17 July 2012

Street Food and Tea Snobbery

Today we focused on news, Keith took us through what made good news, how to find news and how to write great news. It turns out that there are dozens and dozens of types of sources, and Keith gave us great advice on how to get the best out of each one. He gave the impression he could have spoken about it forever, fortunately I managed to get all of his pearls of wisdom written down before my writing hand gave out.

The biggest adjustment (for me at least) is definitely the hours. After being a student for the last 3 years I had grown accustomed to being awake for about 12 hours a day, time I usually passed by eating, reading and going out. The first day of the course we were in PMA for about 10 hours, today we've been here for 11 and change, and judging from the previous blogs there are only longer hours to look forward to.

A quick word on the blogs: like many of the others, I read some of the blogs before starting the course and between it, the amount of work Keith and Roberta gleefully tell us we have coming up, and the course schedule we received yesterday, I've managed to terrify myself completely that I'm going to die of overexertion. There is an old Alfred Hitchcock quote that goes something like "there is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it," this sums up the mood at PMA pretty well. The best example of this came today when Keith gave us our first writing assignment: a 50-word news story based on a feature we found in a magazine. When this was announced, all of us reacted like Keith had been holding a starting pistol and ran to the computers to get it started. I was 150 words in before realizing that 50 words is roughly two sentences. Silly boy.

The day ended with a little bit of work on Street Food Business. We started work on defining who our ideal customer is and ascertained what we need to do to get them all worked out before the REAL work starts. The phrase 'REAL work' should probably be a little daunting, but if we learn as much every day as we did today I can't imagine there will be much that we're unprepared for.

PS I brought in some Twinings teabags, and have now accidentally branded myself as a tea snob. It's probably just the pressure of the course getting to me, but it feels very important to clarify that I'm not a tea snob. I love all types of tea.

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