Friday, March 02, 2007

I had nothing to do with the bagels.

Two weeks ago, I got an assignment to go to a local elementary school for a standalone package (Filler photos, really- not necessarily newsworthy enough to merit a full story). Anyway, the school was having a Newspaper In Education program wherein several classes of third-graders were emulating their parents by reading the newspaper over breakfast (bagels from Dunkin Donuts) in the cafeteria.

It just so happened that I had a crazy-busy schedule the previous day (not one but TWO water main breaks) AND I have a co-worker out with pneumonia, PLUS a couple advance stories I had worked on earlier in the week were published. So, like, every photo in the A and B sections were mine. One of the kids at the newspaper-and-bagels thingy that I was covering asked me if I took any of the pictures. I winked, showed him my name on my press pass and said, "You tell me." He got all excited looking for the photo credits, and soon one of the teachers cottoned onto it.

The next thing I knew, the principal handed me the cafeteria microphone, and I did an impromptu assembly on The Life of a Newspaper Photographer. (My training as an emergency substitute teacher served me well, actually, and none of the kids threw milk at me.) They were great. They asked me really insightful questions, actually.

One of the kids asked me how I know when a house is on fire somewhere, and I remembered that Mr. Incredible and Frozone are listening to a police scanner in a scene in "The Incredibles," which made perfect sense to them. Now I kind of wish I made something up about having Spidey-Sense, but hey! I managed not to swear in front of the kids the entire time, which is really a superhuman feat for me.

Case in point: This thank-you note from one of the kids made my whole damn day.

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