Lord of the Lanyards
by Blake D., Friendswood Junior High student
The press pass. The small piece of flimsy paper inside of a plastic
pouch. Seems like it wouldn't be of much importance, yet it is.
Like the golden ticket in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald
Dahl, the press pass gives you amazing rights that a usual conference
attendee couldn't fathom. You feel like a celebrity living in Hollywood
with the fans following your every move. Even though I'm just a
fourteen-year-old man-in-training, I feel as if I'm a famous star
walking through tons of people that know my name and mission.
As I walked
into the building, I noticed the amazing amount of people—teachers
from all around the world. Usually when I'm at school, I look up to the
teachers as the sources of my education, the foundation for the rest of my
life. Yet, when I walk in, they see the press pass and look at me and magically
the roles have reversed. They bend to the mighty press pass and its wearer.
With the pass, I have experienced newfound privileges, whereas usually, I have
none. At school I have to be quiet, stand in lines, and follow a mandated schedule.
Yet here, I am free to cut in front of almost one thousand people waiting solemnly
in line for Cal Ripken Jr. to sign their books. I walk up, quickly flash my
pass to the security guard at the door, and the guard just waves me right by,
like I was Britney Spears at a tattoo parlor. I was up close and personal to
fame, right in front of him, blinding him with the repeated flashing of the
camera, which I was constantly clicking so I could get the best picture. At
that point, I switched places with the paparazzi and crowded the star.
through the exhibit hall, I found people welcoming me, engaging me in conversation,
and smiling. After realizing it wasn't just my dashing good
looks and charm, an epiphany manifested. It was the badge. The Almighty Press
Pass was the magnet, the shining light blinding the people and making them
look intently towards the source. Then they read the words on the billboard
hanging from my neck, saw that I was a young, aspiring reporter and laughed
and sometimes said, "How cool!" I just looked around, smugly,
and seriously, trying to look completely and utterly professional, I don't
think I did such a good job, due to the guffawing and giggling afterward.
interviewing process is fascinating. While walking through and interviewing
people, I discovered many interesting things about the amazing art of interviewing.
You learn what it's like to be treated like a professional reporter.
Aside from the occasional shunning by those who wish to avoid the eye of
the reporter, welcoming smiles more often eagerly wave me over. Unfortunately,
I must turn in my badge and forfeit all its privileges, but at least I will
be surrounded by teachers with new ideas, who have been charged by the conference.