Thursday was payday

The hardest thing about becoming a full-time college professor 27 years ago was not having tangible evidence that I had earned my pay check. Every week for the previous 23 years I had gained immeasurable satisfaction from holding the fruits of my labor, a weekly newspaper, right there in my hands. I’d actually leave the Sunday paper I had helped produce lying on the coffee table for a few days so I could see it when I passed by and know I was spending my time well.
A teacher has no such immediate reward.
I said so to a friend who had taught for several years and he told me the sense of satisfaction I missed eventually would come, but it was going to take years. “When you see a student succeeding in life, you’ll know you did your job,” he said.
Thursday was one of those days. I picked up the Citizens Voice from my front porch and there on page one was a story written by Sarah Kane, an LCCC grad who is working at the paper for the summer. I could not have been more proud if she were my own child.
Fortunately I now have been teaching long enough that such “pay days” happen on a regular basis. Luzerne County Community College communications grads are sprinkled throughout the region playing roles in the newsrooms of not only newspapers but television and radio stations as well, along with advertising and public relations firms. One, Joseph Gorman, is superintendent of Crestwood School District. And the front page with Sarah Kane’s byline Thursday may well have been designed by former student Laura Boone, an award winning page designer.
A couple of years ago LCCC student James O’Malley had a full-time newspaper reporting job before he even graduated. Less than a year later he was covering the Hugo Selenski trial in Wilkes-Barre and a year or so later the Bill Cosby trial in Philadelphia.
Earlier this year, two former students, Joe Dolinsky and Liz Baumeister, won first place Keystone awards.
A long time coming, yes, but such rewards are far better than producing my weekly newspaper.

Ed Ackerman