The Spoils

To the victor belong the spoils…

The first Syracuse football game of the 2009 season will be counted as a loss, but Saturday’s game against Minnesota won the hearts of about 50,000 crazed Orange fans, including myself, packed inside the Carrier Dome.
SU has the largest domed stadium of any college campus
SU has the largest domed stadium of any college campus

It reminded me of the Greek coliseum as we waited for the warriors to come out, and I could not even hear myself screaming.

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We screamed when we had the ball; we screamed when we didn’t. Talk about a sea of orange. Everyone had orange on.

The most popular t-shirt
The most popular t-shirt

After the game, I ran into a ’92 Newhouse grad who still called herself a BJ girl – read: Broadcast Journalism, which made her husband’s head snap. “What?” He had never heard her call herself that!

Last week, I knew my perspective on grad school was all about to change when one of my professors dropped the f-bomb in my first class of the fall semester. He lectured how the content in his class was not available anywhere else in the country. “I know. I’ve looked,” he said, and my heart jumped. “That, in itself, constitutes a business advantage. I’m not going to turn you all into some code monkeys, but the stuff you do five years from now probably doesn’t exist now. Let yourself become different.”

He asked, “How many Web pages exist?” The class was silent. “Billions? Trillions?” We settled on trillions. “No, there are no Web pages,” he said. “There are just databases that answer requests.”

Thursday night’s 3-hour ethics class was all about the first amendment when we got right down to it. We talked about utilitarianism and the greatest good for the greatest number of people in relation to a famous photograph by Stanley Forman that earned him a Pulitzer Prize.

Wednesday’s magazine editing class was reminiscent of a real-life situation as the instructor described himself as a professor and not a scholar. Newhouse is a hands-on institution, he said, and basically, if we wanted a scholarly education, then we picked the wrong place. “You’re here to make mistakes,” he told us. “This is a safe place for that.” With less than ten students in the class, I felt like I was seated in the editor’s office, and my smile widened when he said he did not have time for TV. “I’m not making time for TV.” That’s my kind of editor.

In Friday’s 9-5 magazine class, after learning that one of our professors was a fitness editor at Self Magazine in NYC – Sweet! She’s got connections! –  we were told to start thinking about a beat we want to cover, since we’re going to reporting six stories off that beat. “It’s not a happy time,” one of the professors said. “I wish I could say it’s going to be a walk in the park,” he said and all forty of us took a deep breath. He encouraged everyone to bring coffee and bagels or doughnuts to class. “It adds to the ambiance. We’re all doing it,” he said and pointed to all three professors armed with coffee cups. Lastly, we were assigned to go cover the Great New York State Fair and dream up with three stories to be turned in the following day. “You have that reporter’s notebook. That’s your license to talk to nuns,” another professor said, and everyone sighed.

The spoils just keep getting better.

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