The continuing adventures of Beau Yarbrough

A former professor on the radio

Saturday, September 12, 2009, 21:44
Section: Arts & Entertainment,Virginia Tech

Steve Prince, who was a really tough film teacher I had at Virginia Tech, was featured on this week’s On The Media, talking about how 9/11 has been handled in movies.

Then he gave host Bob Garfield a C+.

Hesperia Star wins five SPJ awards

Saturday, May 10, 2008, 23:43
Section: Awards,Journalism,Virginia Tech

Society of Professional JournalistsTonight, the Hesperia Star won the most SPJ awards in the paper’s eight year history: five, including two for editorial writing.

As always, it was surprising to see what won, and what didn’t. The wildfires of last spring were popular at the awards, and my piece, Smoke-Out, won a third place award in the Breaking News Category. I don’t think the piece is as strong as my story about a Hesperia sheriff’s deputy being shot, but that’s how it goes.

My earlier guess was wrong: I did win an award about an infamous necrophiliac finally getting prison time in connection with his earlier violation of a child’s corpse. I was thrown off the scent because the award wasn’t listed as a Daily Press win, despite the story appearing in that paper. This also marks the fourth year in a row that I’ve won a Law Enforcement/Legal Affairs award (first time getting a first place award, and only my second first place award from the SPJs ever), which I worry will misrepresent what I was covering in Hesperia these years in future job interviews. No awards for my school board coverage or my California Charter Academy coverage, for instance, which dominated much of 2007 for me. Go figure.

And then there’s the award I have the most mixed feelings about: A second place editorial writing award for my piece on being a Virginia Tech alumnus in the wake of last April’s massacre. Jenn and Sharon have already stressed to me that I’m not capitalizing on a tragedy, but it still feels odd.

Overall, the Freedom High Desert papers cleaned up, with the Barstow Desert Dispatch in particular doing well — I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t been reading their multiple award-winning blog, but I clearly need to, especially since Peter wants one added to the Star’s site ASAP.

As always, it was a (reasonably) good time, although it almost feels like a Riverside Press-Enterprise recruiting event, between the ton of awards the PE and its associated papers get, and how happy everyone from the paper always looks (especially given the number of non-award-winning PE staffers who show up just to show support).

Peter got two awards as well: One was an editorial piece about founding father Val Shearer leaving Hesperia and the other was an entertainment piece about swing band Phat Cat Swinger. Peter always excels when writing about music, and it’s nice to see that recognized.

The full list of awards, and judges’ comments for many of them, will appear in the next day or so at the SPJ blog.

On a happier note

Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 10:56
Section: Life,Virginia Tech

James wearing a Virginia Tech onesie

That’s the house’s humidifier behind him. It makes living in the desert a lot more bearable.

Virginia Tech Day of Remembrance Webcast

Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 8:15
Section: Virginia Tech

Black Virginia Tech flag

Classes are canceled today at Virginia Tech, and the day is given over to remembering the events at West AJ and Norris Hall a year ago.

As befits a high-tech school that was on the cutting edge of the Internet before the World Wide Web had even been created, all of the day’s events are Webcast.

My grade point average

Wednesday, November 7, 2007, 7:57
Section: Virginia Tech

When I graduated from Virginia Tech, after five years and a summer session (due to almost always dropping my electives and just focusing on my comic strip with the Collegiate Times, starting a Greek system newspaper, doing my short-lived radio show for WUVT, managing VTTV, being a chairman or officer for Pi Kappa Alpha and, of course, my girlfriend), I looked at my grades and said “well, it’s not like I’m ever going to grad school.”


Fortunately, Tech is sending my transcript straight to my intended grad school without me having to look upon the carnage directly. (I had this mental illness where I kept taking Communications electives and not taking them seriously, and getting terrible grades in them as a result, seriously screwing up my Communications average. My second major, English, had a pretty good in-department GPA at the same time.) Now, if I get bad news in April about grad school, I plan on entirely blaming my grades.

Hopefully 15 years of work — and nine awards — will balance out 5 years and a summer session of sometimes inadequate focus.


Copyright © Beau Yarbrough, all rights reserved
Veritas odit moras.