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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Goin' Back to College

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 By

Augusta, GA - I'm at the Augusta State University Communications Festival as a guest professional. Some people I've fooled - former professors of mine - have asked me here to help current students get a handle on what they need to have my ultra-fabulous career.

One of the speakers is introducing the newest members of Lambda Pi Eta, the communications honor society. She talks a little about the name being derived from Artistotle's Logos, Pathos, and Ethos.

"What was that?" I ask, oblivious. "The Three Muskateers?"

The students at my table look at me, incredulous. "Logos, Pathos, and Ethos," they repeat, with trepidation. They couldn't tell if I was serious, or if I was testing them.

Unfortunately, I was serious. I know I must have taken a speech class, because it was required. I also won some public speaking awards in college. But, I swear, though I have heard those terms, I have never heard them in conjunction with a communications class.


Visiting my alma mater made me wonder how much I "learned" and then forgot. All the media law, the genetic disorders, algebra, how to find the standard deviation without referring back to the textbook I never sold back (side note: I'm pretty sure "The 39 Steps" is a cinematic metaphor for that formula; but more on that later).

I've done little since graduating to expand my knowledge base, other than the practical, hands-on things I've learned as a professional. So what am I to do? Grad school is not within my current reach. Time. Distance. Money. And every time I pick up an old textbook or a new educational tome, I lament the absence of vampires, zombies, Dashwoods and Bennets. And, yes, I've read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. It wasn't that great.

What I think someone should compile is a list called "Books That Are Both Educational and Fun to Read and Were Not Written By James Mitchener." If anyone knows where I can get my hands on that last, please let me know.


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