In continuing with my movie theme from my last post, I have officially diagnosed myself with what I like to refer to as “the Walter Mitty syndrome.” As I watched the movie in theaters earlier this year, I found myself identifying with the main character, played by Ben Stiller. The deeper I get into journalism, the more I am affected by this “syndrome.”
For those of you who haven’t read or watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it revolves around a man who works for Life magazine (which already stuck out to me as an aspiring journalist). Working around so many stories and pictures of wild adventures and breathtaking sceneries feeds his bouts of daydreaming. Mitty will see something or think of something that triggers an action-packed adventure… in his head.
Well, with the constant brainstorming of possible news stories, I too drift off and, like Mitty, I often find myself tuning someone out in a conversation. I could be talking to a friend, eavesdropping…I mean, listening to those around me, or even sitting in class when someone will mention something that happened to them or something that’s coming up and immediately, my mind starts to go down the perilous path of “could that be a news story?” As I construct the whole story, thinking about possible sources, and trying to come up with a thought-provoking or innovative take on the story, I realize that I have completely phased out of reality. This is not good, especially when it happens in the middle of a professor reviewing for a test (sorry professors).
Just last week, I was going through lifeguard training and the instructor was talking about how water was considered a weapon, and that there were around 74 water related deaths in Texas in 2013. When he said that, I remembered that my school has a pool without a lifeguard on duty. I started to think of the possibility of doing a story on the amount of emergencies in the pool or maybe find out more about what the facility’s plan of action is in case of an emergency. Then I realized that the instructor had been continuing to talk the whole time… and I had no idea what he had said after the “74 water related deaths” part. Not a good thing to do when being trained on something like saving someone from drowning. I need a cure.
P.S. Yes, I wrote this post while listening to the Walter Mitty soundtrack the whole time. Just thought I’d let you know.