I was thrilled to participate in Career Day at Washington Middle School for Girls a week ago, which was a service project co-sponsored by the DC chapter of Notre Dame Women Connect.
Although anyone with even half a brain cell will tell you that few industries are more in flux than print media, it was still my pleasure to share the highs and lows of being an entertainment reporter for a national newspaper. To be honest, considering my audience, I really stuck mostly to the highs and fielded the girls’ many questions about celebrities, fashion shows and my “glamorous” life.
Part of my job requires staying on top of pop culture news — knowing who’s dating whom, remembering celeb baby names, memorizing red carpet designers — yet, these girls, most about 20 years younger than me (!), made clear that we are from different generations.
I’d brought the previous day’s newspaper for my display table and the Life section featured a beaming Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover. Most of the girls could not identify her. “That’s what’s-her-name,” some said. Others: “She was in What to Expect When You’re Expecting!” (She wasn’t.) Most: “Who is that lady?!”
Instead, I fielded multiple questions about boy groups (Mindless Behavior, One Direction, The Wanted), teen idols (Justin Bieber) and divas (Beyonce). If you want to feel old, chat for 30 seconds with an 11-year-old about the differences between One Direction and The Wanted.
Still, the opportunity to see little girls who look like me, who are willing to work hard, who are literally our future, is the kind of priceless Tuesday you can’t script.
Even if it does make you feel 150 years old. — xxAT