Back to School!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
With apologies to Thorton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) and Grand Lakes University--Home of the Hooters!

Yesterday was the official end of my "hiatus" from my online journalism classes with the start of UMass Amherst's 2013 summer semester.  It began on May 20th with the first of their two CPE sessions and I will be utilizing both of them to meet my class attendance requirements for their Certificate in Journalism (JOURNAL 392P, Writing for Public Relations, will run through the end of June and JOURNAL 333, Introduction to Digital Photojournalism, will carry me all the way through mid-August).  I opted for this "turbo" strategy because the classes are shorter (six weeks versus the 14 weeks during the traditional fall and spring semesters) and this compacted schedule will allow me to stretch out my Post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits for future classes through this school or, perhaps,to pursue another certificate with another institution. 

BTS: Obama's Stretch Run in Ohio (Part 1 of 2)

Monday, May 6, 2013
[NOTE: this is the first of a two-part installment of my "behind the scenes" observations related to the 2012 presidential campaign.  With the nearly 6-month delay between the events and this posting, I might overlook some of the trivial things I endured but I wanted to finally jot down the main items as well as my reflections on the entire reporting experience.] 

Seasongood Pavillion in Cincinnati's Eden Park being prepared the evening before President Obama's "grassroots event" last September

If you go back to my last "BTS" feature (related to my coverage of Vice President Joe Biden's September 12th "grassroots rally" at Wright State University), you would see that I (finally!) established contact with the Obama campaign's press office and was issued official press credentials to cover that rally as a full-fledged member of the media.  Since they had me on their email notification roster, I was receiving several updates per day on the current, recently completed, and upcoming events scheduled for the president and his running mate.  With Ohio as the biggest "swing state" prize in the November general election, it was only a matter of time before Obama would make his own appearance in the local area, and I received the following advisory just a few short days later: