(True story, though I’ve left some of the details out because I don’t want to jinx what could be an amazing ending…)Just before we were leaving to come home from Assateague yesterday my wife struck up a conversation with the mother of a boy who had been building sand castles with my kids. It was a beautiful beach day…hot sun, chilly surf, warm breeze, happy kids. Doesn’t get much better than that, until this happens:

I walk over and join the conversation, and we’re talking about I don’t know what when my wife asks “so what does your husband do?” The woman answers “Oh, he’s a reporter for the (insert major American daily newspaper here.)” I’m impressed, and immediately mention (since I have no pride) that I’m looking for reporters to mentor my Journalism 2 students in their Web logs this fall. After the requisite clarification of what a Web log is, she says “I’m sure he’d love to do that. C’mon I’ll introduce you.” We’re walking up the beach, and I’m pretty excited that I might be getting another “real” reporter to teach my kids some “real” journalism when she just kind of nonchalantly says “yeah, I’m pretty proud of him since he just won a Pulitzer Prize last year…” I can’t remember too much clearly after this point. I get introduced to her husband, (a very nice guy, by the way,) manage to (I think) not say anything too stupid as we chat, give him the overview of the mentorship deal, and he says sure, just let him know. And he gives me his e-mail address and I walk away stunned.

Now aside from the personal thrill of getting to meet a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, this is just another example of how Web logs can facilitate collaboration. I’ve done e-mail mentorships in the past, but this is an even easier, more profound way that renowned journalists or authors or scientists or others can really share space with students without physically being there. The possibilities continue to amaze me. As does my luck…