Teaching three summer classes, as I’ll be doing until the end of this week, hasn’t left much time for blogging. But I’m taking a break from grading here on a Sunday afternoon to catch up a little bit.
I’m teaching one of these classes for the very first time, a PR, Technology and Media class in our university’s Master’s degree program in Sports Administration. I’m convinced that anyone involved in sports coaching or management needs some training in dealing with media, and in formulating messages to and getting feedback from key publics. (I was just as convinced that school employees needed the same thing when I worked for my hometown school district as a PR person back in the early 1980s.)
We’re doing a variety of assignments, including a public relations campaign and various kinds of PR writing and I’m having each student maintain a blog to give them a taste of this useful tool for creating community and informing publics. I’ll post some links in the next couple of weeks to show you their work. And, of course, we’ll go to a sports event — I’m having them take an insider’s look at staging a Charlotte Knights baseball game later on this week.
It’s made for full weeks this month and so the long Friday-Saturday-Sunday weekends have been welcome once they get here.
I spent Friday in South Carolina making a couple of enjoyable visits. I had lunch in Greenville with two friends from our days as Clemson students — actually one is a hometown friend whom I first got to know in junior high school. He has worked in IT for a company in Greenville since the late Seventies — they called it “data processing” back then.
The other lives in Harrisburg, Pa., and he and his wife were in town for his niece’s wedding. We usually get together for a Clemson football game each fall, a streak that was broken last fall when I was in London. So it had been nearly two years since we’d had the opportunity to hang out.
We don’t take much for granted, since among the three of us we’ve had a stroke, a couple of heart attacks and an angina attack. Maybe we’re the real “Cardiac Kids” — I keep thinking about those “Da Bearrsss” guys in the “Super Fans” Saturday Night Live skits from a while back.
I spent the evening with my brother, Jeff, in Clinton, where — after waiting out a severe thunderstorm — we had an enjoyable dinner at a fairly new place in town, the Jacobs Highway Study Club. Jason Bundrick, the proprietor, has turned the former Pizza Hut location into a fun place to get a burger and a beer.
There are plenty of TVs tuned to sports, pool tables and occasional live music. But our favorite feature is the restaurant’s nod to its name — shelves along the wall filled with a variety of reference and other books. Jeff and I usually take down the old World Book Encyclopedia Year Books.
I’m not sure whether anybody else ever really reads those books, but we get a kick out of browsing while we eat. If there’s ever a test, we’ll be in great shape.