Thursday, September 11, 2008

Now I'm Institutionalized, instead of Departmentalized?

The journalism folks at NYU have announced a name change at the school. I applied and was admitted to NYU's Department of Journalism. But now it's the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
So, who's this Arthur L. Carter guy? A successful investment banker, he started publishing The New York Observer in 1987. He's an M.B.A., money guy, but he's also taught journalism and philosophy as an adjunct professor at NYU.

In a strange twist in the story, he sold The Observer in 2005 to Jared Kushner, a guy just two months older than me, for $10 million. Kushner is now pursuing his M.B.A. and J.D. at NYU.

I think it's cool to be studying at a "Journalism Institute" instead of just a Department. Sounds more serious and high-falutin'. And I love "high-falutin."

Today, Professor Quigley asked the Reporting and Writing class to start the day at the September 11 tribute in Zuccotti Park, next to the World Trade Center site. My Columbia j-school roommate and I managed to get press passes and access to the park, which was blocked off to everyone but family members and survivors.

Mayor Bloomberg spoke at the beginning. After a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. marking the time of first impact, family members and students started reading names of the victims. The press was restricted to a walled off area to the side of the park, and we could only talk to people standing near the wall. I wrote this post for Above The Law, based on that. But I felt uncomfortable and intrusive interviewing family members, so left after about an hour to talk to those who had gathered outside the fences.

There was a serenely beautiful woman standing across the street from the park, holding a "Where is Osama bin Laden?" sign. One man walking by commented that it was a good question.

Cheryl Stewart is a sculptor; she has created art for the films Love & Lyrics and Across the Universe. She has a similar sign in her yard in Brooklyn, with numbers she changes every morning to count the days that have gone by since 9-11-01. The sign in her yard "is not huge, but as large as it could be without a permit."

While she knows people who died in September 11, her anger stems more from "the attack on the city."

"Everything changed after that," she said.

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