It is easy, these days, to give up. Everywhere you look: horror, tragedy, violence. It is easy to despair.
It is human to despair. Have I mentioned the horror, tragedy, violence?
But I am cantankerous, furious, unforgiving. Bad mind and own way from birth. Ask my mother. Ask my siblings. These are my worst traits. These are the traits that have kept me alive.
So it often goes.
But what is the point, really, of the easy path? You never find the most interesting people there, either. And what is the point of a life without interesting people?
So I go on, and as others have held and carried me I try to hold and carry those also along the path.
Today, this week, that means trying to raise $20,000 to support students who need scholarships or stipends at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. Because a) I love challenges b) I support people and institutions who show up, do the work, make the work possible, and lead by example and c) I do so loathe a homogeneous newsroom.
My target, $20,000, represents two tables at the 12th annual Awards for Excellence, the school’s biggest fundraising event of the calendar year. What that money really buys is a full year of in-state tuition for an MA at one of the best journalism schools in the country.
The students at Newmark-J — and I know, because I’ve taught them, and I’ve been a fellow alongside them — often come from the kinds of backgrounds that typically don’t make it onto mastheads.
When you are the first person in your family to have a graduate degree, when you have been working nights and weekends to cover the cost of your equipment, when you have access to stories no one else has told because no one else thinks those stories are worth telling - an MA helps open doors, but it is their drive and talent and enthusiasm and sheer force of will that keeps those doors open.
It won’t hurt if a bunch of cranky bastards are breaking some doors down for them along the way, too.
The Truth - Terry Pratchett