Norman Business Journal Q2//19 - Page 28

What is the best and/or worst advice you’ve ever received? What is something most people don’t know about you? I heard the worst advice at a journalism convention convention in Dallas, one of the presenters told a group of student journalists not to get into the business. I can understand why: it’s certainly a demanding career field with long hours and relatively low pay. But what I tell my journalism students at the University of Oklahoma is that if it’s something you love, you should do it. Journalism is incredibly important for a well-functioning democratic republic: we couldn’t exist as a nation without it. It wasn’t necessarily advice, but the best example in my life was from my dad. He got up every morning, five days a week, and drove two hours round trip to work to create the best life for me and the rest of our family. He never complained. When I was in high school, he would wake me up every morning before he left so I would get my day started. I work every day to make him proud, and reflect the example he set for me. I have an identical twin brother named Joshua. My family’s original last name was Schlenker before my ancestors emigrated to the United States and it was converted to the more anglicized Slinkard. What do you like to do on your time off? I like watching basketball and baseball. I enjoy reading. I have some close friends I tabletop with on a regular basis, which is always a lot of fun. I play chess pretty much every day. What is your most memorable failure and what did you learn from it? There are so many. Printing a newspaper 365 days a year with tens of thousands of words in it, putting your name on it and having it hand-delivered to thousands of people every morning is stressful. It can really wear down journalists. I always give myself five minutes to be angry at myself about a mistake, and then I focus on what I can learn from it, what I need to change in order to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and then move on. That’s the healthiest method I’ve found. What career advice would you give your younger self? Bet a significant amount of money on Leicester F.C. winning the 2015-16 English Premier League. What’s your favorite quote? “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” — Mark Twain “I write for the same reason I breathe...” — Isaac Asimov 28 | Quarter 2 // 2019 What’s the story behind the most interesting thing in your office or on your desk? I have a miniature catapult (it’s really a siege onager, but anyway) on my desk that I bought at the Muskogee Renaissance Festival. It came with water gel beads, but those are all gone. Now I just fire change at employees when they won’t leave my office. What’s your office style? I have books left over from Andy Rieger, a comic book poster featuring the Silver Surfer, my diploma, a poster from a The National concert and a poster memorializing Jake Thomas-Simmons. The only style in my office is two red pillows on my couch and blanket that designer Abbie Sears has stolen. Unless stacks of newspapers count as style.