I helped make the best program in the country

I haven’t written in this space about IUSTV since we left IU in June, but I think of them often. I have had a few brief text chats with former students, and spent a Saturday afternoon on a lovely and long Zoom call with the young woman now at the top of the station’s org chart, a four-year IUSTV member, the sort who’s really going places in a hurry. I have read IUSTV’s website and watched some of their shows. (After seven years of being so close to the product — 935 scripted episodes of TV and video productions across 15 original programs, 328 podcast episodes and almost 300 hours of live streaming — watching as a consumer is an interesting experience.)

This is something of coda.

Tonight, I received a bit of happy punctuation on my seven-year tenure there. The College Media Pinnacle Award winners for 2022-2023 were announced and IUSTV got good news. Hoosier News Source was awarded second place. This is the winning episode they submitted for consideration.

The merely tolerated organization that no one wanted — always a sore spot for me for obvious reasons — has gone national. And in my last year working with them, they went right to the top. Second place! In the nation!

It gets better. Hoosier Sports Nite was named the top sportscast in the country.

Best of ’em all.

I was lucky enough to see all of this in person, coaching and coaxing and cheering them on. And I was even more fortunate to see this. Not only were the news and sports divisions doing this good work. They were helping each other. They were building a sustainable culture, one that can serve the organization well for years to come. They were graduating. They were getting (great!) jobs. Now they’re winning national awards.

I’m so proud of all of those young men and women. And I’m selfishly glad they got this sort of recognition with programs I was a part of.

I will, of course, take all of the credit.

I went out for a ride in the late afternoon. Before I set out, I saw this tree at the top of our driveway. This isn’t my tree, so it isn’t my problem — presuming the leaves fall straight down and stay there.

That shadow in the foreground? That one is entirely my problem.

It was a 25-mile ride. A simple get-out-and-ride after a bunch of grading and vacuuming and doing dishes and whatnot. It was a good ride, the first 15 miles, anyway. I had one split that was 22.15, which is pretty fast fofr me. And then the 15 to 20 mile stretch was nothing but headwinds. It was like pedaling through gravy.

Later, I was out enjoying the last of the best light of the day. Those brief moments between the full day and the lull of the evening. The sun and the earth have conspired to rotate into that brief relationship where the light is different, but only for a heartbeat.

In that bit of magic, that regular old example of celestial mechanics, you want to absorb the event. I want to photograph whatever the light is dancing on. It’s a matter of timing, then …

And sometimes you get photobombed.

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