I have heroes.
I think that is important. It gives one a benchmark. It gives one a human face to place on what we want to achieve. It gives us a guidepost to what we want to become.
Vanessa Curry is a hero.
I have never met Vanessa, but she is burned in my brain. And if that imagery isn’t graphic enough, it is accurate. Curry, you see, needed brain surgery earlier this year. When she was initially fired, she was going to be left without health insurance. Matters changed and she was able to get treatment before her insurance expired.
What did Vanessa do for a living?
She was a college newspaper adviser. It is a great job. I know. I did it. It is also a job you should be prepared to give up.
Frank LoMonte, the executive director of the Student Press Law Center, says job security for newspaper advisers and suicide bombers are just about the same. Harsh words. But accurate ones.
Frank and Mike Koretzky have asked me to head up a project that provides emotional, intellectual and spiritual support to fired and embattled advisers.
I think they asked me because I have been there. And I think they asked me because I have a passion for the profession. And I think they asked me because I know what that raw nerve of uncertainty and loneliness feels like.
And I do.
But I don’t have to worry like Vanessa Curry did. I don’t have to wonder if I can get the healthcare I need.
But I can be here advocating for people like Vanessa Curry. I can be here shouting in the wilderness if needs be.
I can be here celebrating heroes.
And so I will.