Weekend homework & agenda for Tuesday’s class

Excuse the late recap of weekend homework assignments. I know we all are swamped. Just getting things down on digital paper will help keep us organized. As the writer Douglas Adams said, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

So, here’s what’s coming up, and what we all must do to stay on track for the coming week.

On Tuesday, we have a Google Hangout with Michelle Nijhuis (nye-house). Here’s how she describes herself on her website:

After 15 years off the grid in rural Colorado, my family and I now live in White Salmon, Washington, on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge. A lapsed biologist, I specialize in stories about conservation and global change, but I’ve covered subjects ranging from border security to wrestling to my daughter’s conviction that Bilbo Baggins is a girl.

As you know from reading her work, Michelle has won many awards for her science journalism and has written or edited books and articles about how to be a science writer. Given her background, what should we ask Michelle? I’d like everyone to contribute at least one question before Tuesday’s class. You can do that on this shared Google Doc.

Also, we need to get traction on your second story for The Scope. Put your story idea on this budget. Your budget line should be pretty focused — not just a label but a statement about what the story might say and whom you would interview. For your second story, it’s fine to pursue an idea that didn’t pan out earlier.

Some of Michelle Nijhuis’ articles may provide an excellent model for your stories. Check out this piece she wrote for the Smithsonian Magazine about bats. It’s similar in structure and length (400 words) to the stories you’ve been writing!

Things we won’t get to until later in the week — but we do need to get to them

¶ I’m still working on editing your first stories. (Sorry; pulled in other directions the past few days)

¶ Last Tuesday, we discussed the “book report” assignment: Each student will read a science book and make a 10-minute presentation to the class about the book and the author. Some students haven’t selected a science book yet. Do that now on this sheet. And then everybody must select a date for when you’ll make your presentation. Here is a list of all the students in the class, the books you’ve selected and the available dates. Edit the document.

¶ Everybody must take the NewsU course: “Whose Truth: Tools for Smart Science Journalism in the Digital Age.” Do it by Oct. 11.

Got it? The priorities are: Questions for Michelle Nijhuis; budget lines for Story #2; flesh out the book reports schedule.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *