Finals week! For some, it’s a time to recast dreams

drink.jpgThis is my last post until May 29. Look for me on a beach in St. Lucia where Sharon and I will be celebrating a belated 30th anniversary, sans laptop. I won’t be moderating comments, either. So be patient.

Maybe I’ll have some fresh ideas when I return. Right now, I’m a burned out and blogged out — and I need one of those umbrella drinks.

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You know, teaching may be the greatest job on earth. It’s a real kick to watch students grow — to see them overcome obstacles and develop new skills. I didn’t find those rewards in the “real world,” which is why I moved to Ohio and took a big pay cut.

After 15 years in academe, I still enjoy going to work most days — even during finals week, when I’m sometimes the bearer of bad news. It’s the time of year when most PR students celebrate, but when others must recast their dreams and find a new major.

Among the courses I teach at Kent State is PR Case Studies, the “knock out” class for the PR major. Between 25 and 30% of the class either drop the course or fail to reach the required “C.” A few fail because they don’t apply themselves, but more often it’s because PR doesn’t fit with their skills or aptitudes.

It’s not the end of the world, I tell them. When you think about it, learning your weaknesses at the age of 19 or 20 can be liberating. It leaves all that time to strike a new course. But it still means starting over. And that’s no way to kick off a promising summer break.

I think we all need a vacation. It’s been a long year.

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