The Florida Flu Kit is being sold on the University of Florida campus to encourage sick students to stay home — but to be prepared to deal with the flu. The kits were on sale outside the Student Health Care Center for $10. The kits also are on sale at the SHCC pharmacy.
The kit includes chicken noodle soup and Gatorade and a range of health products, including face masks and a digital thermometer. The gal selling the kits is one of the coordinators of the program and said the price of the kit is less than the cost of the individual items because of the bulk purchase.
I decided to purchase the kit to use as a visual aid in class on Tuesday. The guest speakers on Tuesday are Dr. Guy Nicolette, SHCC chief of staff, and Paul Myers, assistant director of the Alachua County Health Department.
I teach an introductory media writing course. We’ve reached the point in the semester when the students are required to find their own story ideas and conduct their own interviews. Dr. Nicolette and Mr. Myers will be their expert sources for a story on the flu. Each student then will be responsible for determining the focus for the story, finding and interviewing at least two “average” people to include in the story. This is the approach that many news stories use of having experts to provide the big picture or official information and also including people who can show how the issue affects average people.
In Thursday’s lecture, I asked the class what they were excited about or concerned about with this assignment. They agreed that they were very nervous about interviewing people they don’t know. About 9 out of 10 in the class have never conducted an interview before. I offered some advice and reminded them of the audio recording we listened to of William Zinsser from “On Writing Well.” He encouraged by saying that everyone can improve in interviewing with practice.
Of course, we want all 240 students in lecture to listen to the interview I’ll conduct with our speakers and to ask their own questions. However, we don’t want anyone attending lecture who has the flu. So lecture assistant Paige Madsen and I will record the interview and upload the audio file to the course Web site.