Notes From A Master Teacher

In the final Communication 1 class at Penn State Lehigh Valley, my colleague and friend, Mr. Glenn Kranzley, a 42-year journalism veteran, shared the aspects of being a writer that he most enjoys.  I feel really lucky to have been in the class today.

The Best Things About Being a Writer

1.        Write to learn.

He said that when you write you not only use the information to share with your readers, you use it for yourself.  By writing about things you turn yourself into an expert, day after day, topic after topic. Glenn has observed that when journalists appear on Jeopardy! or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire they always do well because their careers enabled them to know and write about so many topics.

2.        Be interested.

To be a good writer you need to be interested in everything and nothing else.  Glenn urged students to keep energized and fresh, something he was reminded of recently as he worked on a history book he is writing.  Avoid the dangerous notion that just because you are experienced there is nothing new you can learn.  He believes that through the writing process he becomes open to new learning and he urged students to open themselves up to new learning throughout their careers.

3.         Be subversive. 

As a writer you have the power to get people to act or respond.  Glenn remembers a gruff newspaper editor he worked for who discovered in the course of reporting on a hospital  that some children admitted to the hospital did not have the most basic of needs such as clothing and other essential supplies.   Because of the reporter’s efforts a fund was established over forty years ago that still exists today.  It provides needy children with the necessities they would otherwise not have.   Writers have the power to be subversive in a positive way.

I know I’m not a student, but I certainly have learned a lot from Glenn Kranzley since he came to teach at Penn State Lehigh Valley.   I appreciate what he has done to make Comm 1, also known as the “State of the Valley” (please “like” us on Facebook)class such a worthwhile experience.  Thanks, Glenn!

April 2011
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