As the senator descended the stairs, a group of professionally dressed students wheeled back toward the hallway.
One of The Spartan editors, Briana Bocelli, turned to the others and was overhead excitedly saying something like “isn’t journalism fun?”
She had just asked U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders a question about whether the current U.S. administration is essentially normalizing hate, while walking along side him with her recorder out to capture his answer.
Steps ahead of her, stood Spartan photographer Martin Van Buren III, capturing the journalistic encounter that had her so fired up.
Also in the mix was the other Spartan editor, Carly Trombley, who for the past hour and 10 minutes stood on a platform, troubleshooting technical problems to live feed the senator’s launch of his bill to provide free tuition to basically all Americans.
As she recorded Sanders’ passionate plea to ease student debt and improve the country’s 11th-most-educated-nation ranking, Spartan reporter Brigitta Gough was in the crowd meticulously scribbling page after page of notes, clutching a recorder and jotting down time stamps of especially powerful moments.
And after shooting countless photos during his speech, fellow Spartan photographer Olivia Maher was seen in the middle of a Bernie Sanders scrum of students – still shooting pictures, but this time candids of students seeking some Bernie time.
After Bocelli had broken from the group of us to head back to her dorm room, Trombley relayed another comment she made after her “isn’t-journalism-fun” comment.
“She said this event made her realize this is what she wants to do with her life,” Trombley said.
As a journalism professor, nights don’t get much better.
I got to see a group of soon-to-be graduates practicing a craft that I have preached to them for a few years now – and do it masterfully.
The photograph by Martin Van Buren III showing Bocelli and Gough taking notes alongside Sanders with me in the background says it all.
I felt like a proud pop, in the background, watching my “kids” blossom and excel in a world that I have always loved and still love.
It makes journalism – and teaching journalism – fun.
– David Blow