A Shocking Piece Of Journalism

, , , , | Learning | September 27, 2017

(I am reporter for the school newspaper. I am assigned to interview several teachers on what their first jobs were, before they finished school and became teachers. Most of the jobs are pretty standard: food service, landscaping, there was one teacher who was a live-in nanny, etc. Then I decide to interview our school’s wrestling coach. He is an older man with a big personality, so I think for sure he will have had an interesting first job.)

Me: “Thank you for letting me interview you, Coach. Can you please tell me about the first job you ever had?”

Coach: *thinks for a minute* “I was a fish shocker!”

Me: “Huh?” *thinking I heard him wrong, though what could you possibly mistake for “fish shocker”?*

Coach: “Yeah! A fish shocker!”

Me: “I… uh… I need more details.”

Coach: “I’d set up this device at the lakes, and shock the water so all the fish would float up to the surface.”

Me: “And why did you do that?”

Coach: *slaps the top of his desk and laughs* “So they could be counted, of course! They’d wake up eventually and swim away, so we had to count fast!”

Me: “Uh-huh, okay, great. Anything else?”

Coach: “Nope, that was it.”

Me: “Well, thank you. This should be an interesting article.”

(Later, while writing the article, I did some research and figured out he was talking about electrofishing. At the time, I had no clue that was an actual thing someone could do for a job. We featured the coach’s story in the article and for a couple of weeks, kids went around saying they were going to be “fish shockers” when they grew up!)

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