Academia Freedom Journalism

I asked the Secretary of Education a question.

No one likes to be one-upped.

While the occasional checkmate serves as a reminder that we all have room to improve, tactful avoidance of  the aforementioned booya moment is a cool thing to cultivate.

And a healthy dose of inspiration is just that. Healthy.

Last Thursday I participated in a White House telephonic conference with student journalists, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

They play an integral role in forming media alliances and engendering pre-election favor for the Obama camp.

But, before I consumed entirely too much caffeine, and rewrote proposed questions by hand, to ensure that they rolled off effortlessly, I thought about my baby brother.

When Biden and Duncan came to his high school to promote education, he spoke with both men. He was able to ask Duncan a question.

As a journalist/writer/columnist I love people, conversing with them, determining their motivators, and searching for truth.

Although my heart raced as I sat on the call, I thought about the dimpled high school freshman whose charisma likely put him at ease with societal bigwigs.

If he can, I can.

So, I listened along with  journalists from other publications, as Biden shared endearing familial anecdotes, preached the pedagogical gospel and celebrated Millennials, an appreciation he said he’s often criticized for having.

In a nutshell, these men whom I had never met, spoken with, or seen outside of articles and video clips,  reiterated my family’s life mission.

It was powerful.

 Here’s the story for HBCU Digest. (And an aside, the MOUs/articulation agreement bit between junior colleges and universities? That was my scented, burgundy marker jotted question.)

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