"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Turning pages of the West and other travels

@okieprof talking with Craig Johnson, author of Longmire series, at Full Circle Books. Photo by my old newspaper friend Glen Seeber.
My autographed copy
I try to read at least a book a month, but this spring has been slow, but that changed this last week, after a visit to Full Circle Bookstore a week ago to hear  Craig Johnson. He's the  best-selling author of the Longmire modern Western mystery series which has been a hit on A&E TV.
Before reading a little from his latest book about the Wyoming sheriff, "Any Other Name," he told story after humorous story, about living in Wyoming near the Montana border, reading his books in rural libraries, supporting independent book stores, affecting  sales of Rainier beer, (Walt Longmire's favorite), and working with the actors in the TV series, the only one I watch.
I've read three of his previous books, but what first hooked me was the TV show. While set in Wyoming, it's filmed in northern New Mexico, and I watch it for the drama and familiar scenery--I think I've been everywhere the show is filmed.
Obviously I bought the book, got it autographed, and finished it within a few days, my fourth book this year. Fortunately, the new TV season of the show starts Monday. The actor Robert Taylor resembles James Arness in "Gunsmoke," but this show is  more realistic and set in present day. It's a good show, different enough from the books to make you want to read them too. 
The books move quickly, gaining speed near the climaxes. I especially like his use of Wyoming weather  in the plots. What really stands out--I wanted to ask him about it at Full Circle but didn't want to bog down the large audience with my interests--Johnson inserts a lot of Native American beliefs and what we gringos would call "mysticism." But if you've lived in the West and known those cultures, you know there's a spirituality there that transcends whites' poor ideas of reality. 
Favorite line from the new book is "She stood there like an unfinished phrase." Wow.
"She stood there like an unfinished phrase"
Johnson is a big cowboy who knows the rural West and its people, and the realistic characters people his books.  I wish I'd had a recorder for all his stories, but one quote stood out during the night: "I like spending time with Walt."
I also bought Larry McMurtry's new novel, the "Last Kind Words Saloon," writing about the legends of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday, beginning in West Texas and leading up to the Gunfight at the OK Corral. 
He's writing about the legends, not the facts, of the closing of the West, and included are Quanah Parker, Charlie Goodnight, Bill Cody and others in the brief book. I liked the first three fourths of the book...it's funny and tragic, and McMurtry is a master of characterization and funny dialog. The end of the book disappointed me though, but it's in line with McMurtry de-mythologizing the West. There are no heroes here--just people with problems who legend has made bigger than life. So his was the fifth book this year.
Two previous books this spring were for my Sunday night "soul-detox" group I've written about, spiritual traveling. Most recently was Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist," a symbolic fable of wisdom about  a young sheepherder on life's journey in the Sahara. It's been translated into more than 20 languages. And before that was "The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence" by Cindy Wigglesworth. 
What is interesting to me is that Wigglesworth's is the only non-fiction book I've read this year, a reversal of my preference for non-fiction. First book back in January, was Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."
Interview with Wigglesworth

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

All a-twitter for "Blogstone" for Coffee w/ Clark

Yesterday's "blogstone" for Coffee with Clark
Coffee with Clark reached a "blogstone" yesterday--more than 7,000 page views in a calendar month. That's a long way from May 2009 when it started. And a short and  accelerating way from December, when it passed 5,000, surpassing 6,000 in January.
This month was also the month with the fourth most posts since 2009. Of course, part of those were rerunning the story of the Booth, so maybe that doesn't count, but it did build traffic.
What really catches attention is my @Okieprof Twitter for Journalists #clarkclass. How do I know?
The post about Sara Cowan @DeluxeOK "Thinking in tweets--revolutionaries in #clarkclass" was the most popular of the month so far, with 119 page views.

Here are the numbers:
  •  7,039--May page views at early yesterday.
  • 6,645--Previous high month, January, 2014
Total page views--136,645, compared to 105,000+in December.

