“You are 2 minutes late for our first class, minus 200 points from your quiz” was the first word I heard from Mr. Bruce Avasadanond, my new JM310 Editorial teacher. I thought to myself “this isn’t a really good way to start a class” and I remember being slightly caught off with how strict he was with the time and how much points I have lost in just a number of minutes. Everyone was already assigned to their new group and I was confused at first but luckily, my group member Sasipakorn Tongkamphong called me to where our group has settled.
It started with a quiz and then the fun part, class rules. I was aware of the class rules by my friends who had studied the course last semester, “You can’t wear any perfume to class, you need to always have your name tag, you can’t yawn or sneeze and there are about 7 pages of class rules to memorize!” said Nicharee Inoue. I recall thinking that she might be exaggerating, how could a person not yawn in class? Or sneeze? Still, I was quite skeptical about it as well as quite intimidated by the rules and the overwhelming class work. When the class rules are being distributed to everyone I then realize that this is actually real, everything my friend had told me is true. I carefully read the class rule while trying to absorb all the information, some I understand but some are really odd. I think Mr. Bruce notice that the majority of us are pretty lost with all the rules so he clarified some of the most question’s ones, the ‘not wearing any fragrance rules’. “Some people might be allergic to the fragrance, it can cause headaches, excessive sneezing and even rashes” explained Mr. Bruce “Some companies in the United States have a scent-free policy where you are not allowed to come to work with any fragrance”, this actually clarifies a lot but the no sneezing or yawning rule is still peculiar for me.
Many questions flew through my mind when the first class ended, will I be ready for the work I have to do or finish on time and what about my group work? I was quite worried but I remember talking to my friends and it helped, if they survived then I can. Luckily, I was always on time from that day which really amazed me because I am not an early bird and I really do cherish my sleeping time.
It was definitely one of the toughest class I have ever studied, but although I didn’t want to admit it in the first place, this class really helped me a lot. I was able to come out of my comfort zone and explore many more things out there that I never even noticed before. Mr. Bruce said that he would call for complaints every day while explaining that it is our right to be able to complain if there is a problem because we are the ones who are paying the tax. There were so many new things that I was assigned to do, sending an FOI request or doing an observation on strangers and investigating them.
Attending seminars is something that I have never really thought of doing until Mr. Bruce suggest us to do it for our extra credit, so I decided to give it a try. It was a lot of work I have to admit, but thanks to it, my listening and writing skills have improved drastically.
The group works are exhaustingly draining as to there is so much information to gather, I have worked on e-cigarette for my editorial and street racing for my feature/article. To my surprise, I was able to gain much more than I expected. I was finding sources to interview by trying to call the hospital, interviewed a policeman, looking up journals while making sure that everything is reliable and the most important part, writing.
I went through a frenzy of re-editing the article with my group members, for my first article, we edit it 3-4 times and changed the entire introduction and the concession according to Mr. Bruce comment and we were questioning if he was having a bad day. Those were some very late night work and I was getting really tired of it already. Eventually, we all managed to pull through and I was very happy with the work.
Working on my second article with my new group was also a good experience but way tougher, doing the group work while maintaining the tremendous amount of reading and assignments has definitely worn me out. However, I did learn a lot of interesting things during my second half of the semester. One of it is from our guest speaker from Thaipublica, Kamol Chavanwit or Khun ToomTum, is an investigative journalist who has been uncovering different scandals throughout the years. There were many shocking things that I learned from Khun Toomtum and how risky it is to be an investigative journalist. That is why the majority of people decided to distance themselves from this career path. But I was astonished by his passion despite being very dangerous and a lot of hard work but the drive to show people the truth is what kept him going. “Some of the stories we published are able to make a change and clear out the problem but some don’t, it is because us journalist doesn’t have the power or the authorities to solve things but our duty is to distribute the news and the truth to the people,” said Khun Toomtum.
This semester has been a whirlwind, I have never thought to become fond of this class but I did. And yes there are some things that I don’t really enjoy such as some of the class rules or being very early, but I do understand that coming late is not acceptable in the professional world. But I have gained much more and have the ability to do something out in the field, I have become less shy while presenting and actually got used to it and my writing skills have improved from the very first day. For Mr. Bruce who I thought was slightly mental at first has become someone I admire learning from. I used to think he will always be ferocious and I would be miserable while studying but in contrast, the atmosphere was actually very light, as long as we follow the rules of course. I remember being late for one of my assignments and he said with a smile to not to worry and that I could make it up with my next assignments, he even offered to help me look up some of the journals that I can’t access. Even though his comments for work can be harsh and brutal, he still encourages and compliments us which is what I like, especially the final presentation parties.
I always discuss my works with my dad and told him everything about this JM310 class, after my last group presentation I remember talking to him while feeling very relieved that this was nearly over, he told me “You’ve got to admit, even though he is very tough but you need a teacher like this to keep you all working hard” and I couldn’t agree more.
“You all have survived,” Mr. Bruce.
Yes, we survived.