Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Break Fever - or is it just another day in the classroom?

Spring Break 2008 is almost over. Again, it was too short. For professors Spring Break usually means an opportunity to catch up on grading, keep up to date with readings and work on any special projects the university assigns. For university administrators, it's a time to concentrate on all those projects without the constant interruption of students and faculty. For students, it's an opportunity to head to the beach, 6th St. in Austin, the Riverwalk in San Antonio, the Hill Country or even Mexico. Right? Not so fast, Sherlock. Increasingly, students are finding that some, in some cases most, of their Spring Break must be relegated to study. Students use this time to also catch up on their reading or assignments and to put that little something extra into the research paper or assignment that is due at the end of the semester. This is the case for many journalism and RTV students at TAMUK. For example, students in the Advanced Reporting case spent much of Spring Break working on their South Texas feature. Those in Editorial writing are working on specialized columns due in April. The Editing and Design students are starting work on their final projects as they hone their newfound desktop publishing skils. With the time off, many of the Advanced Reporting students have time to travel to destinations they could not fit into their schedules during a regular school day and actually complete their South Texas feature story assignment. Others spent time doing research, writing scripts, planning graphics, doing storyboards for TV commercials and running primary research data through a computer as they prepared for the National Advertising Student Competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. One student lamented, "I don't have a Spring Break!" But, then, the realization that students at other universities are doing the same thing. Why? Ironically, most of the work these students do during Spring Break has more to do with the future than the present. The extra hours they spend on their education will mean they will be prepared to compete with others for the limited amount of "good" jobs, in their areas of interest, with others from throughout the state and nation. Why, that dedication is enough to inspire an ol' prof to make it through the end of the year. Oh, I know. I know. Somehow most students found time to squeeze in a couple days at the beach and a night out with some friends. That's "The Way of the Student." Heck, they'd find that time during a school week, any way. Ha. But, this Spring Break I know that many of our TAMUK students actually spent time working on school projects. Congratulations to them. The job market is fierce. This will prepare you for the future more than you will ever realize. Oh, and for more "excellent" reading on this issue please visit on the Corpus Christi Caller-Times website caller/com. There you will find TAMUK journalism graduate Adriana Garza's very timely column on Spring Break 2008. Well, enjoy the rest of the "break." See you Monday.