While I've had readers in almost 130 countries, here are the countries with most page views:

United States
83148
China
5374
Germany
5168
Russia
4660
France
4242
United Kingdom
3140
Ukraine
2799
Canada
1050
Spain
1023
Poland
860

Blog posts per year
  • 2009--339
  • 2010--292
  • 2011--135
  • 2012--203
  • 2013--252
  • 2014--147 so far
Months with most posts
  • August, 2009--76
  • July, 2009--70
  • January, 2010--57
  • May, 2014--48, so far
  • April, 2010--47
  • December, 2013--39
Day with most page views
  • Dec, 23, 2013--532! A watercolor "Christmas eve journey"
Most popular post of all time
  • 2670 page views--All aboard for Bartlesville , October, 2010 (I have no idea why)
  • Actually top six posts of all time include the words "All aboard." Lots of train buffs?
My favorite and most creative posts--helping earn the Okie Blog Best Writing in the State Award in 2009
  •  "The Booth is a verb"--More than 10,000 words in multiple chapters telling the story of the booth and my friend, the late Bob Illidge, from 2009, repeated this month.




































Sunday, May 25, 2014

Of Sunday sails, stories and friends

Spend Sunday without stress? The best way is to have a generous friend with a sailboat.
 Susan and I got to spend two hours aboard the 25-foot Shamrock, captained by Ted Streuli with his son Raymond serving as first mate.
Two hours of peace. The only sound was a gentle wind, the gurgling of the wake behind the board, a few waves--other than the noisemakers in big speed boats and on jet skis, hurrying around befouling the air and peace instead of slowing down. But Memorial Day weekend  at Lake Thunderbird east of Norman was low key this year, not many boats out.
Sailing is addictive, even for this drylander, and accompanying Ted and Raymond also brings up casual stories of sailing, living and journalism. But most of all you enjoy the weather, the scenery, the wind and water.The weather was just right, partly cloudy, a few sprinkles part of the time, glimpses of sunshine, but no glare, no heat, and a gentle breeze.

Ted and Raymond easing The Shamrock into its slip with earlier guests.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stories of a Memorial Day flag on his grave

He was 16 years old when he enlisted in the 27th Missouri Infantry at St. Louis in 1862. Today, there's an American flag on his tombstone in Edmond, Indian Territory, where he died in 1894 at age 48. 
His unit was part of the Army of the Tennessee, and took part in the siege of Vicksburg, the battle of Atlanta, and much more in the Civil War. I think, based on a conversation today, he may have been an amputee and that helped lead to a short life.
I've found out Rees Hildreth was born in Iowa, and after the war, married in Missouri, and he and his wife Rachel had 11 children. I'm assuming he took part in the 1889 Land Run for free land. I know he received a military  pension. Some of that  comes from quick searches on the Internet. 
Hildreth's grave just inside the gate
Rees Hildreth
He's buried in the private Oakwood Cemetery about five miles straight east of our house on 15th street just before it ends in what is now Lake Arcadia. I went out there today searching for photos for Memorial Day, and found them, and more. I saw  Tim Martin, near the edge of the cemetery, working on a fresh grave near the corner of the cemetery. It was his recently departed father's, and there was an American flag in place. His father was in the Air Force in Korea. 
And I learned some of the story of the little two-acre cemetery, set aside by  Samuel Myers in 1892, part of his 80-acre allotment from the 1889 Land Run. He was also a Civil War vet, from Illinois.
The story of the cemetery is posted on what we'd call a kiosk today, along with the original charter from Oklahoma Territory. There are four main blocks of grave plots, allowing for six graves per plot. 
The cemetery association met this morning under a tree, conducting business. The only people who can be buried in the cemetery are descendants of the original participants. Martin told me about one of the early graves belonging to a Civil War amputee. A huge number of graves are infant graves, and I've written about that before, last year. It was a Hard Life in Oklahoma Territory.
The cemetery founder's grave
Today I was interested in the veterans' graves, and there are more than 20 of them, judging from the flags out today, three of them including Hildreth's for Civil War vets, and moving up through recent times.
I found Myers' grave, a concrete one from his death at age 90 in 1935, when the Edmond newspaper listed him as one of the last Civil war vets in the area. The cemetery has other stories to tell. When originally chartered, it had a section reserved for "colored" people, remarkable then. More remarkable is that in 1951 it was desegregated, far ahead of its time. 
So many stories, and flags.
Old graves

And new

Flags for the graves, please

Final port of call, Santa Fe National Cemetery
Santa Fe
I can't be in Santa Fe to place an American flag on the grave of my uncle Mike  in the national cemetery this Memorial Day. 
But if memory serves me right, from visiting Vicksburg National Cemetery a few years ago, and at Gettysburg, flags decorate every veterans grave...the original decoration day. 
But there are also probably tens of thousands of private cemeteries around the country where veterans are buried, and some hardy, dedicated souls will give of their own time and money to honor those vets with a flag, but not all. 
That's also true of Confederate cemeteries, and graves of Confederate veterans scattered across the country, including here in Oklahoma,  one only a couple of miles from my house. 
snap a salute, and remember them this Memorial Day weekend.
Confederate grave at Johnsonville, OK
Veterans graves at Santa Fe National Cemetery

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Social media" Bronchos twittering in #clarkclass


UCO's main twitter page. Others are for athletics, etc.
"We want to be the social media university," said Monica K. Helms in #clarkclass, twitter for journalists, today. As social media and web marketing director for UCO, she  and Adrienne Nobles, assistant vice-president in University Relations, brought the class a corporate view of twitter and social media, rounding out this sessions' series of speakers.
Their professionalism and advice about branding UCO and serving students resonated as they talked about problems and successes. It added a different and expanded perspective to the varied and changing uses of twitter and social media, in a changing university and student body, compared to earlier speakers. The main account, @UCO Bronchos, serves during weather and other emergencies as well in helping new students and others feel part of a "UCO family."
I and the students appreciated the humanity and practicality of these two serving UCO. And afterwards, several followed @UCO Bronchos.
So here are the debriefing comments and summary of their comments, mentioned by my  students, recorded by student @JenniferHesel.

  • Be adaptable; be ready to learn; communication is the same basic concept but social media offers new tools
  • Hash tagging UCO acceptance letters is such a smart idea
  • Tips for applying twitter to your job
  • Connecting with students, giving a personality to UCO and being helpful at the same time; nice to know there are people working at UCO that will have a conversation with you
  • Very different from other speakers from the standpoint that they offered ways to use twitter in a corporate environment  and how it should be used when representing your employer
  • “We put the H in Bronchos.”
  • It was nice to see who manages Twitter on campus; a face behind the Twitter account
  • For someone who works in housing/dining, was nice to see the other viewpoint about the management of our social media sites
  • It was interesting to see how they handle fake UCO related Twitter accounts and good to know they manage them in a responsible way
  • As a communicator you need to be adaptable
  • Learning is lifelong
  • It takes skills to successfully manage social media; UCO knows how to use and manage it properly
  • Reasons or purpose in having social media should be considered when beginning a UCO social media site
  • It’s not just about content; it’s about conversations
  • Like the rebranding idea of adding pictures from students to keep it fresh
  • UCO communicates with students using Twitter to stay connected
  • Like the silly posts; nice to know it’s not just a robot at the other end responding to tweets; that it is very human and personable
  • Keep your business your business!  It’s always out there for people to see when you post something
  • You can influence your followers in a positive or negative way
  • “It only takes one match to light a fire.”
  • The benefits of social media far outweigh the potential liability
  • Make social media a part of your integrated marketing plan
  • We can count on communication in general to evolve
  • “What you post has to be authentic.”
  • The way people feel about social media will dictate where it goes
That's all for this session, folks. @Okieprof, #clarkclass

Toast to the Booth, end of the semester

"Toast to The Booth"
Yea, verily, a fair number of colleagues, some fair, some fairer than others, and some, like The Clark, not so fair, "Boothed" recently, honoring the close of the semester, telling stories, laughing, and washing away the tears and grit and frustrations of micromanaging administrators, higher education's red tape,  and lazy students at UCO.
For those of ye gentiles who may still be ignorant of the ways, and the story of the Booth and how Booth is a verb, The Clark urges you to read the several preceding chapters on this blog.
While the location of the Booth has changed, and continues to be fluid as the beverages served, know ye well that the  first toast of the evening will  be "To Bob," co-founder of "The Booth" in 2002. 
Friend, colleague, worthy cribbage opponent, and heart of the old Journalism Department, Bob Illidge who died nine years ago, is since toasted and remembered with laughter and stories and tears every time we "Booth," and often when we don't, as long as there is a nearby "adult beverage" as he would call it.
Herewith is attached a small watercolor, in honor of all those Booths past, and to come.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

UCO, twitter and tomorrow, in #clarkclass

Two UCO speakers tomorrow will close out this session of speakers for #clarkclass, Twitter for Journalists, people who work to make this place a "social media university." 
When I started this class, I had no idea
where it was going, and it continues to evolve, to change, with the times, with twitter, with the needs of my students.
What has astounded me most is how relevant twitter seems to them all, and what an abundance of great resources and people there are to help us all learn. 
Tomorrow, we'll hear about the "corporate" use of twitter, essential for an institution, from Assistant Vice-President in University Relations, Adrienne Nobles, and Social Media  and Web Marketing Director, Monica K. Helms. 
What impresses me most about these two "with it" women is that they're highly professional, and yet maintain their individuality on their twitter pages. Adrienne's "Generally awesome, specifically fantastic. Please don't tell me to keep calm." Monica's "Making awkward situations even more so since 1987...with an itchy twitter finger." Their advice to students and perspective on twitter's importance in all professions and fields is invaluable.

"The Wild West" in #clarkclass


UCO broadcast professor Desiree Hill @dezhill has become a partner in ideas and enthusiasm for our changing professions, and her presentation to #clarkclass today  underscored that.
Get over the idea that all professors are traditional, old-fashioned set-in-their-ways know-it-alls. Desiree says most traditional media use new media in traditional ways, but she is not one of those, and is always learning and changing. 
She is a newshound, which is about as high on my list as you can get, because she always brings practical advice, sincere interaction with individual students and passion for what we do in teaching and in journalism. I especially appreciate her advice on writing for twitter, on the importance of journalism in a democracy, and her commitment to students. 
Every time I hear this terrific teacher speak, I learn stuff and get ideas for teaching. I hope we can eventually work this into a team teaching project. We know we're on the threshold of something constantly changing that is exciting and invigorating.
I learned something else this week, when @MyJrny took photos of the class, and of me. I need to start taking photos of these speakers  to add to the volumes of material and possible articles coming out of #clarkclass. I followed through with @DeluxeOk, but didn't get Desire's pix. Ah well, next time.
Here are the students' comments as we debriefed after @dezhill's comments, recorded by  @JenniferHasel.

  • Have something to say and produce content
  • Know who you are on twitter (twitter cloud)
  • Don’t’ be a hero at first or you’ll become a zero
  • Transmit information that suits you
  • “We are all our own newsroom.”
  • Twitter is your image
  • Be cautious
  • Developing news is always on-going news
  • She said that we (the students) are becoming the experts and there will always be continuous change
  • She presented more of what was expected in the class; things such as tips and proper use
  • Look at social media policies
  • Have developing stories
  • You can’t be all things to all people
  • Humor is subjective so be careful with it
  • Twitter will make you a better writer
  • Being a communicator, you can’t be all over the place
  • Have two twitter accounts (personal and professional)
  • “We all need to edit ourselves.”
  • Don’t have a tweet fight, nothing good comes of it
  • Journalism in social media is like chasing the greased pig
  • Use twitter for immediacy/breaking is the key
  • Twitter images will separate the best from the average
  • Referring to Twitter, “We’re never going to get caught up.”
  • “You ought to have a different assignment board for social media.”
  • Writing should be customized for Twitter
  • Be specific with serious tweets
  • Know the rules of your employer regarding social media
  • “Tweeting is good for you.”
  • “You have the ability to call people out.”
  • “You can have opinions that are valuable.”
  • “It’s like the Wild West; it’s this new frontier.”
People to Follow
@poynter
@atompkins
@apstylebook
@fakeapstylebook
@brianstelter
@cshirkey
@himanlab
@mashable

"Thinking in tweets," revolutionaries in #clarkclass

Sara Cowan in #clarkclass

I think they're the revolutionaries...many of the speakers for #clarkclass, twitter for journalists, and I came up with that term today when speaking about the first of today's speakers, 2001 UCO grad and former student, Sara Cowan @DeluxeOK because of the impact they're having on OKC culture.  She's a creative person with a big smile who quilts, paints, connects, and is sassy. The reason I invited her to speak is that she made a snarky comment about not being invited. That's the way she is. Of her art, she says she" stitches my feelings." 
@Okieprof, @DeluxeOK #selfie
It's always a bit presumptuous to say someone is "self-made," but Sara is one of those, who has taken opportunities and risks and built an identity and living doing what she wants, raising a child, and being a part of the arts scene in Oklahoma City, using twitter and other tools. She holds part time jobs and is a founder of Oklahoma Deluxe, an annual craft and art bazaar featuring made in Oklahoma work.
After it was over, she took a photo of us, and later tweeted to me,"Thanks for putting up with me, again." My pleasure.
Here are the student comments about her conversation with us in our debriefing, recorded by @JenniferHesel.

  • “I think in Tweets”
  • “I have no fear about asking for what I want.”
  • “I stitch my feelings.”
  • She has sass—she didn’t come right out and say “be yourself” yet she is herself
  • She know hers limits, she knows what she’s good at and what she’s not
  • She wants people to stay in Oklahoma and make good things happen
  • She wants to give back to the community
  • She’s not afraid to say what she thinks
  • “Every job I’ve ever had has been created for me.”
  • She is honest, she has no hidden meaning
  • She emphasizes how important staying local is--shopping, interacting with local business, artists, musicians, etc.
  • Regarding Twitter, she says there is no limit to what doors it can open
  • “140 character limit is a good thing.”  She says it’s like communism; we’re all equal on twitter
  • She wants to grow Oklahoma and show them why they should stay here and says that people who don’t think anything is happening here just don’t know where to look or where to find it
  • She believes that art is storytelling
  • She is herself on twitter, but also knows when to reel it in
  • Regarding politics she says that if you want change you should stop tweeting about it and get involved
  • “The most valuable thing about twitter to me is promoting other people’s events.”
  • She loves making connections between people
  • She says that twitter is more timely than Facebook
  • The whole point of twitter is to interact with people
  • “I have built a lot of relationships with people (on Twitter) who share values with me.”
  • She says it’s important for art to have a presence in the world
  • Her advice was to look for opportunities in journalism from the other side, experience things and see how it’s different.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Letter to Bob from the Old World Booth, Redux


Letter to Bob

"Here's to Bob!" From left, Himself, Mark Zimmerman, Susan Clark, Mark Hanebutt, Gwen Olivier, Bill Hickman, Christy Vincent

Old World, April 24, 2010

Well old friend, sorry I haven't written sooner. Fact is, writing just slipped my mind, but I was browsing through a Charlie Russell book today, "Trails Plowed Under," written by the artist about a year before his death. The Introduction, written by Will Rogers in 1926, was a letter to Charlie in heaven, and I figured, what a great idea. And he started it out, "Old World."

But of course, it ain't as though we've forgotten you, you know that from the many times you've heard us toast "To Bob," in the booth and elsewhere in the five years since you've be assigned to keeping God in stitches. I figure, given the state of the world, he needs you, maybe more than us, but even if not, he does get to pull rank.

I hope you got to see and hear our party for you on our back porch earlier this month. We had a good crowd, and I'm posting the photos with this letter on my blog, just in case. I know you don't understand this blogging stuff--I remember you having trouble with email. Just think of it as a sort of digital diary and newspaper column. But yes, unlike your lead pencil, it does crash from time to time.

Anyway, in case you missed it, I  thought I'd catch you up on things down here since you left. Frankly, the place has gone steadily downhill, most of which is my fault--actually I'd like to blame you because you weren't around to set me straight. Yep, I got this wild-haired idea to merge with the communication department--I know, I can see you rolling your eyes. We needed to get together with the broadcast folks, but the communication people came with the deal. They're good people, but as you said, they were more "touchy-feely" people than us. They do think differently.

That was five years ago, and as a testament to my foolhardiness, I got elected chair again of the whole outfit--22 full time faculty and as many part timers--a huge department--meaning of course, more problems. Then of course, not being able to get my senses straight by playing you cribbage at least once a week, I got bogged down and lost a couple of administrative battles. The result is that I'm no longer chair, having been given the job of running the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, which I do enjoy, cause I get to work with journalists and don't have to worry about all those personnel problems, and the endless administrative meetings that waste so much time, but which academics just love. But I've moved out of the building and spend less time with students.

And now, the worst news I can tell you...Sherry Sump is retiring in a couple of months.  I can tell by your silence how stunned you are. You and I used to get to the office at 7 a.m. and sit in the darkness and sign and enjoy silence and talk, and we'd often talk about what a great secretary she is...we'd agree she's the best we'd known.

So the department has changed radically since you've left, and when she's gone, it'll sure never have the same character and spirit.  Students, alumni, faculty, everybody likes Sherry. She's been here almost 15 years now--can you believe it? We joke that she's my "other wife," because we're so much alike and I rely on her so much. We were arguing with each other one day--you know, good natured disagreement like all journalists have...and a student overheard it, stuck his head in the door, and asked, "Are you two married?" Ain't that a hoot?

You can be glad you're gone, because there's more and more official nonsense and paperwork--I swear they're trying to make us all clones--and there have been no real raises since you left.Your "Sweet Pea" and family have been down to visit a couple of times, and we keep wanting to get up and visit. I hear the redbud tree we bought is doing well in your front yard.

We think of you often, almost every day, and you'd be pleased to know it always brings a smile.. Went to a NCAA basketball tournament here with son Travis--he says hello, by the way--and Kansas State was playing. Immediately, I thought of you referring to it as "Silo U."

On personal news, I've got six great grandchildren now, and I hear from Liz that your family  and grandkids are doing great things, including being at Notre Dame. Those are the important things, aren't they?

At any rate, at our party for you, I dug out the old cribbage board, your ugly green coffee cup and a photo of you and I playing cribbage in the "Booth." They were on our back porch during the party, and you were toasted many times. I used good Irish Catholic whiskey, Jameson, for the toasts. The booth has moved about a mile south of where we played, but the plaque is hanging there, and we visit it almost every week. But I haven't played cribbage since our last game.

There's some people up there I'd like you to look up and tell them I said "Hello." There's a one legged artist up there, probably doing portraits and landscapes, name of Terrence. Tell him you knew his oldest son, and  that son has taken up watercolors and is pretty good--not as good as his dad, but good enough that a Clark watercolor hangs in the Illidge manse in Wichita. And my Mom is up there too, a tall slender lady with a great sense of humor, and all her brothers and sisters. They're probably located in the East Texas section. Amble over and tell Mom how much I miss her, and share some stories.

Well, I'm about out of stuff to write. I look forward to sitting down with you for another cribbage game, but I'm not in any big hurry to do so, just yet. We think of you often and miss you. Take care of God--he needs all the good spirits he can get these days.

"Himself"

Two #clarkclass professionals on deck

Twitter as a journalism, communications culture is as varied as the people who use it. Tomorrow's speakers  @dezhill, Desiree Hill, and @DeluxeOK, Sara Cowan, show those possibilities and promise, based on experience and intelligence.
My first speaker, Sara, is another UCO grad with varied experience at the Tulsa World, as a high school journalism teacher, and entrepreneur using social media in many fields in Oklahoma with the OKC Deluxe Indie Craft Bazaar. Here's a link and an article about her. She's also a former student, and the person who gave me the Clark's Coffee can featured in the top right column of my blog, Coffee with Clark.
Next is my colleague Desiree Hill, who teaches broadcast journalism and advises the student TV broadcasts in our Mass Communication Department at UCO.
Desiree is one of those traditional journalists with extensive broadcasting experience in Oklahoma City and across the country as well as international experience. In addition she founded a 24-hour news source in Texas, Allen City Limits.  She has embraced change, stays up to date in technology and trends, and is full of ideas and help. Her masters' thesis at North Texas focused on how social media was changing journalism in Tulsa. She and I have collaborated on projects, and it's great to have her as a colleague and friend.
More on them tomorrow.

'Twitterculture' countess quotes in #clarkclass


This is #clarkclass, Twitter for Journalists, captured on Vine by @MyJrny, Sheri Guyse, today's speaker, a maven of media, music and more in Oklahoma City's "twitter culture," as she called it. To me, she's sort of a countess to that culture, committed to changing and improving OKC, many of whom have spoken to this class. These people use twitter and other social media as naturally as they speak. 
Sheri, a  favorite UCO ex-student who is communications director for Good Egg Dining Group, wowed the students with her almost low-key wit and wisdom from her extremely active and varied life. She spent very little time talking about twitter, and much more about music, business, learning, life. Almost everything she said was was quotable. 
@Okieprof in #clarkclass, by @MyJrny
There's also a sly side to her, almost mischievous, in some of her answers, and by her clandestine photos of the class and me. She has fun, and as with several of our speakers, as the class has noted, its built on some past pain and problems and setbacks.
She's also a philosopher. I asked her if there was any other advice for the class, and she blurted out something that just stunned people. You could hear the  group astonishment.
"Fear is an illusion," she said.
After she left, we debriefed, as usual, and the comments below, recorded by student @JenniferHasel, are intriguing. I'm going to add some separate tweets from the students in another post, showing more of her advice.
My best classes are where the old geezer, @okieprof, is also learning, and I usually do when my former students are around. Thanks @MyJrny.

