Thursday, May 4, 2017

Proud alum, indeed

Every time I speak to a class at Wichita State, I say the same thing: I did graduate from this place, and you can look it up. I think I do that because a) it was a long time ago, and b) after all these years, I still can't quite believe it myself.
This morning, I spoke to a journalism class at WSU's Elliott School of Communication (instructor Eric Wilson presented me with this gift). My time as a student reporter at WSU wasn't easy. I was thrown into the fire with some hard-news stories I wasn't expecting as a sports editor. The basketball coach tried to publicly discredit me. You might say the experience sucked the Shocker fan right out of me. But it also gave me a hard shell, and paved the way for me a develop a long-recognized reputation as a impartial journalist, which certainly served me well while making "Out Here In Kansas."
My message to an LGBT Studies class a few days prior was a lot different. After showing them the documentary, I confessed to the crowded classroom, "I was a country kid, and I've probably told more gay jokes than anyone in this room." But they forgave me. I'm an ally now. People do change.

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