Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mentor Memory

Back in March of 2007 I submitted the tribute below for BYU Magazine's tribute on Mentors. They decided not to run mine. So I'm putting it out on my blog.

I've been thinking a lot about heavy things. I realized that I have to thank my mentor publicly. He taught me the importance of standing up for truth - even when it's not easy, not popular. I find this is especially apt today. We shouldn't expect someone else to stand up for us - I believe we each have that responsibility...when we know what is right to do something. We all can. We all can stand.

Focusing on Truth

I aspired to conquer the media. My daydreams of success included fancy cocktail parties and the flash of fame and glamour. I wanted to be in front of the shine. What I now aspire to is something entirely different. I became a person of substance through the tutelage of Dean Paynter a former KBYU news director. This man is not just my friend and mentor but a giant when it comes to standing for Truth. He inspired our newscasts at KBYU news to go beyond the 15-30 second sound bite. That anchoring the news desk is more than knowing how to apply make-up and read a teleprompter. He taught us that we had to ask questions. That we needed to do more for our audience. We needed to share news that would enrich, educate and matter to our viewers. That kind of education - changes you as a person. My shallow, anchor-making dreams dropped from the forefront as I signed-on to become an emissary of Truth.

I graduated in Dec '98 and was part of that first batch of people that pioneered Newsnet. We were the first to broadcast from the fifth floor studio in the Wilk. It was exciting, fulfilling and one of the best times of my life. Despite the hard work - I would go through it all again with relish. Our leader, Dean Paynter was, and still is, someone who inspires and promotes a constant search for, and defense of Truth. I remember one evening back when the KBYU newscast was still in the HFAC tunnel. We had one of those post-mortems that lasted until 9 in the evening. I think there were seven of us there with Dean. He told us that any of us could make it in the broadcast industry, we just needed to decide what was worth giving up for that success. That has always stuck with me. I have seen women who have sacrificed everything to "make it" in an industry that will give nothing back to people of virtue.

I used to think I could change the whole of society by taking on the media, maybe I still could, but I want to fight the war against families, by strengthening the youth and families already set-up. It's crazy how blatant the war is. Look at the way stay-at-home-mothers are still looked at by society.

I've often wondered why I felt I should study broadcast journalism, and not have ever had a job in that industry. For that matter, why I pursued PR after graduating, and had no real desire to passionately pursue broadcasting. I can tell you that two babies later, the ability to telecommute for my PR job, makes it worth it. I am also grateful that I am an educated Momma. That my brain is filled with more than cleaning up dirty diapers ...but grateful that I have the pleasure of enjoying each little crooked grin, tightly grasped, pudgy hand, and never-ending curiousity. Maybe I took the broadcast journalism route so that I could meet Dean Paynter - he taught me to understand how world issues ultimately impact human character. And that human character shapes issues. Maybe it was to make me more vigilant. Maybe it was to help me think more deeply about life and even the gospel. Maybe it was the doorway by which I could see my life's purpose. To finally see what truly is important. I learned how to stand for Truth from Dean.

Some professors think educating a woman is a waste of energy - Dean Paynter relished in teaching us. I hope he knows that his impact will continue as I teach my own precious daughters.

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