I had a banter crop of University Professors during my seven years of undergraduate study. One stood out, John Drewry, the Dean of the Henry Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia, and Founder of the George Foster Peabody Awards.
It wasn’t his title as Dean nor his accolades that caught my attention, it was his unique teaching techniques.
Dean Drewry would come into the classroom, make a point, walk toward the door, turn around and challenge us to expound on his point in writing and “leave your paper on my desk.”
During a news editorial class he told us that his father told him at age 11 to go to the store and get some grits but don’t spill any. On the way home he spilled them all and his father told him to go pick them up. Dean Drewry said that it was the best writing lesson he ever had. “Don’t forget your paper.”
I sat next to a guy named Lewis, last name Grizzard. I was completely blank and did not even know what a grit was. But at least I asked Lewis what the hell is he talking about. His immediate response was, “KISS.” KISS WHAT I RETORTED. KISS, K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid.
Writers and talkers spill grits all the time.
I decided to make a list of how to keep from spilling grits. Here are a few from then and a few from now.
- We are born with two ears and one mouth.
- God gave us a blackboard but some of us didn’t get an eraser.
- Shut up and let em buy.
- Everything you say beyond what it takes to make your point is an apology.
- Today’s attention span is faster than the speed of light.
- When you find a stopping point it’s too late.
- A picture is worth a thousand words.
- Don’t let your lawyer talk to God for you.