Posted: Wednesday, Aug. 01, 2012
John Syme graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor of arts degree in French in 1985. He worked as a general-assignment reporter at The Winston-Salem Journal, where he later wrote freelance travel stories during his first solo cross-country road trip in the summer of 1989. He worked as a copywriter at a Charlotte advertising agency, as a research translator at a French nutrition center outside Paris, and as a politics and education newspaper reporter in Charlotte. He returned in 2001 to Davidson, where he is senior writer, alumni editor and instigator of the "Road Trip 2009" blog, which evolved into his current blog, "Daybook Davidson."
Being a liberally educated generalist is a double-edged sword--in a good way.
This is especially true when one flies home to roost at ones alma
mater among the smart eggs who provided said liberal education in the
I am of two minds. As a generalist, I tend to know a little about a
lot, deploying my inexpertise and short attention span across a broad
On the other hand, when I can sit still long enough to breathe and
think and feel and delve a little deeper, I find it reassuring that I
can keep up and at least understand the smartest and most specialized
of smart eggs.
Happily, these complementary approaches of breadth and depth lend
themselves to my main job description, telling stories about same.
Consider two stories I got to work on this week, both of them fresh
from the leading edges of liberal arts and sciences and athletics that
characterize Davidson. First comes the story of Olympic kayaker Caroline Bam Bam Queen
14, prepping and psyching and training herself to paddle her heart
out at the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London starting Tuesday. Read
all about Caroline: Caroline Queen '14 Soaks Up Village Life While
Preparing for Olympic Kayak Competition Next comes the story of Davidson College students whove created a
uniquely global project for the Global Village of the XIX
International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., with help from
local high school students of the Community School of Davidson. Read
all about it: Students at HIV/AIDS Conference Post Experiences in
Online DiaryThese are important global stories. They have Roman numerals in them
and everything, just like the Super Bowl.
And I remain happily of two minds, a generalist reporting on and
marveling at the directions both broad and deep that the liberal arts
and sciences can lead, lifting high a double-edged sword in a good
way. And, of course, paying my salary. I like that part, too.Click and enjoy!
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