Here's the debriefing:

  • She had a lot of good points and good things to say like how she promotes music in addition to her food industry job; she has a lot on her plate but she finds a way to do it all
  • She has a cool outlook on life; she thinks out-of-the-box; she makes a music venue out of her house; she's a creative thinker
  • She uses social media in an effective way, she is relaxed and gives free reign to her social media manager; she uses social media in a creative and genuine way that pays off
  • She has her managers use Twitter as a storytelling tool with pictures; she doesn't use it as a marketing tool
  • She said that no idea is original but she seems so original; she's so genuine and she makes everything seem like her original thought
  • She's an example of how powerful social media is using it the way she does for her company and not having to spend money on traditional advertising
  • “Learn as much as you can; of all that I learned here I wish I had learned so much more.” 
  • You can learn from anything you do
  • “You might be the heaven-sent solution to a problem when they haven't even had time to think about the problem; you could be their solution.”
  • She doesn’t use Twitter as a marketing tool but more as a listening device to listen to her customers and get feedback
  • She created her job; she's relateable and she made her connections through Twitter
  • Twitter is not a distraction; it's where a community exists
  • She conveys that you should find the opportunity out there, take risks, take crazy opportunities, and get out of your comfort zone
  • She is making and living her own destiny, she doesn’t work to live, she lives to work, she loves what she is doing and it’s part of who she is
  • Everything she said was quotable
  • Regarding Twitter, “we're all here for the same reason—to connect.”
  • Regarding her job at Good Egg “It's fun to tell the story of awesomeness.”
  • “Oklahoma City has this really great Twitter culture happening.”
  • Regarding music artists, “They're giving you their art and that art deserves your attention.”
  • “There is no way to change the culture other than to start at the roots.”
  • “My biggest challenge is myself-- to only bite off what I can chew.”
  • “There is a certain kind of magic that happens in an intimate music setting.”
  • “I started getting brave about five years ago.”
  • “I didn't want to have a tiny life; I wanted to have this great big life.”
  • “I took more risks; I put myself out there.”
  • “I'm a self-improvement junkie.”
  • “If you can be fully present in your life, you'll experience serious amounts of joy.”
  • “Fear is an illusion.”
  • “Never click a link in a DM.”
  • “Be nice; be good, because the good will come back to you.”
  • “Go to Tuckers; get yourself a burger; it will change your life.”
  • “Have a wholehearted experience, show up.”
  • She tells lots of stories
  • She said “This is me out-doing Dave Rhea,” and then she read Roosevelt's “Man in the Arena.”
Books and Authors recommended
  • The Power of Now
  • What Color is Your Parachute?
  • Things a Little Bird Told Me
  • Brene Brown
  • E. Tolle
Comparison/Things the speakers have in common
  • They all say to be nice
  • They are all having fun
  • Their work is part of their life and they love what they are doing
  • They all believe in self-development
  • They all like to learn
  • They embrace themselves
  • They all use their unique qualities to be successful in their work
  • They all have the attitude of “graduate, get out there, find out who you are”
  • They ignite you; they make you think



Postscript on The Booth--"Himself"--Redux

From Sept. 2009
Bob, and the plaque, in The Booth, copies given to all UCO journalism faculty and staff by The Sweet Pea.
Sketch of The Illidge , both photo and sketch by The Brunette
The Clark forgot to tell the story of "Himself." The Illidge would often jibe The Clark after forays in The Booth, by telling The Queen Bee something like, "Well, ask Himself how yesterday's score was. Did Himself smell a skunk?" He oft referred to The Clark as "Himself."

Much laughter and tet-a-tet would follow. The Clark just thought this was an Illidge idiom. He was wrong.

In November of 2008 he was in Chicago, and spent an afternoon at The Chicago Institute of Art.

