Friday, March 25, 2005

For the Health of it!

. For the Health of it!

Thanks to Jerry Gulley and Ginny Temple for coming all the way to T- Town to talk about Health Magazine. I loved what Jerry said about finding a mentor. That’s great advice and I hope you take it. Whatever you do, wherever you go, study the people that you admire. Note how they dress, how they interact with their superiors, their peers and their subordinates. Jerry runs a tight ship but everyone I’ve known who has worked with him would walk across coals for him.

The thing is, you can tell by both Jerry and Ginnys' comments that they love what they do. In the end, that’s what this is all about. This class, this profession, this road you are taking is about one thing-- finding out what it is you love to do, doing it well and of course, eventually getting a paycheck for it.

It’s not all glamour. Every newsroom, office, law firm, church and institution comes with back stabbing, politics and weird nonsense that will make you crazy. But, as someone who is lucky enough to be an outsider looking in at a lot of companies, the thing that attracts me to some more than others is that rare chemistry that sparks a group. This class is one, the editorial team at Health is one, the editorial team at the Randall trucking group is one and the collaboration at Tuscaloosa Magazine are all good examples of the “spark.” If you don’t feel the spark when you interview for your first job—keep looking. And don’t overlook places that might surprise you. Good people want to work with good people. Creative people crave the dark humor, twisted word play and literary references that the sales people deride. Hey, our editors at Randall play competitive Scrabble for fun. (not me, not me)

You can tell when someone is on fire with the enthusiasm of a new project. I have to admit a stab of jealousy as Jerry and Ginny talked about the re-design effort at Health. Not the actual product, which looked great, but the team work, collaboration late nights and empty pizza boxes behind it. That’s the secret, the key to life that you may or may not be searching for. It’s the “buzz” of working so hard, so creatively that you lose track of time and you accomplish something.

Hey, now you don’t have to go listen to some lame commencement speech.

Happy Spring Break. I’ll give you a hint for next class. Come prepared to write a lead about your adventures. Here’s mine: I am always looking for my lost shaker of salt. It’s not that I ever really want to find it. Not at all. It would be like if the dog actually caught the car, the coyote snagged the rabbit or the troops found some WMD. It would take all the fun out of a dog’s life, a cartoon, a boneheaded war or in my case-- another spring break.


At 7:48 AM, Blogger Becky said...

Jerry and Ginny were great. If their enthusiasm hadn't fired me up, I'd be checking for a pulse right about now. Thanks for arranging for such terrific guest speakers to share their insights. I'm taking my copies of Health to read and share with others over spring break while I visit family in Florida.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Emily Kornegay said...

I so enjoyed our speakers. Jerry would be such a great person to work with. He makes a "real job" sound not too bad -- even to workworld-phobic me! I'll be thinking of a clever lede during my Spring Break on the beach. I've rented a house with SEVENTEEN of my pledge sisters -- if I survive, I'm sure I will have plenty of stories that will transition into intriguing ledes. Be safe and have a great time, everyone!


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