Monday, December 18, 2006

Touching the past

I started working at Volda College 15 years ago, when the study of public information and public relations was newly formed as a two-year study. To the green new employee was given the task of kicking it off - basically I was given the keys to my office, a room and a bunch of students. Nobody bothered to give me the carefully developed curriculum and reading list until I had been asking for it for three months... By then I had done all the work for the first semester from scratch, too inexperienced to realise that I should not have had to work like that, and that I should have asked more often, louder, and from more people for the information which was lacking.

Today I have been revisiting the one, great thing about those first years in Volda. I love all my students, but can there ever be another group like the first? A handbook with pictures and names, and google, and I have spent the afternoon tracking them slowly through publications and jobs, to send them emails with greetings in the hope that yes, that's the right person.

I am doing this for two reasons: I am generally curious about where they all are now, what do they do, how did they use the knowledge we tried to share with them? But I would also like to use their knowledge about the information profession and the education in order to create a better, stronger and more updated education. And a third reason, which is the one the PR department at the college loves - I want to show them off to new students: "Look, these were my students once! Now they are there - and there - and there."

An afternoon with Google shows me I can do this, safely. I am feeling all warm and fuzzy with pride. And I have only gotten through the first two years. I am going to enjoy this!

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