My guest for Episode #232 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Annie Krall, an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. She is also a radio news anchor for WLS-Radio (890AM) in Chicago and comes home to the Windy City after being an on-air TV reporter for ABC in Green Bay, WI (WBAY-TV).
After earning her bachelor's and master’s degrees from Northwestern, Annie covered breaking news in Green Bay, the Ryder Cup international golf tournament, as well as the Green Bay Packers. Host of her own weekly medical investigative series “Your Health Matters” Annie was accepted to medical school before pursuing journalism. Prior to WBAY-TV, Annie wrote and produced for ABC NEWS in New York City on the medical and business units for shows like Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir, and 20/20.
Sharpening her golf skills as a competitive golfer starting at the age of six, Annie is now the entertainment golf correspondent for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). She helps spotlight celebrity women who either play or have had their lives changed by the sport.
In today's episode, Annie shares her favorite mistake about a time when she didn't hit “send” when needing to send video back to the newsroom. What perspective did she gain from this mistake?
While unpacking her story, Annie shares her unique perspective on journalism education, especially regarding the famous ‘Medill F.' This single grading policy has sparked debates amongst students and educators alike, highlighting the ever-present tension between tradition and change in academia. Tune in to this fascinating episode for an in-depth look at one woman’s journey through the fast-paced world of journalism.
Questions and Topics:
- Northwestern people don't want to admit mistakes?
- Did it ever feel like a mistake not to pursue med school? Did you worry that it would be?
- What are your thoughts about dealing with mistakes live on air? Or the risk of that?
- Why do the Chicago traffic reports insist on using the names, not the freeway numbers?
- The Medill F — the debate about whether that’s helpful or not??
- So giving a Medill F *is* a choice not a requirement from the Dean
- J.A. Adande – Episode 138
- Does it really work?? Do Medill graduates make fewer mistakes than Mizzou and Syracuse grads?
Scroll down to find:
- Video version of the episode
- How to subscribe
- Full transcript
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Annie Krall, a Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism alumna and current adjunct faculty member, is carving out a prosperous career in the media industry. Boasting an impressive professional portfolio, covering a wide range of stories from breaking news to the Ryder Cup, Annie is not only a reputable journalist but also a mentor to aspiring journalists at Northwestern.
In addition to teaching, Annie has made an impact as a radio news anchor for WLS Radio in Chicago, leveraging her skills in Integrated Marketing Communications. Her diverse experiences in the media sector, which include being an on-air TV reporter for an ABC affiliate in Green Bay, Wisconsin, shape the comprehensive journalism lessons she shares with her students.
A Champion for Women in Sports
Inspired by her own beginnings as a competitive golfer at the age of six, Annie now champions women's involvement in sports through her work. She has a remarkable role as the entertainment golf correspondent for the LPGA, where she spotlights famous women who either play golf or have been significantly influenced by the sport.
Annie carries a passion for promoting women in sports. Having a twin sister who served as a coach for the Boston Red Sox, she is intimately aware of the challenges and the triumphs female athletes and trainers face in their careers. This personal connection instantly amplifies the power of the stories she tells and the changes she advocates.
Meeting Deadlines and Making Mistakes
In the fast-paced environment of journalism, Annie underlines the importance of meeting deadlines and double-checking the work. With her experience of covering live events such as the State Basketball Tournament, she learned the importance of delivering timely and accurate content. This lesson took on a new level of urgency after a near miss on live TV when she failed to send a video package for a session. The incident reinforced the need to be meticulous even in high-pressure situations.
As a professor, Annie uses her mistakes as powerful teaching tools, instilling in her students the significance of accuracy and punctuality in journalism. She emphasizes the importance of getting facts right, using a concept known as the ‘Medill F,' which refers to a serious factual error in a news report leading to a failed grade. A misspelled name, an incorrect location, a misquoted statistic—they all carry the potential to earn the dreaded ‘Medill F.'
From Organic Chemistry Lab to Newsroom
Annie's journey from a pre-med student to a journalist wasn’t a random leap of chance. It was a well-considered career decision. Interestingly, she was accepted into both medical school and the Medill Journalism master's program simultaneously. But her instinctive excitement upon receiving the call from Medill gave her the affirmation she needed about her future.
In choosing Journalism over Medicine, Annie believes she's made the right choice. She transferred her meticulous, detail-oriented mind from science labs to newsrooms, blending her profound understanding of medical topics with her flair for story-telling. Living proof that there can be an intersection between passion and profession, Annie Krall is an inspiring figure for budding journalists, demonstrating that every story, whether a triumphant win or even a ‘favorite mistake,' has the power to teach and inspire.
The Impact of Personal Passion and Perspective in Journalism
Having personal passion and a unique perspective in reporting can be a driving force in delivering an impactful and truthful narrative. Journalism, in essence, is a reflection of society. It serves as a mirror to highlight issues, spark debates and influence opinions. Hence, journalists are often tasked with the critical responsibility of serving as a voice for the voiceless. Annie Kral, with her passion for promoting women in sports, and bringing to light their triumphs and challenges, is contributing to this endeavor.
The interplay of personal passion and professional skills can greatly amplify the influence of journalism. For example, in Annie's case, her passion for promoting women in sports and her personal experience being a competitive golfer have played a pivotal role in her advocating for women athletes and trainers. Sharing these stories adds a dimension of intimate connection and authenticity to her narratives.
Encountering the Unexpected: Live Reporting and Beyond
In a live reporting scenario, journalists often find themselves under constant pressure and at the risk of making blunders. However, the key to overcoming these risks lies in the ability to be quick-thinking and resourceful. Whether it's a mispronunciation of a name, or a sentence not going as planned, the focus for journalists on-the-go is to quickly rectify the error without halting the flow of the news.
