Every year I invite several guest speakers to visit my classes. It’s a great way for students to hear from a media professional, make connections and ask questions I can’t always answer.
Last year Ann Doose, 680 News anchor, generously took time out of her busy schedule to not only talk to my students about what it is like to work in Canada’s busiest radio newsroom but she also spent time listening to them read scripts they had written. The students loved the one-on-one anchoring technique training and really enjoyed the experience over all.
I was grateful for her visit, as I am with all the speakers I have asked to come out to Durham College, but I must confess I felt uneasy about something. It’s the water bottle I purchased at the college to give to her. I always buy one and present it to the guest speaker when he/she arrives to ensure they won’t be thirsty or have a dry throat while they speak. Seems logical, right? But it really isn’t.
I used to think there wasn’t much wrong with buying bottled water but after doing some research into the issue I changed my mind. The research was for a paper I wrote for a university course I was taking and it definitely opened my eyes to the issues surrounding the bottled water industry. If you don’t know much about it you can watch this video – The Story of Bottled Water – or check out the website -insidethebottle.org – for more information on the bottled water industry in North America.
I began thinking over the summer how I could resolve the dilemma of making sure my guest speakers are comfortable without buying a bottle of water. It finally occurred to me (duh!) that purchasing a coffee mug at the college bookstore and filling it from a water fountain would be the solution. The guests can have their water and take a small souvenir home branded with the Durham College logo.
Of course it’s going to be more expensive than that bottle of water I buy at the college but as the saying goes, you can pay more now or you can pay for your choices later. I think I’d rather pay more now.
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