As registration time was brewing up in the fall back in November, I reached out to a professor (via Twitter, of course) who never fails to teach me something new. Of course, I was asking what classes he was teaching the upcoming spring semester. With two of Professor Robinson’s classes under my belt, I was ready to learn more from someone I very much look up to. Cue his tweet about teaching JOMC 240 – a class focused on observing current mass media and predicting the future of mass communication – one, he said, I would be very much interested in (unlike feature writing…). I was eager to enroll in another one of his classes, not because I need it to complete my Journalism major, but because his classes are unlike any other at the university.
As the former Editor in Chief of the Greensboro News & Record, Professor Robinson now graciously gives his time serving others, and by others I mean what he would call the “future of mass communication” (and by that I mean us, UNC Journalism students). Anyone who has been fortunate enough to be in one of Professor Robinson’s classes can vouch that he is a one of a kind professor. From his wit, to his knowledge, to his practicality of lectures encouraging us to participate and share our predictions and thoughts on the future of mass media. Not only are his classes entertaining (even the three hour ones), but he genuinely cares about each and every one of his students. I know that I have someone who will be an excellent source for recommendations, someone to respond sarcastically to my tweets or blog posts and, most importantly, someone who has my back. I can wholeheartedly say that my college career wouldn’t have been the same without him.
Excitement was an understatement regarding my happiness in learning about this class and I then encouraged all of my other Journalism friends (and one Business major) to take Robinson’s class. The class met once a week, every Monday night from 5:30-8:15 (weather permitting). Talk about a long time… Just kidding. That’s the beauty of his classes, they seem to fly by as everyone is lost in discussion and debate concerning the newest mass communication issues.
The most important thing that I learned in this class is not about the unbelievable reach of social media, or the vast expansion of communication, but rather the power of an effective class.
Too often I find myself losing interest in my classes, I take a quick Facebook break that turns into a 25 minute cruise on the web ranging from Buzzfeed articles, Twitter and ESPN. The struggle is real. But, I rarely found myself “multitasking” during our 240 class (other than the night of the UNC/FSU game, that’s my bad).
Professor Robinson’s class inspired me. It showed me that I am a Journalism student for a reason. It reminded me how passionate I am about technology, communication and writing. It didn’t wear me down, it brought me up.
I learned a wide array of important information during our class this semester. The power of media and communication is the highest it’s ever been, and it just keeps growing. We have to be ahead of the game, not simply conforming to the newest game when times have already changed.
Blogging has taught me a lot about myself. This semester even gave me the opportunity to solve my own Public Relations crisis, one that wouldn’t have been confronted had I not had the power to publish. After being encouraged time and time again by the Journalism school to “start a blog to put on your resume for the future,” I was always nervous about entering this unchartered blogging world. But, Professor Robinson made us do it. As students, we need that push these days. There are so many things that we “should do” to better ourselves but there is just not enough time in the day to do all of it to the best of our ability.
I plan on continuing my blog. I’m still unsure whether I will keep this same blog or start a new one focusing on my thoughts rather than solely issues in mass communication, we’ll see. I’ve learned that I would enjoy blogging in my professional future as well. I assume that I will be doing some blogging this summer at my internship in Fort Lauderdale with On The Ball Marketing as they have a strong blogging presence already.
I know that Professor Robinson was expecting us to write our final thoughts on material content that we found most important during the semester, but I believe his power in the classroom far exceeds any topic in mass communication.
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
-William Arthur Ward
Cheers, to a wonderful three semesters that I have learned from Professor Robinson. Though I have another year left at Carolina, I have come to the point in my life I have to fulfill every boring class that I avoided the past three years in order to graduate. You will be missed. Keep inspiring.