Annie brings up an interesting perspective from her experience. Akin to performing live, there also exists the fear of messing up, making mistakes that are potentially viewed by thousands, even millions of viewers. Yet, she postulates that shifting the mindset from speaking to thousands to speaking to a loved one mitigaes this fear, rendering the reporting natural, and genuine. This approach not only helps to maintain calm and composure but also enhances sincerity and credibility in reporting.
Striking A Balance: The Interplay between Medical and Journalism career
Annie's narrative brings forth an intriguing balance between her initial professional career path in medicine and her eventual foray into journalism. The invaluable experience she gained from her medical education, imbued with meticulousness and detail-orientation, served as a solid foundation for her storytelling in journalism, particularly when covering health and science-related stories. The transition from Organic Chemistry Lab to newsroom, demonstrates the flexibility inherent in skillsets and reminds us of the interplay between distinct disciplines.
Annie's journey also poses an interesting question to ponder. Given the pressure, paperwork and burnout faced by many physicians, could the skills and knowledge acquired from medical training be repurposed towards other rewarding career paths, such as Journalism? This brings us to view our qualifications not in isolation, but as versatile tools that we can leverage in numerous fields.
Understanding The Gravitational Pull of Tradition: The Medill F
Venturing into the educational realm, a central theme in our exploration is the ‘Medill F' tradition, which refers to the Northwestern University policy of assigning a failing grade for factual errors in journalism assignments. This tradition has been a core part of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism ethos for many years and has been steeped in debate amongst students and educators alike.
While it is understood as a tradition carried down generations of journalists, its practical implications and impacts are widely discussed. There's a school of thought that believes in the all-or-nothing approach to accountability that the Medill F represents and sees it as pushing students to an exceptional level of accuracy. This is often considered a prerequisite in delivering factual news reports.
On the other hand, another viewpoint questions if the Medill F tradition becomes counterproductive, creating undue pressure on students and perhaps even impeding their learning process and creativity. This dichotomy of viewpoints on the Medill F continues to be a salient talking point in the context of journalism education at Northwestern University.
In the ever-evolving landscape of journalism, traditions like the ‘Medill F' continue to shape journalistic practices. The question then becomes, should tradition run its course with grace and adaptability, or should it remain fiercely guarded against the test of time?
The Confluence of Journalism and Science: A Comparative Examination
An intriguing analysis that can be brought forth based on Annie's perspective is comparing journalism to science, or more particularly, the concept of “showing your work.” This analogy invites an intriguing exploration. In the scientific process, much like deriving equations in physics, one demonstrates their work, revealing their analytical progression — from hypothesis to results, and ultimately, their conclusions. Each step in the process forms an integral part of the overall narrative.
However, in journalism, the focus often revolves around the end product: the printed word, the final report. This could potentially undermine the value of the process. The subtle nuances, the sequence of events, the journalist's thought process – all these aspects that transform an idea into a story, remain hidden behind the final draft. The underlying details that shape the tale are seldom unveiled, creating a more black and white perspective.
Journalism Education: An In-depth Look at the ‘Medill F' Tradition
Revisiting the ‘Medill F' tradition, one wonders what it means for the students and educators involved. From discussions with various stakeholders within Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, it becomes apparent that the ‘Medill F' arouses numerous debates. Annie's mention of a possible panel discussion about the ‘Medill F' at a homecoming event underscores the need for such informative and in-depth discussions.
A noteworthy aspect to consider is whether this tradition encourages accountability, meticulousness, and precision, or does it unintentionally foster an environment of anxiety and fear of failure? This forms a critical aspect of the broader conversation around journalism education – a conversation that Northwestern University seems eager to engage in.
Bridging Disciplines: The Northwestern University Model
Underlying all these discussions seems to be a deeper ethos prevalent within Northwestern University – an ethos that encourages diverse skills, interests, and passions. It is not uncommon to find an engineering student who is also a passionate saxophonist or a French Major who can excel at football. This blend of interests breaks the traditional stereotypes associated with specific fields and cultivates an environment conducive to fostering multi-dimensional skills.
Whether it’s Annie’s leap from medical school to journalism or the engineering student who adeptly plays alto saxophone, Northwestern is a testament to the fact that one's capabilities are not confined to a single domain. This narrative challenges the question of whether it's a mistake to pursue seemingly contrasting paths, like medicine and journalism or engineering and music.
The diverse interests and pursuits found at Northwestern University offers an insight into the potential that lies in the confluence of distinct disciplines. Intertwining of various fields promotes the development of a more-rounded, adaptable individual capable of navigating an ever-changing world.
The Question of Mistakes: A Unique Perspective
Annie’s nuanced conversation naturally brings us to ponder the concept of ‘mistake.' In an intriguing twist, she raises the novel query of what one's ‘favorite mistake' might be. This question invites us to view mistakes not as stumbles to cover-up but rather as learning opportunities, a pivot point for growth and progress. Indeed, this perspective weaves a thread of resilience through the conversations around disciplines and traditions, reflecting the endeavours of continuously improving journalism practice and education.
Automated Transcript (May Contain Mistakes)
Mark Graban: Well, hi, everybody. Welcome back to my favorite mistake. I'm Mark Raven. Our guest today is Annie Krall. She is an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University's Medil School of Journalism.
Mark Graban: Media? Integrated Marketing. Communications. She is also currently a radio news anchor for WLS Radio in Chicago. She was previously an on air TV reporter in Green Bay, Wisconsin for the ABC affiliate there.
