Fun day yesterday. Started with a special session down at the Paley Media Center , which used to be called the “Museum of Television and Radio.” Watched some clips of classic TV journalism (Cronkite relaying the news of JFK’s death, coverage of the Watts riots, Murrow/McCarthy) and got into discussions which felt, at least in part, very reminiscent of discussions I had getting my American Studies degree. Media analysis (and, er, my entire former double-major at Wesleyan, if you count performance and lighting/sound design) suddenly looks like it’s going to be useful! What the hell was I doing in computers all those years, when I could have been having intense conversations about the role of the news media in a democratic society?
(Answer: I was already having intense conversations about the role of the news media in a democratic society. I simply wasn’t in a position to do anything about it.)
Ran some errands, had a tutorial on using Columbia’s subscriptions to Lexis-Nexis and Factiva, bought for half-price from Public Safety the most serious bike lock Kryptonite makes, had a great bull session with a classmate from Britain. (After having spent most of my life constantly being assumed to be much older than I really am, my J-school colleagues are now consistently taking me for being much younger than I really am. The folks recently graduated from their undergraduate schools consistently assume I’m well under 30, though I think this speaks more to the perceptions of the recently-graduated than anything else.)
Went home, grabbed a quick bite to eat from our fridge (our budget being what it is, I’m packing my lunches and making dinners at every opportunity) and went to spend a couple of hours at the laundromat with my copy of Harry Potter #7. Our serious reporting and writing begins this weekend, and a couple of days ago I realized that if I didn’t finish the thing now, I would probably have to wait a year for it.
I’d forgotten how long it takes to run big laundry machines and how relatively short a time it takes to read Harry Potter books: after coming home and having a video chat with Kate up in New Hampshire, I folded our laundry and then stayed up way, way too late reading. Got up this morning, read the final chapter, and set it down with a satisfied (if tired) sigh. I’ll pay for this with fatigue today, but it was worth it.
It’s raining this morning; given the horrors that befell the MTA Wednesday, I’m thinking it’ll be a good idea to bike down Broadway to Columbia.