Well, today was the big day in Ms. McKinney’s fourth grade class. I was back, and I had 90 minutes to teach fourth graders the fundamentals of journalism. I started with the news values (what makes something news?), and I was amazed at how quickly they picked it up! There were a lot of new, big vocabulary words for them to learn, and they did a great job. I ran through a bunch of hypothetical news stories, and gave them a little quiz to ask them to define which news values were involved in each story. Most of them got about six out of the eight I gave them correct, which was more than I was expecting from fourth graders who were essentially doing high school work. Next week, I will be helping them write news stories about the inauguration. In order to prepare, their homework is to read a news story and bring it in so that we can analyze the news values present in the story.
After school, we went downtown for dinner. On the way back, this woman would not pay her fare or get off the bus. When it became apparent that it might be a while, most people got off the bus to wait for the next one. But because Tyler and I didn’t have any more cash, we had to stay on and wait out the escalating conflict. The bus stayed stopped until the driver could get her off. Eventually, she did leave, but not before being asked/pleaded to/berated by at least three other very, very angry passengers. Tyler and I debated getting out to walk home, but we still had two miles to go and we had made it that far into the fiasco, so we decided to stick around. Eventually, the bus driver got off the bus and started yelling at her. I think that sent a message, because the woman finally decided to get off the bus. A girl sitting near Tyler and I looked at us, shrugged, and said apologetically, “I’m really sorry, guys. This is California!”