Mark Graban: So before tell you more, welcome to the podcast. Annie, how are you?
Annie Krall: Thanks so much, Mark. I'm so excited. That title sounds very impressive, so I'm glad we're chatting because you make me feel good about myself immediately off the bat. This is great.
Mark Graban: Well, I'm going to make you feel even better. I'm going to read a little bit more about your background, and I know that's going to be part of our conversation here today. Annie is a fellow Northwestern University Alum. We met recently at Alumni Leadership Symposium. So Annie earned her bachelor and master's degrees from NU.
Mark Graban: She covered in Green Bay. Breaking news. She covered the Ryder Cup. She covered the packers. Was most of the breaking news I'm going to interject with a question.
Mark Graban: Was most of the breaking news packers related?
Annie Krall: Honestly, that's the thing, Mark. I was the reporter on duty when it was Aaron Rogers coming forward, that he was Immunized versus Vaccinated when it was the COVID-19 sort of discussion and very long story. Back at Northwestern, I was accepted to medical school, so I was almost typically always the medical reporter when it came to a lot of that Green Bay news. So that was a breaking news story like nobody's business because it was Aaron Rogers, it was packers, it was medical. It was COVID.
Annie Krall: So, yes, a lot of breaking news with the packers, especially with the sports and all the deals that were exciting when Aaron Rodgers is at the center of the stage.
Mark Graban: Well, that was certainly right up your, you know, the rest of your bio touches on those two things. Annie has written and produced for ABC News on medical and business units for shows including Good Morning America, World News Tonight with David Muir in 2020. She also started as a competitive golfer at the age of six and is now the entertainment golf correspondent for the LPGA, where she helps spotlight celebrity women who either play or have had their lives changed by the sport. So I'm sure the audience is wondering, will the Favorite Mistake story have anything to do with golf, with medical school, with TV? And I've heard the story, but I am going to admit to you, Annie, when we were together in Evanston, I had a serious case of some of that on stage adrenaline.
Mark Graban: Really? I was a speaker for 15 minutes before we went into the panel. I don't know how well I was listening, to be honest.
Annie Krall: But see, that is the so classic of you're. Like, okay, I want to make sure I have my good question next. I want to make sure I have my right anecdote. So, I mean, Mark, you were talking for a lot longer than I was speaking at all, so don't beat yourself up about that at all. I can happy to rehash what my favorite mistake was.
Annie Krall: It'll definitely Tell Catch on TV and me not being able to press send when I'm supposed to. So that's probably the best tease I can do.
Mark Graban: Yeah. So I'm back in my more familiar surroundings here, doing the podcast thing. So, Annie, if you would, for the audience, and it's coming back to me now, what would you say is your favorite mistake?
Annie Krall: Absolutely. So I think my favorite mistake, and I remember when you were talking with me, Mark, at the Leadership Symposium for Northwestern, which I will throw in the Go Cats as quickly as possible. So go cats. That had to happen eventually when we were talking at Leadership Symposium. I'm not used to talking about my mistakes, especially coming from Northwestern, which again is an incredible university, and you have so much success surrounding you.
Annie Krall: You sort of get trained at a very young age that you achieve at a very high level. And I love Northwestern. It's been one of the best parts of my entire journey academically, professionally, and personally. But I also was sort of brought up in the Medil era of the Medil F. And I think that for those listeners who don't know and Mark is nodding, which I appreciate, the Medil F is a factual or statistical error in a piece of publication, an on air broadcast, anything sort of that you publish that is wrong.
Annie Krall: And typically it's a misspelling of someone's name, a place. Let's say you use a statistic. Northwestern, let's say, is the number nine university in the country, and you call it number twelve. First of all, you'll get very mad responses from a lot of alums, but second of all, you would get listed as a Medill F because we're nine instead of twelve. So the Medilla F kind of has that factual error happen, and then you get a zero on the entire assignment project, whatever it may be.
Annie Krall: And this is something that a lot of Medill professors started to go away from, but it's something that I was taught at a very young age, so I kind of understood that it's really important to get everything right, the spelling of someone's name. So my name is Annie Krall. K-R-A-L-L. If you miss an L, if you put an O in there that's not supposed to be there, I take that very seriously, and I think that makes you a very good journalist because you double check your work really closely. Again, there's a lot higher stakes when you're out in the real world, but as an adjunct faculty and professor, I would say I probably put that very forward in a lot of my lessons with my students.
Annie Krall: Is, hey, you can't misspell someone's name. You can't misspell a place. Wrong. You have to double check your statistics, even if it takes you the extra on Twitter. Again, X sometimes take the extra 5 seconds, 10 seconds to double check your work so that you don't have to go back and do a reedit or republish or whatever.
Annie Krall: So with that as my background on mistakes and trying not to make them, this is the time that I did make a mistake. So I was reporting in Green Bay for ABC, as you so nicely alluded to, and I was a news reporter, sports reporter. I kind of ran a lot of different worlds, which I love, and it's one of my favorite things to do. And so I was covering the girls state basketball tournament back in about 2021. If anyone's a high school basketball fan, or if anyone who has like a very highly competitive high school child in sports, I had never been to a high school basketball tournament before, especially at the state level, and I was shocked.
Annie Krall: It was like a WNBA game. It was like an NBA game. It was just packed wall to wall in Green Bay. And so I was like, this is amazing. This is so cool.
Annie Krall: I'm so impressed. Again, as you said with the LPGA, I'm a huge proponent of women in sports. I also have a twin sister who was a coach for the Boston Red Sox last year, katie Crawl, awesome graduate. She is very cool.
