Alright. Time to ‘fess up. I had an ulterior motive in starting this Olympic program—getting back to Ball State’s awesome Worcester Centre in Worcester, U.K., where I spent summer 2010 with my family and about 35 BSU students.

But that’s only partially true.

The other reason that I wanted to go to the Games was to show my journalism students just how cool it can be to be a working journalist.

It can be hard sometimes to show that back at Ball State. Oh, most of us try in our own way, but all too often it’s tempered with news of newspaper layoffs and starting your careers in some backwater market that pays under 20K a year. And that’s not cool.

But there’s something magical about this job. Colleen actually calls it “journalism magic.” And it’s true. It works. It’s this cool Zen moment when all of your training and all of your instincts come together in this perfect combination. And you are on it. You are living in the moment and you can’t be stopped. You can’t wait to get back to your computer to input photos (like I’m doing now at 2 a.m.) or bang out a story or edit that package.

Coming to Dallas reminded me of it. I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had picking up a camera again and shooting sports—shooting people for that matter.

It’s brought the coolness back to me.

And I’m hoping it does for my students too. I hope that when they go home from London they reflect back and think, “That’s what I want to do everyday for the rest of my life.” And I hope that they bring that kind of passion back with them to the DN or to Ball Bearings or to Sports Link, because lord knows journalism needs passion right now.

We need to be cool again.

Ryan Sparrow  |  Adviser

@rjsparrow