A few hours before the polls closed on Election Day, the manager of my apartment complex sent out a note saying that all doors save the front one would be closed, that all residents needed to have their security fobs on them at all times because the Miami police chief had announced that violence was expected and eminent.
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So, after six drafts, five weeks of writing, rewriting, revising and redoing, my op-ed about the – now kiboshed – move of the Republican National Convention to Jacksonville has been published in the Washington Post. Whew!
I was struck by something this week while listening to an interview of Attorney General William Barr on “Morning Edition.” Specifically, his repeated complaints about “the media” this and “the media” that, as though news reporters and pundits were part of some vast, faceless entity bent on the destruction and dismemberment of the Trump administration.
Wednesday afternoon I made a brief – and authorized – visit to the closed FIU Biscayne Bay Campus. Though all of us – faculty and staff – had been sent to work from home more than a month ago, we could ask for special double-secret permission to return to campus if we needed to.
Three stepsisters – the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun – died this week of complications from COVID-19. The News-Press was 115, the Leader (nee Review) was 112 while the Valley Sun was 74.
With all of the madness going on about the novel coronavirus, one thing I've been struggling with is how to appropriately grade work. Relatedly, should the university allow a pass/fail option? Does it not matter because graduate schools will (likely) take any grade dips this semester into account?
This has been quite the week. On Monday, I led a group four students to Southwest Florida to report on two satellite caucuses put on by the Iowa Democratic Party in St. Petersburg and Port Charlotte. It was a long couple days... I think I put in my 40 before noon Tuesday.
At this point, there's not that much more to be said on the topic, but I figured I'd share a few of the things that struck me about the coverage and the aftermath.
I work in a news desert. The journalism department at Florida International University is housed in at the Biscayne Bay Campus, which is in North Miami. Northeast Miami-Dade County, in general, gets little attention from either of the two large dailies – The Miami Herald and South Florida Sun Sentinel – partly because it is relatively far away from their respective centers of political gravity and partly, I suspect, because there aren’t a lot of subscribers out this way. It's time to do something about it.
As the fall semester ends – my 12th term as a full-time educator – I figured I’d take a moment to reflect on what worked, what didn’t and how I might continue to improve both my own skills and the experiences of my future students.