Saturday, March 12, 2011

Scepter Newspaper: Professionalism: the Key to Success by Claudia Kassab

This past winter module, KCC welcomed Professor Lela Nargi to teach the Feature Writing and Media course. From the start Nargi made her expectations of the students known.

Nargi grew up in Vermont, New York. Having earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism at Bennington College, she began working at Manchester Journal on art related topics. Over the years, Nargi has published articles in Regardie’s Magazine, Fortune Magazine and People Magazine. She has even published books on knitting and traveling. Nargi also has a children’s book the released on March 8, 2011.

Her interest in writing began at a young age when her mother bought her a black and white book in first grade. In high school, she wanted to be editor-in chief of the school newspaper. Nargi described her college experience as a “happy accident” since she chose Bennington College by a way of elimination.

It had to be far from home as well as not an artsy school so out of 3 choices, Bennington served her needs. Founded on John Dewey's principles of education, Bennington taught her how to be a autodidactStudents took charge of their own education - no grades, no exams, no core curriculum; no one there to supervise. Overwhelming for a 19-year-old, Nargi loved it.

“But in fact, I took the place and all I learned from it with me. That experience taught me everything I needed to know to be a citizen, in the broadest sense of the word, a journalist and writer and a perpetual learner,” said Nargi.

During her college years, she got the opportunity to work for Fortune Magazine. It was there that she had one of the most haunting experiences of her life with the “dragon lady.” The editor-in-chief at the magazine was reluctant towards any of her employees making mistakes. Having had to fact check two paragraphs of an article, an issue happened where her correction did not go through due to another person’s mistake.

Having to face the “dragon lady” was one of the most fearful experiences of her young life as a new journalist. Despite it all, she endured all the obstacles she faced to get to where she is now. It was a taste of real world journalism.

A reliable and honest individual, Nargi has the passion to help students for it is only through hard work that one can truly succeed. After working for multiple magazines and publishing books on various topics, Nargi came to teach at KCC. She simply wants to avoid a life of routine by using this opportunity to pass on her years of knowledge and experience onto aspiring journalists.

“Journalism is constantly changing. If there is one thing [students] take away from this class, is to be professional, ” said Nargi.

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