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.
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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.
The jury room, on the seventh floor of the Richard E. Gerstein Justice building in Miami, is cold and getting colder. As the room slowly empties as more and more prospective jurors are called to individual courtrooms, the loss of their collective body heat turns it from chilly to tundra.
I realize I didn't come up with the term -- the first time I heard it was in relation to the DTLA (downtown Los Angeles) art walk -- but "Arty Gras" seems appropriate for the madness that is the annual Miami Art Week. But this time I have something to show! Whoo!
It seems like I'm on a bit of a roll. And yes, that is a bit of a 20-sided dice joke. Anyhow, this is the fourth piece I've had published in the last two months. The latest is about the closure of a comic book shop in Coral Springs that hosted Dungeons & Dragons games. A lot of these shops seem to be closing despite the recent uptick in popularity of D&D.
Many professors -- including myself -- assign an obit assignment to students where they write about the lives of one of their classmates. Though they find the exercise a bit macabre at first, they soon get into it, imagining their lives as famous journalists, activists or artists -- and surrounded by dozens of adoring grandchildren when they die happily at 105.
So, yeah. I already f***ed up. On Friday, I had an epically long day at work and after finally closing things up at about 9 p.m., the absolute last thing I wanted to do is head down to the gym. So I didn't. Oh well. But, fear not, as I worked out Saturday and Sunday, so I'm not too far behind.
In preparation for an upcoming dragon boat race in Orlando, I'm going to commit to a seven-day challenge, using this blog for motivation and accountability. I'll post my progress here, along with my general feelings on the workout du jour, from now until next Thursday.
I imagine it's a bit strange to fly today. Even regular business travelers may get a slight hitch when they look at the date on their boarding pass. I certainly know I would. Though I only lived a single year in New York City -- when I was in grad school -- it was during the year following the 2001 attacks. The anniversary of that terrible day came only a few weeks after I had moved across the country and into my new apartment in Morningside Heights. Being a writer, I did a short reflection on the feelings from that day.
As the new semester starts at FIU, one of the more ballyhooed bits of news was the launching of the free shuttle between the main campus in Sweetwater and the Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami. Prior to the vote by the university's board of trustees over the summer, students paid $2.50 to make the 25-mile, hour-long (or much longer) trek between the campuses. But it is not "free" as FIU's public relations folks and student government officials keep touting. It's "included."