Thursday, April 30, 2009

J-School Reunion: Part Two

Last Saturday, I headed up to Columbia University for day two of my ten-year journalism school reunion.

Class Reunion: Catching up with classmates Julie and Greg at the alumni luncheon

As I walked across campus, abuzz with students milling around and taking advantage of unseasonably warm weather, I couldn’t help thinking about the sadness that accompanied my stint at Columbia – my mother passed away six weeks after first semester began.

In the difficult weeks that followed, I struggled to maintain the breakneck pace of the university’s intensive one-year master’s program. When it became clear that I couldn’t, my greatest ally turned out be my adviser and then Academic Dean of Students, David Klatell.

Dean Klatell made it possible for me to switch into the part-time program – becoming a dear friend and mentor in the process – so I was over the moon to run into him at the alumni luncheon.

We hugged, and he filled me on his recent sabbatical to New Zealand and new role as Chair of International Studies, traveling to exotic destinations like France and Jordan to establish journalism programs.

With plans to do dinner soon, we said goodbye and I joined my classmates for the luncheon in Columbia’s majestic Low Library.

In between the speeches and awards presentation, I found myself rediscovering the best part of going back to school – being part of a smart, accomplished group of people who inspire you to continue reaching for your dreams, both in and out of the journalism world.

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