I was always told that in college you get so many new opportunities and experiences- this week- I finally understood what everyone was talking about.
For the Freshman Seminar classes (small classes offered exclusively to freshmen in the Focus program that help to enforce Green-Bay’s interdisciplinary approach to learning) each class had read a book by Kevin Sites called In The Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars. Kevin Sites was a foreign correspondent for ABC, NBC, and CNN until he decided to be a self-sufficient journalist for Yahoo!. He won several awards for his reporting, book, and documentary on this year-long journey through all of the world’s conflict zones.
As an aspiring journalist, nothing was more exciting to me than when I saw the posters go up about Kevin Sites visiting campus. He would first give a program to show his documentary based off the book. The next day he would do a special visit to the Freshman Seminar classes to discuss what it’s like to be a journalist and about following your dreams. That night he would do one final presentation about his novel and fighting for peace.
As I expected, each individual program was uplifting, eye-opening, and most importantly, inspiring. But what was most inspiring to me could not be found in the middle of a large lecture program. After the first night I lingered in the meeting room with a dozen or so others to get my book signed. Mr. Sites was more than willing to sign the books, take pictures, and chat with anyone who wanted to stick around. Because of this willingness, it took quite a while. My friends had already been gone for about a half an hour when I finally stepped to the front of the line.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience not only to have a journalist sign a book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading, but also to have a personal conversation with him and have him wish me luck in my journalism career.
It was definitely the highlight of the past few months to have someone who has been through all of this education business before, has made something of himself, and is now coming back to it an inspiring others, to be right in front of you for three separate events giving you that extra boost you needed to believe in yourself.
It’s awesome that at UWGB we have so many great opportunities like these.