Mark Graban: Sorry to interrupt. I remember I have read I mean, that was very newsworthy.
Annie Krall: So sorry to interject, but no, yeah, that's my background. That's my twin sister. And so if that is kind of like the environment that I am a part of all the time, of course I'm going to step into a girls basketball tournament and be like, this is amazing. I'm having so much fun. But again, I'm on the job of on the clock.
Annie Krall: So somewhere around, I would say noon of that day, I was going to be on the 04:00 news, I was going to be on the 05:00 news, and I think I had something a little small for six and oh my goodness, I have to get back to the station. I'm shooting all this broll, I'm shooting all these interviews. I have to go back to the station, edit everything together, and then come back out and do my live shot. So lo and behold, it's about 01:00, I'm back in the station, I edit everything together, come back to the stadium, which is about 15 minutes away, do my 04:00 live shot. Goes perfectly well.
Annie Krall: Amazing. That's not the mistake. That's not what we're worried about. 05:00 rolls around. I'm changing up a little bit of my package, and I won't get too deep into the weeds of video journalism, because again, no one's in my class at this moment, so they don't have to worry about this but I'm putting together my piece for the 05:00 News.
Annie Krall: And think of it like attaching a file to an email. I had attached the video that I needed to the email to send to my producer, to my director, because what happens then is once the reporter, like myself, puts the video together, attaches the file, hit send, master Control has the means to put it on the air, hit live, hit play. So it's 05:00, maybe 445. I'm getting ready to do another live shot at 05:00. I have my producer in my ear.
Annie Krall: If anyone knows what an IFB is, that's what you see on World News Tonight with David Muir. That's kind of the earpiece in. So I hear him in my ear, and I just, you know, Producer, do you see my package? Do you see it in there? They said no, I don't see it.
Annie Krall: And I think my whole stomach just dropped because I was like, what do you mean? I thought I hit send. I thought I sent it. And I had never not gotten my package, my video in on time. It just had never happened again.
Annie Krall: I'm coming from this medieval background of, you always make your deadlines. You always hit what you have to hit. And all of a sudden, somebody doesn't have something. That is very much my job. Like, my whole job is making sure that video is there.
Annie Krall: And so my producer says, no, we don't see it. And I just said, oh, my goodness, I think I sent it. My laptop is a mile away. I don't have time to go back in the next 15 minutes to try and resend it. What do you want me to do?
Annie Krall: And I think that was so jaw dropping for me to be like, I don't know what to do in this situation. And I think, again, with you and myself coming from Northwestern, you always feel more times than not prepared to try and figure something out. Problem solve. What can I do? Let me go around and try and figure stuff out.
Annie Krall: And I didn't have any answers. I didn't have a single answer in the room. And I remember my producer kind of went quiet for a second and then popped back in my ear and said, don't worry about it. We're just going to switch up your 04:00, and we're going to put that on the 05:00. And it was such a simple, nonchalant answer, but it was earth shattering to me to be like, oh, so I messed up.
Annie Krall: I made a mistake. Apparently, I didn't hit send on that email. I should have hit send on, and you can still fix it. You can still make it work. So I think the perspective that I learned from that mistake was, It's okay.
Annie Krall: And I think that is just so surprising sometimes is just the perspective that you get from messing up once. And I think also the fact that I do now always press send, double check, triple check because I don't want to have that stomach dropping moment again of what do you mean you don't have my video? So I think that was kind of the perspective and just the becoming expert on double checking especially that last step was really important and really powerful in that moment.
Mark Graban: Wow, was it type of thing where we all have the risk of misclicking. Cursor was just off the send button a little bit and you're like yeah send, slam the laptop down. No, it's so funny not do it.
Annie Krall: It was more so just like I was not used to being so close to my deadline but I think because I was having so much fun at the basketball tournament and then it was kind of close to airtime I didn't even realize that the send button had not been hit. I wish I could say it was like oh yeah, the curse was probably off and I missed it. I just think I was moving and shaking too fast and then I just didn't take the extra 5 seconds that I now teach my students to do and make sure it hit scent but no, I wish I could totally blame it on like a technical difficulty. It literally was just like me rushing.
Mark Graban: Well, that is very much human nature especially when we're rushing we might forget a step. I always kind of think back to so what can you do about that? In a lot of industries where the stakes are really high people might literally have a paper checklist where you kind of go through and literally check the boxes or use an app on their phone just to make sure no matter how many times I've done this I make all kinds of podcasting mistakes. I'm having a checklist. Sorry to go into advice mode, you didn't ask for advice.
Annie Krall: Are you not the expert on making mistakes but also how to not make mistakes?
Mark Graban: Yeah, well, I'm just trying to think through because our intent to be more careful, well, that can be hard to do again. We get distracted, something happens. I imagine in the world of breaking news that there could be a lot of distraction or interruption that throws us off. I've found, anyway, like doing things like webinar production when there's some last minute problem or crisis or whatever, that's when the checklist boy that's where it really comes in handy. Because you don't have your head about you in the middle of that stress.
Annie Krall: Absolutely. And I think what's also interesting too, and I know we were kind of going back and forth on Leadership Symposium is just like the gravity of your mistake. So definitely a checklist when you're trying to put together a story for video or for broadcast or put together a podcast, worst case scenario you and I look at it and we're like oh, I don't love that. I could have made that better. If I had just gone back a second.
Annie Krall: But think about doctors, right? And I know you work a lot in the healthcare field of how much pressure and responsibility you have where if you do make a big mistake, someone can get really hurt. And so I think having that perspective as well as I've gotten older and again, kind of working outside of the medical field, which I very much almost did, that is another really important component of these mistakes is that you and I are just worried about our finest product and making sure our listeners and our viewers are getting the best work that we can possibly do. As opposed to with a doctor. It's okay.
