My friend and colleague Aldo Regalado once told me that the job of a teacher is to teach oneself out of a job. We should aim to inspire such a great love for learning and understanding that a student’s intrinsic thirst for knowledge transcends any need for traditional education.
As far as my journalism class is concerned, I find myself becoming increasingly unneeded and marginal—and I couldn’t be happier.
For several weeks, Palmer Trinity students had been eagerly awaiting a much-anticipated visit from Cris Cab, a young up-and-coming musician from the area.
“Good Girls,” one of his most popular music videos, has over 1.5 million hits on YouTube.
Cab performed live in front of a packed gymnasium yesterday, singing an original tune and covering two anthems from Bob Marley, his biggest influence.
One of my many American history students even asked Cab to the senior prom.
“I didn’t say no, but I have obligations,” Cab said. “I am going on tour, I’m about to be back on tour for a month and a half, two months, and it wouldn’t be fair to you if I told you yes and I somehow couldn’t make it. I don’t want to break your heart.”
As fans cheered and girls swooned, my journalism students were hard at work. All the while, I sat back and enjoyed the music (in several senses).
Jordan Figueredo ’13 did an amazing job manning the control-booth and live-stream computer, making the performance available to anybody with the link and an Internet connection. Figueredo had arrived early to get the best camera angle.
Costanza Reiser ’14 and Paula San Agustin ’14 performed like professional photographers, communicating with each other to get the best shots. As I watched them, I was reminded of how much better they are than I am. They are fearless, moving in to get close shots and kneeling down to capture more creative angles.
Preston Michelson ’13 not only served as the master of ceremonies but also helped direct coverage of the event. I have no idea what Palmer Trinity will do next year, once Michelson graduates. Nobody else exudes such composure in front of such huge crowds, and under such stressful circumstances. He’s leaving giant shoes to fill—not just in the newsroom.
After the performance, students rushed to transport all of the equipment back to the newsroom for Michelson’s interview with Cab. In a matter of minutes, cameraman Steven Angueira ’13 rolled out the green-screen, designed the set and prepared the lighting. I couldn’t ask for a better crew chief than Angueira, who has a great eye for detail. He works extremely hard to capture the best shot for post-production editing.
Before he sat down to interview Cab, Michelson engaged in some small talk with the rising star.
Not surprisingly, Cab is amazing on camera. He’s calm, confident, articulate and extremely amicable. He and Michelson had great on-camera chemistry, which my budding anchor used to his advantage. No matter how often I watch Michelson interview—whether his subject is Martin Luther King III, students, teachers, administrators, or in this case a famous musician—I envy his natural talent.
Like many teenage girls, Figueredo has a crush on Cab. She confessed to me her anxiety, especially about having the chance to ask him questions in the virtual newsroom.
“I want to interview him, but I’m really nervous,” she said. “I’m afraid I won’t do a good job.”
I’ll leave it for you to decide how Jordan performed.
I have never been prouder as a teacher than I was today, when I did almost nothing.