Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Money Quote

"You want give the subject of your profile the last word," I told my students. "End your piece with an inspiring quotation that really sums up the essence of that person." And to help them do so, I showed them examples and we imagined what questions the reporter had asked to get such a response.

Even so, we were looking at student work, which can be flawed, and when the words of a young basketball player flashed up on the screen one kid in the room grimaced and shook his head. "That's not very inspiring," he said.

"Well," I said, shrugging, "sometimes reporters have to work with what they get." I made eye contact with him and raised my eyebrows. "Not everyone is lucky enough to get someone who is well-spoken. We all have different strengths."

He nodded in understanding. When the lesson was over and it was time for them to follow up with their subjects to get that perfect ending, he walked over to me. "What advice do you have for people considering getting a puppy?" he asked, and I gave him my inspirational best.

"I really am lucky to have someone well-spoken!" he said.

Lesson taught; lesson learned.

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