application of Strunk and White.

The true grindstone commenced in a four hour mourning of the dead (and pretend dead). Some of our obituary assignments, mine included, are now more dead than our subjects. (I did discover my businessman did actually die, and the day before my birthday no less! Should have known that before class…) Morbidness was interrupted by Mr. Pitt’s Youtube video samples of Doris Day and Dick Van Dyke. Also, of reporters walking into poles, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Released at dinner, we wandered the streets of Asheville for sustenance. Onize, the beautiful princess from foreign lands, and I found a taco place where we ate pickled jalapenos and gesticulated while gleeking rice. (Okay, I gleeked rice alone.)

Mr. Pitts interacted with us until darkness fell, sharing his wisdom and kindly incorporating our own thoughts on the interviewing process and all its horrors. I will not write more here, because Mr. Pitts deserves his own time at a later date. And, you need to hang around with a person before you can attempt these things.

I guess the thing I learned most today (besides learning I should never use the word “thing”), was to never use passive (which I already knew, and, however, do not apply). Also, go on “which” hunts and WORLD doesn’t like “however”. In addition, it is worth noting, that Dr. Olasky is thankful for the Revolutionary War and generally for the great nation of America because we are the land free of periods and commas who do not know their place among the common man. Oh, and cut additional words.

Does this read like a school day report? I’m still finding my voice writing to the masses…you two who are reading this. It’s supposed to be as if I’m writing home, but you do not know for what you ask.

Let us go to sweet repose with this admonition:

Let us walk, my brothers, if our parking tickets should be again be lost. Let us bus. Let us crawl. Let us fly.

Let us be grateful for gracious masters.


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