WJI 2018 Day 10, PM: Ice Cream Reflections

May 28, 2018

Leah Hickman


It was only 4:30 when the Olaskys dismissed the afternoon class on Monday. In honor of Memorial Day, we celebrated with a Dordt College-style cookout. Burgers and beans, coleslaw and chips—we piled it all onto our plates and sat down in the shade to enjoy the feast.

The meal hit the spot. But, to me, the highlight was definitely the Blue Bunny ice cream treats that they brought out later. I munched on my ice cream sandwich, inwardly rejoicing that WJI seemed to appreciate the importance of ice cream in a writer’s diet. After all, how many journalism boot camps put a visit to the Ice Cream Capital of the World on their schedule? Stay tuned for Friday, folks. That’s when we’ll head to Le Mars for a visit to Blue Bunny Headquarters. Ice cream appreciation must be a prerequisite for a successful journalism career.

Despite the sweet treat’s long-term benefits for faithful consumers, the ice cream also served as a nice refreshment to sweaty students on an unusually hot day. Some of us can be wimps in the heat, but it gave us enough energy to attempt the lawn games. While playing cornhole, four of us learned that we have no sense of aim, and a slightly larger group determined that throwing Frisbee in the sunshine isn’t so glamorous when it’s 95 degrees. But the activities served as a great excuse to get out some laughs and to celebrate the holiday with new friends. I’m just glad no one got a beanbag in the face.

As the games died down, Lee Pitts convened a round of that legendary Dordt College game called “barnyard golf.” The brave students joined him. The rumor is that Professor Pitts took the win. And the free t-shirt. Meanwhile, the rest of us retreated to the media lab to battle with Adobe Premier and our video footage until the evening movie at 8:30.

The featured flick of the evening was Spotlight, our third WJI journalism movie—not counting Disney’s Newsies, which was a Sunday throw-in. Probably the heaviest of all the films we’ve viewed so far, Spotlight depicts the emotional and mental fortitude that the vocation of journalism requires. Based on true events, the film follows a group of reporters in 2001 as they investigate the widespread abuse of children in the Boston area by Catholic Priests. It definitely didn’t have the lighthearted ending of the Disney musical we watched Sunday. But it left us all with some thoughts worth pondering as our heads hit the pillow that night.

Time continues to fly by here at WJI, bringing us ever closer to Friday and the Ice Cream Capital of the World.

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World Journalism Institute