Annie Krall: I'm going to make sure that you stay alive because that is my job.
Mark Graban: And there's different circumstances and maybe a different level of rigor that's needed. I think it's interesting that you said part of the perspective was paraphrasing back to you. You made a mistake. Someone helped you out. Life went on, you survived it.
Mark Graban: And I don't think that would then make you tend to be sloppy.
Annie Krall: Right.
Mark Graban: It seemed like it taught a valuable lesson where it wouldn't make you say, like, oh, well, it doesn't matter. Someone will bail me out. That didn't perspective that you got.
Annie Krall: Can you imagine, Mark, if that was my, oh, there always will be a parachute. That sounds like a horrible strategy for any kind of career, but especially for yeah, yeah. Someone else will be smarter than me. Someone else will figure it.
Mark Graban: Well, I think it's you. What you talked about on campus and what you've shared here today about Northwestern people not wanting to admit mistakes or there's that high achiever dynamic where I think part like to me, and I would agree with you, I'm wearing purple. I love my time at Northwestern. It has really made such a big impact for me. But it was one of the first times where I really don't mean to sound obnoxious, like I really faced some academic challenges at points.
Mark Graban: I never failed. I never got an F, but boy, there were some classes that really made me start questioning, did I make the right decisions academically.
Annie Krall: Funny, though, because at 18, maybe you've had some challenges in high school, whatever it was. But I think so many of us, and I probably could do a statistic that's like 85% of Northwestern students don't feel as smart as their peers. I think there's a very special and I always like to call them almost the thoroughbreds. Right? The thoroughbred student of I'm going to be the best at this, and if I'm not the best at this, I'm maybe going to pick something else.
Annie Krall: I do think, and it doesn't have to be as dramatic as, oh, I got an F, or I failed out of this class, or I had to switch my major because it was too hard. But for the first time in your life as an 18, 1920 year old student, you're not the smartest person in the room, and you're not going to be the person who's always going to get an A. I mean, I was taking organic chemistry and physics, and for whatever reason, I was good at biology, and that was the one that was good. I was getting b's. And in high school, without sounding too egotistical, I didn't really get B's.
Annie Krall: That's how you get to Northwestern is because you don't get B's. And so I think that was a really interesting kind of frame of mind, is I'm not the smartest person in the room, and that's okay. But you also have the cachet of being like, okay, I'm at Northwestern. There's probably a lot of really smart people here.
Mark Graban: I'm going to be just mean. My worst was a C minus in one of the advanced calculus classes, which made me think I should have mark.
Annie Krall: What were you doing in that?
Mark Graban: Not understanding.
Annie Krall: Being very confused.
Mark Graban: Very confused. But smart people can struggle in classes. But back to mistakes. Smart people make mistakes because, again, I don't like the phrase dumb mistake because I'm like, well, it's not about being dumb. It's about different factors.
Mark Graban: Back to human nature. If we get fatigued, we get distracted, we're under time pressure. Smart people make mistakes, but we might be mistakes.
Annie Krall: I mean, the number of mistakes outside of my professional world, the number of mistakes I would make in lab, you know what I mean, where it's like, oh, I measured the wrong thing, or I screwed this on too tightly, and it's not a dumb mistake. I remember I was in an organic chemistry lab, and I had one of my best friends who was my lab partner, and I don't think I ate that day or something, and I forgot to screw it on. I remember the professor came over and was just like, wait a second. Why is something bubbling when it shouldn't be bubbling in the microwave? And so it's just little things like that where it's like, did I sleep enough?
Annie Krall: I love that. That's such a good point, right? Did I eat enough today? Did I have a fight with I'll have students all the time who will be like, I had a really hard exam the night before. I have a really hard exam coming up.
Annie Krall: Like, I'm so sorry. I can't do this exercise, whatever it may be. There's just so many factors. I do think dumb mistake is silly because it's not that you're dumb. It's that it's this infinitesimal small thing that you can't control that's kind of throwing you off your game and not making you your best self.
Mark Graban: Yeah. So I would like to come back and talk about the medil F a little bit more, but I want to explore a little bit some of your thought processing, your decision to not pursue medical school.
Annie Krall: Let's do it.
Mark Graban: To look at journalism. Did you ever worry that that was a mistake, or did you feel confident that this different path was the right way to go?
Annie Krall: I think my favorite is when I'm sitting in a job interview with a news director, and they're like, what did you do? What do you mean that you wanted to go be a journalist? Because they just can't process the fact that I would give up medical school to go and do journalism. And I always make the very funny joke of, I had really good parents. I was very confident in what I was doing, and if my mom or dad wanted me to go to clown school, they probably would drive me and be so happy along the way.
Annie Krall: So I think I was very lucky in that regard that I didn't have familial pressures to go into medicine. I think a lot of times I had friends who were pre med, and that's the third generation of doctors in their family. I was not coming from that background. I was very lucky in that regard. I had parents who actually were in TV, which was very fun.
Annie Krall: Now that we end up here. They met on a TV set here in Chicago. And so when I made the switch, it was senior year. Let's take it back to just kind of understand the existential crises that I ended up having. Senior year of college.
Annie Krall: I'm at Northwestern. I'm applying to medical school. Luckily, I get into one. I'm very excited about that, but almost as a plan B, I had applied to Medil in the Health Environment and Science journalism program for a master's degree. God forbid I didn't get into medical school.
