Brad and Toni Go to Career Day: An Essay
by Toni Stauffer
I remember being a kid in middle school and watching the parents of other kids stand before the class and talking about their jobs for career day. The parents with the cool jobs were the ones who came to talk, like lawyers, doctors, firemen, etc. Well, I guess Brad and I have cool jobs, because we were invited to participate in Career Day at Phenix City Intermediate.
The welcome we received made us feel at ease as we gathered in the media center with other speakers and were treated to pastries, fruit and coffee. I’m one of those people who really like my coffee in the morning.
We were led by a student to a classroom where we remained while classes circulated to us for 20 minutes each. I took my Nikon D3300 digital SLR camera, my digital recorder (which I don’t use anymore because my Smart Recorder phone app is way better) and my reporter’s notebook. Brad took a flash drive. We also had copies of the newspaper and the Central Championship magazine we published.
I started us off by introducing myself. I talked about taking pictures, but how they didn’t need a fancy camera to take good pictures. Any 12+ megapixel phone takes decent pictures. I explained how I go out into the community and gather facts by listening, recording, obtaining documents and interviewing people. I also talked about how I do research on the topics and people of which I write about. I let the kids handle my camera (which made me really nervous) and the digital recorder.
I managed to take up 10 minutes and then Brad had his turn. His job is really cool. First, he showed how our executive editor Denise DuBois puts a page together with a time-lapsed recording. Then, he showed them our website and how he took a picture of a golf ball on a golf course during the day, made into a night picture, added stars and the moon, turned the golf ball neon green and added fonts for a night golf tournament fundraising event flyer—much more impressive than what I do. Brad is a wizard.
The first group of students were really energetic and interested in what we had to say. They asked a lot of questions and had fun taking pictures with my camera. The second group were also interested, but less so. What we found is that as time went on, the students’ interest and energy seemed to wane. I thought it was because we were getting closer to lunch time; however, someone told me it was probably because they’d been listen to people talk all day.
Still, we were excited to let the students know what we do for our jobs and what it takes to do our jobs. It’s nice to have a captive audience.
All of the kids were well-behaved, though one young man freaked us out a bit with a spooky human trick in which he vibrated his eyeballs, kind of like The Flash superhero. That is a moment we won’t soon forget. Anyway, kids, if you ever have any questions for us, our number and email is in the paper. You know where to find us. Thanks to PCIS teachers, staff and students for being so amazing.