What I Learned in Boating School Is…

Ok, so I am not in boating school. Unless you are going for a job to be a cruise line driver, I am not even sure such a thing exists. The title is a play on one of the best Spongebob Squarepants episodes ever. In the episode, to pass his boating license test, Spongebob must write an essay “What I learned in boating school is…” In a case of extreme test anxiety and childish Nickelodeon humor, he has a meltdown and is unable to finish the test. Mrs. Puff, his puffer fish boating teacher…well…she puffs up in distress that Spongebob has yet again failed his test.

But alas, I am not in boating school. I am in teacher school…kind of. And Writing for the Media is one of the many hoops in which I must jump through in order to be able to teach the real life “Spongebobs” of the world how to read, write and articulate in this convoluted language known as “English.” I have made it to the “What I learned in Writing for the Media” episode and this is part of my test.

What I learned in Writing for the Media is that the media can be very powerful. I thought reading the test book was going to be a drag, I’ll be honest. But it was quite interesting, at times controversial, and it questions morals and ethics now and again. There is a reason that the phrase “power of the press” exists. It can literally make or break people, elections, families, relationships, careers and companies. Messing with the press is something I would suggest you steal clear of.

What I learned in Writing for the Media is that I don’t suck at journalism as much as I thought I did. I was never very gifted in this area. There is a whole different set of rules for writing. After having had almost 16 years of academic writing beat into my brain, I thought for sure that this class and those quizzes were going to be a nightmare. My decent grades were a pleasant surprise. I don’t know if I’d feel 100% comfortable running a high school newspaper or something like that, but I know I would have more confidence teaching journalism as a whole.

What I learned in Writing for the Media is that social media has become just as important as the news on TV, the news in newspapers and what is published in magazines. I am much more aware of where I get my news, what outlets they come from, their reliability and so forth. It is not uncommon for me to scroll through Facebook or Twitter and find out the weather, accidents, local, national and international news all within 3 minutes because of shares, retweets and hashtags. Since it is social media, I have learned to identify solid and legitimate sources verses those who post gossip or skewed/biased information or stories.

What I learned in Writing for the Media is that the blogging world is stuck with me. I kinda like this gig. 🙂


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