Whatever name you ascribe to it – as I looked out across the Tech gym Friday it was a moment.
and just a bit of breath holding.
NFL, IPS and state education officials held a Super Learning pep rally for the entire campus – no talk of takeovers here.
It was a scene out of Friday Night Lights – 2,000 teenagers packed into the gym as quiet and attentive as they can get – no jeers, no snickers, listening to a local author of a Jim Thorpe biography and hearing from role models including former Colt Bill Brooks and Broad Ripple High School graduate and Super Bowl champion Roosevelt Colvin. Senior football players talked about their future plans – thoughtful, respectful – young people to emulate.
For my journalism students, this was our chance to play with the “big boys” since local and possibly even national media would be on campus to cover the event.
We met just after third period to plot our strategy – who would be behind the camera, who was on air – do we have mics and do we know how to use them? The students paired up in teams, tested the equipment and then we headed to the gym.
Corey and Daiyawn were covering the crowd, they have developed their own chemistry on camera – cool hip-hop enthusiasm -“swag” they call it.
“I’m really excited about learning,” Corey said to a Colts cheerleader in attendance with a sly smile and a carefully placed downward look.
“Take your hands out of your pockets!” Corey said as James, the cameraman went in for the tight shot of Roosevelt Colvin’s Super Bowl rings.
Kamen tracked down Allyson Melangton, only the third woman to head a Super Bowl Host Committee and the principal who said he was happy with the crowd’s behavior.
We ended up with way too much footage and a whole lot of possibilities – which is what I saw as I scanned the young faces in the gym that afternoon.
I told my students journalism was fun. I live by the H.L. Mencken quote, “I know of no one who has a better time than an eager and energetic young reporter.”
They became believers today.
So did I.