May 12, 2010

Cute cat pictures

My first formal photojournalism course was taught by St. Donald Wooley, then of the University of Iowa, later a professor at West Virginia U.

He had two rules chipped in stone. (1) If you miss the first day of laboratory procedure instruction you are dropped from the course. (2) Anyone handing in a photograph of a cat or kitten automatically failed the course.

The latter policy was routinely appealed by undergraduates who argued passionately that it stifled their creativity. The deans routinely upheld Professor Wooley for the possibly mythical but still cherished reason that he told them the first time: "If I have to look at one more (effing) saccharine cat picture I'll regurgitate all over the front row of coeds, then I will resign."

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