So what is this test? This test will determine whether or not I go to Beijing this summer…no pressure!! I actually had to sign a waiver stating that I understand Emerson doesn’t have the last say on my participation in the Olympics program!
With only 13 days to go, our class is still not clear exactly what we will be tested on. First we were told that it was going to be on note taking accuracy and interview skills but just today we were told it’s going to be on note taking and debate skills!! For the record, I have no debate training…and I don’t think fighting with my brother as an adolescent counts! Beijing officials from the Olympic News Service are flying to Boston to monitor and grade our performance. The debate aspect I believe will test us more on our composure and ability to survive stressful circumstances…which they are supplying plenty of already!
To prepare, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to get up to speed on my journalistic skills. This involves listening to endless online interviews and taking notes word-for-word on quotable material. I’m finding that it’s a lot harder than it sounds. This past weekend I went to a college invitational meet and interviewed my first real athlete. He won the men’s mile and kept throwing me off by looking at what I was writing as he answered my questions.
I’ve also been working on coming up with good questions to ask in interviews. Luckily I have a friend, the same one who hooked my up with the Boston Indoors ticket, who is a die-hard fan of running and willingly shares his knowledge and love for the sport with me which helps a lot when formulating intelligent questions. (His name is Mike and I’ll probably refer to him a lot since he’s my information and meet buddy)
On top of this, in class we do drills and work on writing wire copy – what we’ll actually be writing at the Olympics. The importance of grammar in a miniscule 5 sentence piece has never been more important in my life!
In the next 13 days we’re also going to be doing a crash course on debating too. I’m just glad the Beijing officials don’t expect us to be fluent in Mandarin in two weeks…
More updates to come….and I’ll throw in some actual travel-related blogs in the near future too