Pencil Sharpening – Getting Ready For The Start Of The Semester

Its hard to believe that the start of the Fall semester is less than four weeks away. August 30th will be our first Broadcast Performance for Meteorologists class of the semester. Our Juniors studying Atmospheric Science at Lyndon State College will stepping into our classroom studio, and we’ll begin the process of developing broadcast meteorologists.  These students have already spent two years learning the meteorology and will now be learning how to communicate those concepts on camera.

Its a great time of year because everyone is fresh and ready to go, including me. Most students are pretty excited to start the broadcasting part of their college career, but there are usually a bit of nerves mixed in as well. We deal with all of that in our first few weeks, and September is usually a busy month. Its very cool to see a student go from their first weathercast on camera to their first live weather update, usually sometime before Thanksgiving. They usually come a long way in their first couple months, but no one goes on until they are ready. We try to keep those YouTube moments in the privacy of the classroom. They all come back in the Spring for a second class which focuses more on polishing their broadcasts, learning more about weather graphics, as well as covering severe weather and outdoor live shots.

While the Juniors are in the classroom learning the ropes, the Seniors are getting ready for a year of live news broadcasts. At Lyndon State College we do live, half-hour newscasts every week night. We have a WSI weather computer in the studio, which is the most commonly used in the industry, for students to learn on and create professional weather graphics. The first two weeks of the semester will be spent creating new maps and graphics, and shaking off the cobwebs with a few rehearsal shows. Jim Cantore usually comes to visit during the first weekend in November for a one-on-one coaching workshop with the Seniors.

So I have some work to do before the start of the semester. I have some syllabi to polish up and a WSI weather computer to clean out from all of last year’s graphics. Summer isn’t over yet, but I can feel the start of the semester creeping up. Live broadcasts begin on News7 on September 11th.

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