Thoughts on retirement from Wendie Crouch
Where did the years go? Forty years ago I came to Western’s Graduate School of Journalism to help students with radio and television production. The newsroom was full of manual typewriters. The radio studio was equipped with reel to reel machines, turntables and cart machines for playing individual news items. Students recorded on cassette machines and shot video on ½ inch VTRs. There was a dark room and edit suites and live newscasts - it was an adventure every day. Those were wonderful years as I was mentored by my friend and colleague David Mills and started to learn how to teach students production skills.
I met some of the big names in Canadian journalism, helped videotape conferences, and grew to love Western’s campus. I worked every day with smart students, many of whom turned into friends – and more! (My husband Tom was in the Journalism program in 1984.) I worked with talented faculty and staff who became as close as family. I started to see grads succeeding at the CBC, at the Globe and Mail, at CTV, at stations and newspapers across the country.
So many great memories – Middlesex College, the grad pub and darts on Friday afternoon, many Canned Festivals showcasing student work, the excitement of students coming back from internships realizing we were teaching them the right stuff…
Then came the 90s. Computers, digital cameras, digital editing, the internet…the challenge to keep up was very exciting. We moved, we merged, we became part of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) and we moved again.
Through it all it was the students who made this such a rewarding job. The first time I showed someone how to edit audio, whether with a razor blade or with a computer, I was giving them a creative tool that they would use to produce stories that would provoke, inspire and inform. It was a pleasure to work beside them and then see them graduate and have successful careers in a variety of disciplines. I will miss them the most.
People have been asking what I’m going to do. The plan is to lay low for the first few months, exercise more often (during the day!), and ease into this new chapter. I’ll continue to be proud when I listen to voices I know on CBC, and see great reporting on screen, online and in newspapers. Eventually I hope to practice what I’ve been preaching all these years and try recording seniors’ stories as a way to archive their lives for their loved ones.
Thank you to all my colleagues at FIMS, and I want to wish the new Master of Media in Journalism & Communication (MMJC) program and all involved with it the best of luck and hope for a successful future.
My biggest thanks go to the alumni. Thank you for your talent and your friendship. It has been a privilege.
To be continued…
Wendie will retire at the end of the summer.