Rather than dig for one last idea for a story, I decided to look at other classmates stories this week. I love seeing what my classmates come up with the little window it opens into our lives. I think there are some good things here–even if the original poster wasn’t so sure.
The first idea was about the poster’s 20 year old car the memories it contains. I was struck by how each previous commenter told their own story about a car–usually their first car. Cars as inanimate objects are probably the closest “things” we have relationships with. We spend so much time in them, they are so integral to many memories- vacations, high school (or whenever you first learned to drive), bringing home baby from the hospital, etc. I think they are also about the American dream. In front of every house with a white Pickett fence there is a car!
The next story idea was about the different pedals that go along with playing an electric guitar. This post very much illustrates how many technical concepts are out there that may or may not lend themselves to storifying. This story would definetely be for a limited audience (those who play guitar), but there could be something there if the poster can find the right angle.
The final blog I looked at had this story idea about fonts. This one could be a good one in that fonts are something most of us don’t’ give much thought to even though if you work a 9-5 you are working with them all the time. The story could be a history of fonts/typography or best practices in using fonts.
I was thinking if there were any work-related things I could pull into for a story idea this week. I work with a lot of people in the field of public health. You may be asking yourself “What is public health?” Sounds kind of crunchy and idealistic, huh? Well it can be those things, but what struck me was how much I hear from public health practitioners how difficult it is to describe their work. Public health is many things–clean drinking water, seatbelts in cars, restaurant ratings from the health department, warning labels on cigarettes, vaccinating babies–that all add up to keeping a population healthy (whereas a doctor keeps the individual healthy). However, when public health succeeds, you don’t hear about it. You only hear about public health when something goes wrong: an outbreak of food-borne illness, when there is a vaccine shortage, when obesity reaches epidemic levels, etc. How could I help tell the story of public health? There are so many miracle stories from the field–eradicating (wiping it off the face of the earth forever!!) smallpox, for instance–I know I would have a wealth of information to work with. It would be a matter of finding the most engaging angle and going from there. Perhaps ghosts of diseases past- from the perspective of a previous public health problem like polio, smallpox, untreated drinking water, etc.
Well here we are another week…and no white light, divine inspiration moments this week (so far- there are five hours left!). Something that has been on my mind a lot this week though is decisions. I’m making a lot of them lately and whether it’s where to grab dinner (always at the last minute, decision not helped if one is starving!), which roofer to go with to fix our leaky roof, or how to pick a day care center, they just don’t come easy–to me, at least. I am blessed with choice–with disposable income with which to eat out, with a rainy day fund for house repairs, and with the funds to be able to put my child in day care so I can work.
But there seem to be too many choices! And with the internet and all the information, reviews (both trustworthy and not- but how do you tell?), and “how to’s” out there, I don’t think it’s gotten any easier. Could I make a “how to” a story, e.g., the story of how one actually finds and picks a day care center? Or a roof? Or to be less serious, say the best Lamborghini for the 1%er on a budget?
I have to be honest–I am really struggling with coming up with ideas. My classmates have some great ideas so I know it can be done…I find myself either shooting ideas down because they are too boring or because they have already been “told”. At one point during the week I had a few ideas, wrote them down, and now can’t find them–arg!!
My pledge for the upcoming week is to think of three ideas a day and by the end of the week I should have at least one usable one, yes? and I will submit one of my rejects because it’s all I can think of at the moment. I went to the University of Virginia- great school, great college environment. Good at the “preppy” sports like lacrosse, field hockey, crew etc. UVA spends a lot of money on the big-ticket sports, namely football and basketball but historically that spending has not paid off in terms of championships or bowl or NCAA tournament apprearances. A few years ago UVA hired a basketball coach from Washington State- a good coach named Tony Bennett who had success there, but Washington State is a long, long way away from central Virginia and from ACC hoops. Every year Bennett has coached at Virginia, the team has gotten better, bit by bit. This year, with only 2 of the original 6 in his first recruiting class—to include another Washington state kid who came to UVA on a promise from Bennett that he would be part of something—the Cavaliers won the ACC title, the ACC tournament, and reached the sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.
I like sports, and I like college basketball but this team this year has been the most fun I’ve ever had following a sports team. The scrappiness, enthusiasm, underdog nature of this team that most folks thought would be good but not THIS good has been really fun to watch and has brought hope back to this Cavalier fan.
There’s a few angles you could do- that of a disenchanted fan who believes again, the player who decides to go all in with an untested coach, a coach put in the national spotlight.