Saturday, October 28, 2006

Eating Alligator

BATON ROUGE-- As I close out my memorable trip here to Louisiana's state capital, I do so in grand style. Cajun cuisine was on the menu tonight as I joined a small contingent of Southwest Symposium attendees for the farewell dinner at Boutin's.

As an appetizer, I thought I would brave and try this thing called fried alligator. Well, it was pretty good.

The grilled catfish, my main entree was also good.

I'm still not sure this place beats Mike Anderson's, where I had dinner with my parents the last time I was in baton Rouge. But, it's a close second.

What makes Boutin's so different is the live Cajun music and dancing that was going on.

I got a t-shirt to remember this Cajun cuisine experience.

Top Paper Award

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Well, I was blown away last night with one of the biggest research awards of the year (for me). The paper that Dr. Lillie Fears (Arkansas State University) and I wrote on student interest in broadcast journalism was chosen as one of the TOP PAPERS for the Southwest Symposium here at LSU.

As I reflect on last night, I am recalling the snowy Saturday afternoon in 1998 when I won my very first research award at the Southeast Colloquium at the University of Kentucky. There's something about having your research recognized. And, it feels great to be among this year's outstanding papers.

The Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication is an organization to which Lillie introduced me three years ago. We were working on a paper and she suggested we submit to this friendly regional group of scholars and students from states like Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Utah, New Mexico, and YES-- Louisiana.

You have to be from a member state and Lillie being from Arkansas has encourage our participation in this conference. It is the only regional journalism group to have its own academic journal, the Southwestern Mass Communication Journal.

As one of the paper winners, Lillie and I will have our paper, "New Generation in the 'Pink-Collar Ghetto?' Student Interests in Broadcast Journalism" published in the journal next year. Wow! This is fantastic.

A Trip to Tiger Country

BATON ROUGE-- After going to New Orleans, the next stop on my "Louisiana" tour as one of my colleagues put it was here in Baton Rouge.

The first thing I realized after driving through the swampy areas that appeared along the I-10 West route between what used to be Louisiana's largest city and what is now the biggest, Baton Rouge, was more tree damage.

Before this week, I had been both to Baton Rouge and New Orleans. But, I had never visited BOTH in the same trip.

Again, I find the best thing to do with blog is to POST something. (Something I have NOT done all year until now). As anyone reading this can see, I have not updated this thing since January when I was in Florida.

Even now, I have something else to do, but am pausing to update my web log.

Most memorable about this trip-- the hospitality shown by our hosts at the Louisiana State University. Wow! I was here in 1999 for the National Black Graduate Student Association. While I had no formal meetings on the LSU campus, I made a stop on the campus and was very under-whelmed.

After the tour we had today and the experience of being in the newly-renovated journalism building, I am REALLY impressed.

Journey to New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS-- After watching on television all the changes in the Big Easy in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, I had a chance this week to watch it all up-close.

It's a shame that I have not factored in time to write a detailed account of my trip to the Associated Press Managing Editors Convention, which was held October 25-28, 2005 at the Astor Crowne Plaza.

You could tell as you drove in on Interstate 10 that this was NOT the same city that I visited two years ago when the National Cable and Telecommunication Association(NCTA) met at the New Orleans Convention Center and we had dinner at one of the Bourbon Street restaurants in the historic French Quarter.

The number of dead trees and the vacant strip malls and homes viewable along I-10 could easily distract a first-time (since Katrina) driver.