Although the program was awfully tempting, I passed on the opportunity year after year. Family vacations, not to mention time at home with my little ones, kept me from investing two summer weeks to the institute. This summer, however, I was ready to take the plunge. Since we didn't take a long family vacation this year, I had larger chunks of "free time." Plus, Ryan and Katie are teenagers now and not quite so dependent on Mom for summer entertainment.
So after years of receiving institute notices, I decided to apply. Then real life got in the way. Dealing with my mom's move and health issues consumed all our spare time, and sure enough, I missed the application deadline. Then I got another postcard in the mail: The application deadline was extended. Bingo!
I submitted my application with resume and essay and waited. Of the five institute sites, I most wanted to go to the University of Nevada, Reno, but to increase my chances, I said I could go to Missouri or Kent State, too. (I opted out of UT Austin—been there, done that—and Arizona State because it was earlier in the summer.) I knew the process was competitive, so I was cautiously optimistic that I would be selected.
Then I got the email. RENO!
I'm so grateful for the experience. From the classes at UNR to the field trips, the institute was first-rate. I learned so much from the instructors and guest speakers, but the time spent with fellow newspaper advisers was gold. It didn't take long to get used to the royal treatment, either. Staying at the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino for two weeks (a room to myself!), eating all kinds of great food, watching Shakespeare on the banks of Lake Tahoe... As a teacher who has had to pay for most of my extra training or conferences, I was blown away to have so much lavished on me!
Even now that I've been home for a while, many things remind me of Reno: a song on the radio, a particular page design, mentions of my new friends' hometowns in the news. In time I'm sure my Reno withdrawal will fade, but my appreciation for this experience will never end.
|The Reynolds Reno Class of 2011|
|Self portrait in the copper-plated Rolls at the National Automobile Museum,|
the subject of my feature story for the YouBet Gazette.
|James Dean's car from Rebel Without a Cause (NAM)|
|The Thomas Flyer (NAM)|
|Our class on Day 1 (July 11)|
|Morning news group activity|
|A word from Deidre, the institute's director|
|Dori Maynard of the Maynard Institute, one of our guest speakers|
|Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center|
|Rosemary, the assistant director|
|Our mentor teacher, Karl, gets "one big clap"|
|More group work|
|Sign of the times: eReader bar at the UNR library|
|Press from the old days at the UNR library|
|More from the UNR library|
|A visit from Horace Greeley (David Fenimore, UNR professor)|
|Tour of the Sagebrush newspaper office|
|Checking out the literary magazine|
|Working on our "Culture: Places" stories|
|The Joe (Joe Crowley Student Union)|
|The famous arch|
|The Truckee River|
|Along the riverwalk|
|Keep on Truckee-in'|
|Our Oprah moment: free video cameras!|
For even more photos, check out Reynolds Reno: Picturepalooza.