Annie Krall: Some mistake, obviously, on some admissions person's part. I go, I'll go get a master's. I'll reapply to medical school. Maybe I can go be Dr. Jen Ash now, Good Morning America, who still to this day is a role model of mine.
Annie Krall: But that was kind of my new dream, is let me go get an MD. And then I'll go be on TV and I'll talk about health news. In that regard, I was very, very fortunate. I got into both. I got into medical school, and I got into Medil in the master's program.
Annie Krall: I was also in Weinberg, so I was in the humanities school. I was a religious studies major and a German minor, so I didn't have a journalism background in undergrad, I was very much, obviously, shadowing physicians and taking orgo, so I wanted to have a little bit more of a well rounded background when it came to the humanities. And I remember I kind of got my acceptance from medical school, and there's definitely that immediate moment of like, oh, my God, I did it. I can't believe this is happening. And I think I was living with about six of my other best friends at the time, and we all were like, oh, my God, I can't believe this is happening.
Annie Krall: But I also got the phone call from Medil that I was accepted to the Master's program while I was leaving a medical school interview. And for whatever reason, I was more excited about that phone call than getting my acceptance letter. And I think that was really important to me to see, just, like, my reaction, how I reacted to one acceptance letter versus one phone call. And so that's why I don't think it was a mistake to not go to medical school. And I've said this, as the years have progressed and I've gone deeper and deeper into my journalism career, is that I am so much happier being a health journalist and connecting with people in the way that I'm able to connect with people this way.
Annie Krall: Because I do feel like I can do more good as a journalist with such a deep medical background or with someone who is this statistically focused, detail oriented everything that I brought to the table with medical school, I now get to do as a writer and as a storyteller and a content creator. So I think I can touch more lives doing this. And, again, teaching and being able to do that at such a young age, I was never expecting to do as a medical student. And so I've never looked back and been like, uh oh. And I would tell you, Mark, I would let you break the story of Annie Krall thinks she made a mistake choosing journalism.
Annie Krall: I've just never had that thought. And I do think getting into medical school was part of this journey. I don't think it was a mistake to take the MCAT. Maybe I would have liked some more sleeping hours that junior year. But we're here now.
Annie Krall: I don't think it was a mistake to do any of that, because it just has made me such a better journalist person and now teacher.
Mark Graban: Yeah. And I was trying to ask it as an open ended question. I wasn't judging you or faulting you for Mark.
Annie Krall: You are much nicer than most news directors who will just be like, what did your parents say?
Mark Graban: What did they say?
Annie Krall: Oh, my God. It is the best advice, and this is not my advice show at all, but it was the best advice in the world, and it was we just want you to be happy. And so that as a parent and again, I'm not a parent myself, so I can't use that quite yet, but I just think that is such a fabulous mentality of, I don't feel like I made a mistake, because I do feel like I'm happier doing this.
Mark Graban: Yeah. And we don't spend much time on this at all. But sadly, there are a lot of doctors who are unhappy absolutely. In medicine for different reasons. I've met many physicians who love telling people that they tell their kids to not go into medicine.
Annie Krall: Oh, my God, Mark. The number of pediatricians and cardiologists. The things that I was interested in going into who said, oh, God, don't go to medical school, was almost 90% of them. So that was another indication of, like, maybe this is a best option.
Mark Graban: Yeah. And it's because of, I think, all these different systemic factors. It's not because the work isn't rewarding. I think it's just the balance of just some of the BS. They have to deal with a lot.
Annie Krall: Of paperwork, I was told. And again, you're more on the front lines than I am with a lot of these companies. But it was a lot of paperwork. And they said, I want to spend the time with my patients. God forbid, let me spend 20 minutes with the patient, as opposed to ten checking them out and ten doing paperwork.
Annie Krall: So I don't think you're wrong. And I would be very curious to see, kind of over the next five to ten years, how some of that feedback and better understanding of doctor burnout and obviously healthcare mental health issues, ideally, that would start to change in the positive direction.
Mark Graban: Yeah. So I'm teasing this out to keep the listener in for more of the Medil F discussion. We'll come back to that again in a bit.
Annie Krall: But see, Mark, be careful, because then we're going to have people go into Mizzou and Syracuse, and then they're going to be like, oh, Northwestern sounds hard.
Mark Graban: But it's worth it.
Annie Krall: It's worth it, absolutely.
Mark Graban: But I did want to ask you first, Annie, of being on air, on TV, or on the radio, and this is live. What are your thoughts about dealing with the risk of making a like, I made a mistake at first when I was introducing Annie, and I pulled the plug and I said, let me go back and do that again. When you're live on the radio or TV, you can't do that. So what are your thoughts about the risk of that?
Annie Krall: No risk of going. It's interesting for TV and for radio. So, again, I'm very lucky that I've been able to walk in both worlds quite well with radio, and I've been doing that more recently with WS Radio with Chicago. If ever I trip over, let's say a word, I'm trying to think of.
Mark Graban: A good example, or we're both a little maybe allergy ish, but there's the risk of is there literally a cough button? I've heard reference to turn off your mic really quick.
Annie Krall: No, but I don't have a cough button on the radio. I absolutely should, though. So let's say there was a cough button. Let's say I'm on the radio and I mispronounce a word. Let's say it's Fullerton Market.
Annie Krall: And I forget to put the R in there and I call it Fullerton Market. What I would typically do, and it does happen every now and again, god forbid I'm reading ten newscasts a day, and I trip over a sentence. If I said Fullerton Market. And I actually ended up saying fullerton market. I typically would instead say rather.
