An interesting interview with Brittany Hite about how she went to China and eventually landed a job with the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong. If you are planning on a career in journalism click on the link then after you reach Hite’s Blog click on the link to the interview.

I recommend it if you plan to have a career in journalism and are not there yet.

This is one of those learning moments that cannot be taught in a classroom.

In the interview Hite says, “Journalism is one of those subjects that just can’t be taught in the classroom — the only way to learn is to get out there and start doing it.”

She’s right.

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7 Responses to

  1. Merlin,

    Yes, it was my job, which is why I often worked 60 to 100 hour weeks for that monthly salary. Teachers are not paid hourly but by the month. A teacher that works 25 hours a week (meaning he or she would only teach his or her five, daily one-hour classes and then rush home not taking student work to correct and a few did that) would get paid the same as the teacher that worked 100 hours.

    I remember many a day where I arrived at 6 AM in the morning (I would have been earlier but the gates were not unlocked and opened until 6AM) and left at 11 PM when the custodians came to the classroom and told me and the student editors of the high-school newspaper that we had to go home because the alarms were being turned on.

    All that hard work paid off. The high-school newspaper won a bunch of awards.

    You may read about it here (if you click on the link, scroll down to read the newspaper article):

    http://www.mysplendidconcubine.com/teachingyears.htm

    Teaching was not my dream job but I gave it more than 100% every day I was in that classroom and every victory was sweet earned by sweat. When I say victory, I mean the students that came to learn and there were a few of them and sometimes one would cross over from the non-learning crowd that hated being in the classroom and start to work/learn—those were moments to cherish.

    • merlin says:

      I always think one could make a lucrative business abroad selling lesson plans to english teachers. I’m not a website pro nor am I a professional teacher. I know a company actually now in Shanghai provides teaching material and the teachers teach in coffee shops that way the company doesnt need a massive office. Teachers wear the company shirt or something. I saw the job posting once. Thought it was cool. Cant remember if i applied for it, but I dont have $h*t to my name right now other than my wild adventures and bounce back from cancer. Apparently in the “real” world nobody cares if you survived cancer (unless you are a volunteer for a cancer awareness organization where you get a handshake from the organization leader and a corny certificate to hang on the wall). Also, 9 months job hunting and nobody would take me after I explained my little “adventure” and the reason I was in jail because my former bosses scammed free labor out of me until I was too broke to do anything. I usually got a jaw drop, followed by a “we’ll call you if we’re interested”. I ran to so many job interviews it got to a point that I’d walk out the door and say to myself, “there goes another interview down the toilet.” Anyways, lucky Bandag took me in, but wish it were sooner. Fam’s getting curious where the little rabbit is stashing his carrots. Lets just say the old train bridge was blown and the Dolorean is fueled and waiting alongside the cliff. I’m liking the butterfly in the stomach feeling. Not the butterfly while sitting on top of the BEAST coaster looking down and knowing what’s going to happen in that next second when the brakes release, but instead it’s the butterfly I had 2 years ago. I smile, though, because instead of crawling into the dark, I’ll be walking out of it with lessons learned and ready to take a 2nd shot. Falling is a learning opportunity. Even the great Steve Jobs that created Apple was kicked out of his own company, only to bounce back with a pocket device that has changed the world. Although I dont plan on meeting the same fate he did.

  2. brittanyhite says:

    Thanks for the shoutout!

    • You are welcome. Your courage and willingness to take risks sets you apart from most. What you did going to China was a gamble and for you it has paid off. Congratulations.

      So, when does your first book come out?

    • merlin says:

      You really put the effort into your career. I always think the biggest problem with education is it’s so generalized that many graduate without a clue what they really want to do in life. It’s life experiences that slingshot you to the ends of the earth. I remember going through leukemia and falling on my knees in despair at the edge of the graveyard where everyone wafted away with the spring breeze. A cute, little chinese girl tugged at my shirt and pulled me away. When I touched Chinese soil for the first time I felt a surge of relief as if something was telling me I was finally on the correct doorstep of home. Everything looked so strange yet so familiar as if I’ve seen it in a previous life. The girl ran away, and eventually everything collapsed as the professionals didnt want me and the startups wouldn’t pay me. My fall has been short, and like the phoenix that rises from the ashes, so to do I rise from my failures. We fail in life to learn how to pick ourselves up and try again. Determination is always jumping on the horse even if you slide off the other side of the saddle.

      I admire a person that follows through with what they want to do in life.

      • Yes, time and studies have proven that the key to success is to fail and try again and keep trying no matter how many failures. I had a boss once that owned a dozen night clubs and drove a Rolls Royce but before he earned his first million, he went bankrupt seven times and started over eight times.

        However, it helps to know what the odds are and have a back-up plan (or maybe more than one) in case one goal that might have high odds of failure doesn’t work. Maybe the back-up plan would be to find a boring, tedious job that pays the bills while pursuing the higher odds of failure goals part time.

        For example, that’s what I did. I taught in the public schools for thirty years and never gave up on my writing goals. Today, I’m an indie author with novels that are considered a success in the publishing industry because of sales reaching 10,000 (at this time). In publishing, any author that sells at last 5,000 copies of his or her work is considered successful since the average indie book sells less than 90 copies in its lifespan and the average traditionally published book sells 250 copies—my work has now sold more than one-hundred-and-ten or forty times those averages.

        I decided I wanted to be an author in 1968 and wrote my first novel length manuscript. After that, it took me forty-two years to achieve the goal of publication while I worked to pay the bills with my back-up-plan as a public high school teacher. I did not love that job. If given a choice (meaning I had enough money to survive), I would have left in an instant but teaching kept a roof over my family’s head and helped feed us. It also helped fund my goals to become an author paying for my MFA in writing and the seven years I attended writing workshops out of UCLA extension program in Westwood, California while I taught weekdays in addition to correcting student work nights and weekends. This meant getting up many times at three in the morning so I had a few hours to write before driving to that challenging classroom where so many average students end up not paying attention, doing homework or reading the assignments let alone studying for tests—–after ten daily hours of TV, video games, texting, social networking, etc. there isn’t much time left for that boring education.

      • merlin says:

        LOL! Well you and most of your students apparently share a common agreement that you both didnt want to be there, but to be there is your job for you and their future for them.

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