Fake News

I had such a low-key weekend that I’m not really sure what there is to write about. Nevertheless, I shall persist, and write on about nothing. I really have no idea what I did on Friday. Not a clue. I know I drank beer at one point and I had some cheese for dinner, but other than that I really don’t remember. Must have been a very exciting evening!
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I am feeling a bit more brain dead than usual because we the end of last week frantically trying to answer questions from a reporter for a story about us that will not be good. I’ve always had empathy for famous people because you can’t control what people write and say about you. And, yes, many of them are very rich and with fame comes criticism, but I know it sucks. I’ve had a bigger dose of how it can suck since I took on this role because I’m more involved in media inquiries and responses.

It is so frustrating to spend a lot of time giving someone very detailed information and documentation only to see that it’s completely inaccurate in the story. Then, it’s further frustrating to submit a request for a correction and the person is like “nope.” We are dealing with a few things now where the timeline is very central to the story, and one outlet reported it incorrectly (which made us look unresponsive to a serious issue) and now everyone uses that incorrect time line. So, we look like jerks despite having a pile of emails and meeting confirmations that show we responded quickly, but what can you do? You win some and you lose some.

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Trump’s incessant whining about the media makes me batty because what did he think would happen? They’re hard on Presidents – as they should be. You can’t do that job with thin skin because you have no control. I would have a level of empathy for the office (not for him as a person) if he wasn’t complaining ALL THE TIME. We get it. The media gets it wrong sometimes. Some of the media is biased against him (FOR GOOD REASON). Welcome to being President! It sucks to see misinformation out there and to know details were left out for the sake of a certain slant, but that is their right. I still respect and appreciate the role and importance of journalism in our democracy and lives. It doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated, but I am at least smart enough to understand the difference between bias and fake news.

Image result for fake news gifSo, that’s been going on. I worked on Saturday writing graduation speeches (a different one for each of our seven ceremonies) and that has been struggle city. I am not a speechwriter. I am not a creative writer. I write to convey information in a direct, succinct, and clear manner. My boss writes to tell a story because he believes that stories are what give people a chance to “see into a soul.” And that’s totally great and he’s wonderful at it, but it’s a huge challenge for me because that is just not how my brain works. For instance, I wrote a one page story about a student that I thought was a bit too long (in 14 point double-spaced type), and when he returned it the story was four pages.

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So, that was an all day struggle. We are also having to cut his speech from 14 minutes to five, which, for a storytelling former English professor it is an actual nightmare. I honestly think his heart is broken. We are down to about nine minutes, but it hasn’t been easy.

Thankfully, despite all of that speech writing strum und drang, I had something fun to look forward to on Saturday night – beer with Tracy and Matt! We met in Midtown at Rubicon Brewery where we enjoyed a tasty dinner and good beer.

I had the “Hangover Burger” which was tomato jam, bacon, arugula, a fried egg, and black pepper aioli. IT WAS AWESOME. I will definitely eat there again. After dinner we walked around Midtown a bit and came across a fashion show which was a fun surprise. Everyone is SO SERIOUS about fashion. MOST SERIOUS SKIRT IN  A CENTURY. Anyway, we eventually made our way to Fieldwork Brewing Company which was founded in Berkeley. We all tried their Galaxy Juice IPA, but it wasn’t my favorite. It was too much like flowers in my mouth, but I would like to go back and try the others.

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On Sunday I went to Orange Theory for the first time in about a month. So, that still hurts. It was a challenging partner workout (NIGHTMARE) and I got 37 splat points. I have never had over 20 before, so yikes on that. I thought I was just working super hard, but when I looked around most everyone else had about 15. One super fit little thing had three. THREE. Why is it so easy to be totally out of shape?? I felt like a train wreck the entire time, but I survived!

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I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the speeches again. The fun never ends around here. By this time next week commencement will be over and hopefully we will all still be alive.


10 thoughts on “Fake News

    • Ha! That’s very nice of you, but I would say there’s a pretty huge canyon between blithering on about my own weekend and writing someone else’s story for a speech.

  1. I’ve been doing a 25 day program offered by a local personal training facility. You can imagine my delight at being surrounded by super fit, really young (to me), coordinated people as I huff and puff my fat old ass through the workout.

    I don’t even know what splat points are but I’d bet I had about 50 of them by the end of my hour last night.

    You’re a great writer and I’m sure your speeches will be on point.

  2. I can totally relate on the incorrect news being reported. My husband is in union politics and there was an article a couple of years ago that came out that said he and the executive board all lived in mansions. I sent a picture of our townhouse to the reporter and also called. Nope, never corrected it and for the record, NONE of them live in a frickin mansion! And there have been other instances but seems like once the damage is done, it is hard to undo no matter how much you present the actual facts and the proof of facts.

    Hope you have a quiet summer at your university! I know I typically look forward to summer at my university because we have no students as we don’t offer summer school for social work grad students.

    • Well, that sucks! We deal with similar misinformation regarding our pay. Everyone thinks that ALL administrators are just rolling in the dough. No. Also, you tell me what it would cost to get you to work over 100 hours a week most the time? I bet that wouldn’t be cheap. And, your town house doesn’t make a good story! And amen to summer! All of my problems leave 🙂

    • Welp, I know what side of the union politics you’re on! I would never have imagined how I would be vilified for being in administration. Like I’m some lazy fat cat making millions off the poor backs of faculty. I have been shocked by house personally vicious some of the reps are. We all work at the same place, and if they want to be administrators they can. Ours once said that our lot is full of luxury cars. If my seven year old jeep with paint scratches counts as luxury, then okay.

  3. I randomly found your blog a few months ago and enjoyed that you’re a runner (like me!… um, sometimes) and you work in higher ed (like me!). I’m delurking to comment on the graduation speeches. I work for a midsize research university and our president NEVER changes her speeches… not for any of the five ceremonies each semester… hell, she doesn’t even change it semester to semester. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the exact speech at graduation from her. So kuddos for all the hard work you and your office are doing to make graduation special for college students! Rock on!

    • I wish my boss did that! 🙂 I honestly don’t think there should be speeches. Welcome the people and start reading names. People are there to either walk across the stage or see their person walk. No one remembers the speeches! That probably my bitterness from the past week talking.

  4. Well I wanted to do a clever reply to “test” but even my smart ass self couldn’t come up with anything.

    I have had similar problems…nothing to write about and yet still a blog is expected, what to do?? And yet you must be compelling enough because here we are. Graduation speeches are a tough one. They are so painful to listen to when they are dry and boring but when they’re good they’re so worth it.

    My niece graduated a few years ago and the last young woman to give a speech was forgotten and they released everyone only to call everyone back for her speech. It was awful. We cheered extra loud for her but the damage was definitely there. Ugh. Get your schedules right, People.

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