I was born in a hospital in Chicago, IL completely covered head to toe in a fine, black hair. This hair, or body-length lion’s mane as I’d like to imagine, was quickly shed in a manner never fully explained to me.

            I moved to Bloomington-Normal, IL at age three after a mob of torch and pitchfork wielding Chicagoans chased my parents out for giving birth to Wolfman. That has to be the reason. I refuse to believe we moved out of a house that was within walking distance of what I later found to be this really great Mexican restaurant because of “work.”

            The twin cities are a treat though, in their own special way. As corporate headquarters of insurance giants State Farm and Country Companies, I was fortunate to befriend a lot of really interesting kids who’s lives were suddenly uprooted from all over the country. 

            We’d play tennis, basketball, and Mario Kart until Overlord Good Neighbor decided our neighbor Mr. Dufek was the only man in the world who could sell auto insurance in California. Wash, rinse, repeat. Not that I’m bitter. But whenever I get a speeding ticket, I call my Country agent to discuss any possible change in my rates.

            Recently I discovered Columbia is home to the corporate headquarters of Shelter Insurance. That wasn’t mentioned during the campus tour. What I did learn during the tour was that Mizzou had a campus that looked like what I thought a college should look like in my head.

            Plus everyone says Mizzou’s the only place to study journalism if you were born a monster mere minutes from Evanston, IL and no New Yorker has ever liked you. I’m more shuffle than hustle and bustle and I guess everyone is cranky since the city never sleeps. There’s no pushing and shoving at Rock Bridge State Park or on the MKT Trail.   

            Now that I’ve been at Mizzou for a year and half without dropping out even a little bit, I’m looking forward to this J2150 course I’ve heard so much about.  I envision a class that gets me out of the classroom. I want to tell my roommate not to wait up for dinner because I’ll be out taking pictures of a local Roller Derby practice. I want my roommate to tell me there’s only one clean plate left anyway because I was too busy interviewing Roller Derby players to do dishes when it was my turn. It doesn’t have to be Roller Derby. I just want to go to a lot of places while not washing many dishes.  

            I’ll have plenty of time to do dishes if this journalism thing doesn’t work out. I’m serious. I worked at Olive Garden over the summer. The dishwashing machine has a sweet conveyor belt and everything. I can pick up six dirty glasses with one hand. Nice people over there, too. Management said I’m welcome back anytime.

            That being said, I would like this class to give me skills in operating professionally a variety of video equipment and editing programs. I want to put “Proficient in the use of _____” for as many things as I can on my resume. I want to learn how to troubleshoot too, in the field and in the studio. I want this class to help me to become some lucky news company’s go-to guy who doesn’t get laid-off.

            I am willing to put in as much time as it takes to learn the ins and outs of all the tools we use. I am ready to take the first steps of a technological life-long learning process. And I know how long life-long will be. I genuinely believe I will know my time is up when I am Mufasa-level hairy once again.

Pictured: Rep. Aaron Schock’s office window. He’s from Illinois, like me.