Strolling down one hall, The Clark noticed on a far wall two medium-sized oil portraits of a man and woman, and he recognized the style. "That's got to be Robert Henri," he thought. Henri is a favorite of his, especially for his book "The Art Spirit."

So he walked across the gallery to get a closer look. Yes, he was right, and he took satisfaction in recognizing a painter's style.

And then he stopped, stunned.

Underneath the portrait of an old Irish fisherman, with a beard much like The Illidge, was the title, "Himself." Underneath the portrait of his wife, was the title of "Herself."

He read on, with wet eyes, learning that those terms were old Irish expressions of the highest devotion for friends and family.

The Clark was very quiet walking back to his hotel.

"Himself."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Media, music & more maven of OKC, in #clarkclass

The main benefit and joy of my job @okieprof as a professor at UCO are my students, and especially the former students who go on to success in their lives and become friends.
Such is tomorrow's Twitter for Journalists #clarkclass speaker, Sheri Guyse, @MyJrny, a brilliant, energized caring person who is officially communications director for Good Egg Dining Group. You'll have to attend #clarkclass to hear that story.
But Sheri is more than a person with a job. Her multiple passions and work--and survival of tough times--has gained a lot of recognition in OKC, so much so that she was named one of the 40 under 40 professionals by OKBiz last year. You can read about it  and her on the  website. She also has a witty, thoughtful blog, Really Most Sincerely. She is indeed a media and music maven and more.
As with all my speakers, she speaks with passion  on lots more than twitter, and more about life.  I'm proud, and continually energized by her and her story, which mirrors part of OKC's energetic present. 

Zen and the art of twitter--#clarkclass speaker


"This class is nothing like I expected," said one #clarkclass Twitter for Journalists student today, talking to me, @okieprof, and her colleagues. 
@jdaverhea, @okieprof, in December
She was talking about our latest speaker, Dave Rhea, @jdaverhea, general manger of The Oklahoma Gazette,  @okgazette Lots of people think twitter is shallow because of its 140 character message limit. They needed to be in class today.
He talked about twitter for sure, but so much more, including his work as a band musician, with a YouTube clip. There was philosphy, leadership  advice, the relationship of music and writing, life and time, and much more. He usually talks about the "bat belt" analogy but since we posted that article yesterday, it was a new free-wheeling discussion.
 I half joked it was "Zen and the art of twitter," and I think there's an article there. Check other student tweets under the hashtag #clarkclass today prove it.
After class, we debrief, and each student comments, recorded by fellow student @JenniferHasel.  Here's the debriefing.

  • I like how he knew himself and had a deeper meaning of life
  • Mechanical thinking is what you have been conditioned to think and it limits ways to think about yourself; you have to produce great content and get yourself out of mechanical thinking
  • He met people through Twitter; “Twitter is the best networking tool I've ever experienced"
  • He thinks it's not the past or the present but now; how to think about being in the moment and that how Twitter is that way
  • He's very deep with everything that he does and says
  • Producing content constantly changes and you have to adapt
  • Continually educate yourself
  • I was able to relate to him and the way he talks to himself and how he thinks about himself the whole time realizing that everything else going on around you is just a distraction
  • Be yourself on Twitter
  • I like his concept of leadership
  • That psychological views and relating to journalism
  • His management style
  • Writing is like a marriage and music is like an affair; successful writing takes a lot of work and is a long journey; music is fast and provides instant gratification
  • Every journalist should be a generalist, well-rounded, and interested in everything
  • I like his idea about group feeds on Twitter
  • His story on the Meyer Briggs survey and how finding out who you are can help you communicate with people that are different than you
  • I like what you said about storytelling; whether you’re using Twitter, songwriting, etc., you’re still telling a story
  • You have to portray your story; you can know it or experience it but you have to put it on paper
  • People already have the capacity to be awesome so just be awesome now; don't wait
  • He gets locked in; when you’re more focused, you're more motivated
  • “This isn't going to be cool later because it's cool now”
  • Forget about the past and the future, think about the present
  • He uses Twitter like a brain pause or smoke break to keep focused
  • "When you're conscious, your tweets are better than when you're unconscious"
  • His thoughts on action awareness, emotional awareness, thought awareness and consciousness awareness
  • Social media is just another too--like a ratchet--you're not a ratchet expert, you're a mechanic. You're not a social media person, you're a storyteller.