Annie Krall: So I would almost say the sentence rather fullerton market. And it just takes one beat or one pause just to correct myself. And I like that terminology. And I noticed a lot of news directors who are far better than me, I've been doing this for far longer. Do that.
Annie Krall: And so I really liked picking that up. And it's not pulling the plug, but it's like, hey, I just made a boo boo. Give me 1 second. I know I made a boo boo. Let me make it right.
Annie Krall: So I think with radio, that works super well. Live TV, if you do make a mistake, that gets a little bit harder because they can literally see your face and your expression of, oh, my goodness, I think I just said something wrong. Wait, let me correct that. As opposed to the thought process in radio is no one can see my face of me thinking again. I was typically very lucky where I would never really flub with live TV.
Annie Krall: I was almost better live than I was recorded. And I think most people who meet me in person would understand that quite well because I am very much off the cuff and I like talking to people in a very normal, typical manner. And I think when I have to sound a certain way, that's when it gets a little bit more news Anchory, news reporter, as opposed to just like me doing the news, if that makes any sense. So I think when I would go live and maybe if I messed up more often than not, sometimes it would happen to a lot of my friends who were at the ABC station or NBC station or CBS in Green Bay. And I remember one of my friends was talking about going live as a news reporter, and she was like, God, Annie, how are you so calm and so good live?
Annie Krall: Don't you just think about how many people are on the other end of the camera looking at you? And I said to her, I was like, I could not think of a worse thought in my head of how many thousands and thousands of people are looking at the other end of the camera at me. So I think, if anything, to fight off the potential of messing off live and not doing well when the one word rather is not enough to power you through, don't think about the gravity of what it is that you're doing, because I always like to think. And this is like a very old tip from my mom, who was on air talent and did do a lot of television work when she was my age. She always liked to say, think of like a little person on the top of the camera and just tell them what's going on.
Annie Krall: Tell them what the news is. And that way it's like someone who you love or you care about. So let's say it's your best friend or your sister or a parent. Just tell them the news. And that's one of the things that I've always really loved about it.
Annie Krall: Right. It's like this little person that I'm telling what's going on, and it's not the thousands and thousands of people who have their TV turned on to channel Two at the time that is going to make you feel like you're going to make every mistake in the book.
Mark Graban: Yeah, and if it's reassuring, though, professionals, I mean, I listen to a lot of NPR and they stumble over a word or make a flub up and like, well, okay. They're very decades of experienced professionals. I think it's being human helps me, at least for my little podcast here, where the stakes are lower and it's not live so well. Okay. Yeah.
Mark Graban: Even the pros make mistakes. That's okay.
Annie Krall: You have to you just also do it too. I did if I did one video for one week and I had a whole week to make it absolutely perfect, there would be no mistakes, Mark. But I'm going on the air sometimes three times a day when it's TV and I'm doing that five days a week. Okay. There's going to be something that doesn't hit exactly perfectly, and it's just maybe.
Mark Graban: There'S more of a fear of, like hopefully it's something that goes viral.
Annie Krall: Oh, my goodness. And that's what's so funny about my job in particular, is that there's just so much news bloopers that I also we talked about schadenfreude my German miners maybe coming out or schadenfreude, however you pronounce it, where it's like someone else's messes up and then you're like, haha, that was kind of funny or entertaining for me. There was this one reporter, I remember I was just watching her. She was doing an interview with me or whatever it was, and she bit into a piece of corn live. And so she's at a festival, it's like a state fair, whatever it may be, and she just, for whatever reason, halfway bit into it and didn't completely do it.
Annie Krall: So she's just like, kind of for 30 seconds just got this corn on the cob. And the news anchors don't really know what to do with her and what she's doing. So definitely in an industry where it's just like, it's live television stuff's happening, I always find stuff like that so entertaining or like someone walks behind you in the studio when you're trying to do the forecast and you're like, can you not be here right now? So I think there is a little bit of entertainment value in someone making a mistake. As long as you just don't make it the biggest deal in the world, as long as you're not just swearing on air because, oh my gosh, I can't believe you just walked behind me, or I can't believe you did that.
Annie Krall: The more that you can be your spot on Mark, like a human being about it. Of like, haha, that's so funny. I can't believe that happened because no one's swearing at home, right? No one's like, I can't believe they just walked behind you like that. I can't believe you didn't just bite into the corn.
Annie Krall: They're laughing at home. Or they're like making a little chuckle and it might make their morning a little bit.
Mark Graban: Yeah. Yeah. One final question. When it comes to doing radio in Chicago, watched a video. I was going to say if you had the blooper reel, but there was a video of you talking about the day in the life of a news anchor and you're doing the traffic.
Mark Graban: And somebody who has lived in Chicago and has heard the traffic on WLS or other stations, why do the traffic reports insist on using the freeway names, the Dan Ryan, instead of just using the numbers? It seems like inefficient and unwelcoming to somebody who's new to town.
Annie Krall: That's my thing, is that I grew up so I'm literally from a northwest suburb, Chicago, so I always grew up with the Dan Ryan or the Burn. It's so funny you say that, because my twin sister will listen to me and I'll pick up the phone after I've come off of a radio shift and she'll be like, how's the Burn looking? Even though she doesn't care, she's not driving that day. And she just finds it entertaining that I'm using all these names. I don't know why, but I remember when I was first starting to do the traffic and I think maybe I would say, like, the Burn interchange or something.
Annie Krall: And then my news director came up to me and he was like, Annie, just say the like it is just what is done? So I have no rationale or answers. I am just sort of like the mouthpiece of how it has been for how many decades? But then it's funny. I have friends who are in Los Angeles and they're like, oh yeah, the 405, or whatever it ends up being.
