April 23, 2020
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As an associate editor for Rolling Stone Magazine, Andrew Greene '04 writes news articles and reviews of concerts and albums for the magazine's print edition and website. "I write about 10 articles a week, and do many interviews with musicians, both on the phone and in person," he said. "I also help brainstorm future news stories, features, special sections, and cover stories."
Professor Fred Baumann's "Relations of Nations" class was particularly challenging for me. I knew very little about the subject and, to be honest, didn't always do all of the reading. He gave near daily quizzes on the material and saw right through my attempts to fake my way through his class. During office hours, he sat me down and called me out on it. From there on, I realized I couldn't keep skating by on my current knowledge and had to push myself. That mentality is very helpful in my work right now. I was just assigned a news story on the Zac Brown Band. I knew nothing about the man's music. If I had gotten on the phone with him without doing my prep work, he would have seen right through me and the interview would have been terrible. Instead, I spent days brushing up and the interview went great.
Simply put, Kenyon taught me how to think. Although I didn't take a journalism class or study in any sort of writing program, my coursework taught me how to develop my ideas and put them on paper. When I'm writing about Bruce Springsteen's new CD, I use many of the same skills I learned while writing about the 2002 mid-term elections at Kenyon. Working at the radio station and meeting students with different tastes in music than my own also exposed me to a much wider range of music that I had when I entered Kenyon.
It's tough to pick one, because over the years I've been lucky enough to interview Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Keith Richards, Elton John, Robert Plant, Lil Wayne, Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Iggy Pop, and tons of others. I'd say that the coolest thing happened while I was reporting a feature about the 10th anniversary of The Big Lebowski. I'm a huge fan of the movie, so the chance to have brunch with Steve Buscemi and spend an hour with John Goodman was like some crazy dream. Jeff Bridges, though, took me into his home in Santa Barbara, California. The house is full of Lebowski artifacts, and he wanted to show them to me. In his garage, he dug around in some boxes until he found the famous sweater he wore through most of the movie, and then he insisted I put it on. Then he took my cell-phone camera and carefully posed me while taking a bunch of photos. It was the most surreal thing that's ever happened to me.
As someone who wanted to earn his living as a writer, I felt that a liberal arts education was vital. It helped me learn how to think and how to put those thoughts down on paper.