This is a bit late, but here are some shots from Bob Herbert’s visit to campus. I had a toothache and had been popping painkillers for so many weeks that it became my norm. So when I got to the dinner, I made the faux pas of accepting a glass of wine, forgetting not to mix the two. I spent the dinner woozily making conversation with professors sitting next to me and I can’t remember a single thing we talked about.
However, the dinner was exquisite. It was held in the Maxwell Founder’s room and there were TWO pieces of steak, which I happily chomped on, root canal be damned. There were also scallops, smashed potatoes and a bed of spinach. I wondered if Bob Herbert was asked to suggest his favorite dessert to the caterers because he wolfed down the banana cake, banana ice cream and syrupy fried banana slices with purpose.
I also got to interview him earlier that day, which was both amazing and flustering. I learned that he never wanted to be a journalist, he wanted to be a playwright. And for as much as he writes about how hard it is to get jobs now, he’s never had to apply for a job in his life. In fact, the first time The New York Times offered him a job, he turned them down. Only after they sweetened the deal did he say, OK, I’ll be an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. NBD.
For his book, “Wounded Colossus,” he said he needed more young people to interview about trouble getting jobs.
“Email me,” he said. “In case you know anyone.”
Email him?! I was so stunned that as he spelled out his email address, I realized I was just staring at him in wonder.
“Do you have a pen?” he asked.
I floundered around in my chair, still attached to my interview microphone, not sure if I should get a pen because the producer told me earlier, don’t move.
“You want to be a journalist and you don’t have a pen?” he opened up the flap of his blazer like a thug showing off his glocks. “Look, I carry around three pens! What if a meteorite crashes outside Newhouse right now? What would you write with?”
And that’s how I was schooled by Bob Herbert.