I’ve noticed through most of my academic career, regardless of now or back in high school, it all seemed kind of easy. I didn’t really think that I was putting that much effort into most of my work. I’d fluff papers up in order to meet the page requirements. I’d ask people last minute for interviews and slop stuff together. All of this combined, and I somehow currently have over a 3.8 GPA. This semester, however, I think I finally found a class that had a professor that didn’t buy my old techniques. Dan Connolly, professor of COM370, Digital Sports Writing.
When I read that in the comments for some of my first few assignments, I was pretty surprised. I can’t think of a professor, besides maybe one, who left that comment on a paper of mine my entire time at college. I thought I had cracked the code, that I knew exactly what I needed to do to please every professor at Elizabethtown College. But Connolly, he wasn’t having it.
I was actually pretty excited. I finally had something that felt like a real challenge. I love that. When it comes to video games, difficulty is fun for me. That rang true in sports writing, not only because I knew I had the power in me to write a good piece, but Connolly knew it too.
So overall, yes I still make a few mistakes here and there, but I think that after COM370, I’ve been able to find a better angle, a better story, a better question. That’s all thanks to Connolly.
I was able to talk to some people I could only dream of getting to talk to. Gerry, that’s Gerry with a ‘G’, Sandusky from WBAL. Jeff Zrebiec, Baltimore Ravens beat writer for the Baltimore Sun. I’ve looked up to these guys for so long. Ever since I enrolled at Elizabethtown I had hoped to learn the tricks to replicate them. Find a way to be able to become a voice in the NFL world. To actually be able to talk to them? That’s something I didn’t think would happen while at ETown. That’s all thanks to Connolly.
Do I want to be a print journalist? Probably not. I came in to the class wanting to be on television or radio, and coming out of this class I feel pretty much the same. This class did show me techniques that I need though; skills that help be a better story teller. Something that plenty of people, guys like Zrebiec, Sandusky, and Connolly are great at doing. That’s all thanks to Connolly.
So yes, plenty of people complained about how hard the class was. Plenty of people thought that turning in a blog every week was a pain in the butt. However, that challenge made me show up to class every single day. I think that I have become a better writer, a better story teller, and now think that I might have a chance to get where I want to be. That’s all thanks to Connolly.