Wednesday, March 3, 2010

School really IS fun!

When I was 28 years old, I went back to school for the Bachelor’s degree I had only earned about 20 credits towards when I quit school to work full time. Then comes love, then comes marriage… well, you get the picture. The good news is that by the time I did go back, I really did know exactly what I wanted to do. A degree in Professional Writing (under the English department) at Webster University allowed me to study all the writing disciplines I could; sports journalism, entertainment journalism, business writing, creative writing… my dream education!

In my Senior year, I took a class called Writing for Advertising with a very talented writer and fantastic instructor named Sally Howald (props to you, Sally – you buy the first round next happy hour). Anyway, she had us write print ads, tvs spots and radio spots for various fictional and non-fictional brands. I was going through old files on my laptop today and found a few of them.

Like this one I wrote for a fictional preschool:

Title: “The Screaming Toddler”

Medium: :60 Radio

Producer: Beth M. Wood

Educated Man (in quiet voice): And now…a special warning brought to you by the educators at Smarty Pants Academy.

Sfx: toddler screaming/crying


Educated Man (in quiet voice): According to educational psychologist Maurice Fisher, "If the gifted child is not stimulated in infancy, preschool and early elementary education, they may lose their potential.

Screaming Toddler: STUPID CAR! AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! YOU CAN’T MAKE ME GO! NO! NO! NO! STUPID HEAD!

Sfx: sniffling, snotty nose

Educated Man (in quiet voice): “Age 3-5 is a critical period in which children develop their brains to their maximum ability.”

Screaming Toddler: DUMMY HEAD! AHHHHHHH!

Educated Man (in quiet voice): Send your little angel to Smarty Pants Academy. Think of how they might turn out if you don’t.

And this one, a :60 fictional spot for Goodwill:

Client: Goodwill Industries

Title: Capone’s Hat

Medium: :60 second radio spot

Producer: Beth M. Wood

Gangster: The year…1929. The head…Al Capone.

The three sounds of music were jazz, jazz and jazz. And the king was Duke Ellington.

Young Male: Hang on, you’re Al Capone?

Gangster: No, his hat.

Young male: His hat?

Gangster: That’s right. The wide-brim, black fedora.

Young Male (sarcastically): Your Capone’s hat.

Ga ngst er: Gangster: Okay, fine. I’m not actually Capone’s hat. But I am a wide-brim fedora. And at Goodwill you can find me, and a lot more vintage stuff from the 20s. Like those flapper dresses the dames used to wear in my day…

Young male: Dames?

Gangster: And stuff from the 30s and 40s…gabardine suites and sling backs. At Goodwill you can find Capri pants and leather jackets from the 50s and 60s, bellbottoms and ponchos from the hippy 70s…you get the picture.

Young Male: So, Goodwill has all those cool vintage clothes that are so expensive at the mall?

Gangster: That’s right, kid. Goodwill has the real McCoy, too – no fake vintage here. And Goodwill has nine locations in the St. Louis area. So scram to your nearest Goodwill store for the hippest vintage clothing…

Young Male: Scram?

Gangster: Scram, get lost, head out… to Goodwill.

Goodwill. Make it your own.

No wonder I miss being in school so much! I’ve been giving a great deal of thought lately to going back for my Masters in Creative Writing. I wonder if it’d be half as much fun...


  1. Beth--
    Unforgettable radio spots! Great stuff! You are definitely one of my most talented and memorable students. Teaching Writing for Advertising at Webster never gets old. There's always a fresh perspective and new way to do an old assignment. I think you would be an excellent teacher. You have inspired me -- and I hope all your readers -- to keep writing!

    Big Hug, Sally

  2. Beth-
    School is fun! Get going with that MA. You will never regret it.
    PS I remember that journal:)

  3. Thanks Sally!
    Yes, Mom, school is fun - it's the other adjectives I'm worried about (expensive, time consuming...)!! It will be done, sooner or later!

  4. I hear ya Ms. Fredricksen...I too will get a masters because learning should never stop!