Annie Krall: And so they're all numbers. And I'm like, I am not familiar.
Mark Graban: With this, but it's always SNL did the recurring sketch, the Californians where the time it's always the 101. You could almost do the Chicagoans.
Annie Krall: Oh, my God. Mark, that is like Bill Hader and Kristen wiggs. Like, absolute prime. And then aren't they the ones where they take the chewing gum out of their mouth and then they're still chewing gum? The Bill hader.
Annie Krall: Kristen wig combo is just too darn good.
Mark Graban: And I'm thinking back then, I'm dating myself here, but back to the superfans, you take that accent and that vibe directions that's the Chicagoans the best way to get to Soldier Field.
Annie Krall: Oh, my gosh. Which, again, depending on the day. And now we're getting really into the weeds. But the Kennedy has got a ton of construction. There's only two lanes of traffic.
Annie Krall: So the Kennedy is a nightmare. I mean, how much time do you have, Mark?
Mark Graban: That's it for the weather and you'll be back in 15 north traffic. Latest here on my favorite mistake, the Medill F. We had some debate. We had another panelist who was a Medilla graduate, and we talked about that a little bit. They're on campus.
Mark Graban: I talked about it with J. A. Adande, who was my guest in episode 138. He's teaching at Medill. He was on ESPN.
Mark Graban: Wrote for the La Times. And I'd encourage people go back and find that episode. I'm going to pick on myself, though, for a minute. So the other panelist, Kathy, and I think she's going to come on the podcast here and maybe I'll bring it up with her in her episode. As I introduced you all and brought you up on, I said her last name wrong, right?
Mark Graban: Which is something I take. I have a checklist almost with the podcast of Ask the Guest, confirm how to say their names, and I did not do that. And then when she had the chance to introduce herself, she corrected me. So do I get a Medilla F for that whole performance?
Annie Krall: You know what's so funny is that's sort of the difference between TV broadcast and radio versus print, right? Because you wouldn't have misspelled her name wrong. It's spelled correctly. I don't know if as a video journalism professor, it gets tough. I don't like giving medill f's anyway.
Annie Krall: I've never given one. I've been very lucky in that regard because I think my students know I like, share my horror story and they're like, you're right, we're not going to do that. Would you have gotten a Medil F for mispronouncing someone's name on air? Maybe, mark kind of.
Mark Graban: I'm not saying it wasn't devastated. I'm just wondering what the rules would have been. I would have not a professional.
Annie Krall: Because that's the thing, right? If someone pops on the air and they're like, instead of saying President Joe Biden, they say, President Joe Biden. I would probably be like, hey, that's not my favorite thing I've ever seen.
Mark Graban: That seems like kind of a knowledge gap.
Annie Krall: You never know, Mark. Sometimes kids are really tired and then something just pops out and you're like, that was not your finest.
Mark Graban: So I'm curious then to hear more. What I hear you saying is that as a professor giving a Medill F or whether you do it as a matter of policy or not, that is a choice, not a requirement. It's not mandated by the dean that thou shalt. It's more of no tradition.
Annie Krall: It's so interesting. So I was kind of educated about this. I would say tradition. So I got my Master's from Medil in 2020. Again, a very weird year to get a Master's, but so I got it in 2020.
Annie Krall: So again, not super long ago, relatively recently, which is why I don't feel like I'm giving out of date information. I'm just lived experience. And so as I've been teaching sort of in 2022 and in 2023, I remember I was starting with a video journalism class and a professor who actually was one of my professors when I was here, she was sort of the person, let's say, team captain of the video journalism lab instructors. And I think I was just sharing a story know? Make sure you always double check your stats.
Annie Krall: Medill f. And it was to, like, a big room of students, and we keep going. And then afterwards, she kind of pulls me aside, and she was like, hey, annie, I just kind of don't really use the medil f. I don't like that terminology. I don't want students to feel that anxious about making a mistake.
Annie Krall: And so she doesn't really use it. And, ergo, she probably doesn't encourage any other video journalism professors to use it. So I think for whatever reason, and I personally have never given one, even though I am very strict about make sure your names and your stats and your places are all correct, I've never had the reason to, which is also nice. I don't know if it's as mandated as before. And again, I don't know if it was mandated because I wasn't teaching back in 2020 or 2019 when it was like, hey, if it's a thing, it might be almost a cultural sort of understanding or participation.
Annie Krall: You would probably have to do more of a survey of what professors do, give it versus do not. I would probably land in the do not. The video journalism team captain would land in the do not. But I would never want to say, like, oh no, no one gives them a dill F anymore because people have been teaching there for quite a while. So I am not the expert on what the exact bylaws of that Medil F would be.
Mark Graban: I think about two years ago, when I interviewed J. A adande. He was in the I give Medil f's camp. I don't think he took any great joy in it. In fact, when he was teaching at USC, if I remember right, he tried bringing that into USC where it was not a cultural norm.
Mark Graban: It did not go well.
Annie Krall: Ja was one of my professors. I mean, he's fabulous. His resume just absolutely speaks for itself, and that doesn't surprise me. He also works in the sports world in the same way that I do, where you don't get stats wrong, you don't mispronounce someone's names because that is your bread and butter with sports. Again, obviously there is that storytelling component, but if someone's third in the league versus fourth in the league, that makes a difference.
Annie Krall: And he also has a very high caliber of students and he wants to make sure that they're going out into the world. Case in point, with that understanding of the gravity of what you do as a journalist matters and you have to make sure that you're pretty much on top of your game the whole time.
Mark Graban: Yeah. And then culturally, when you think of especially when a student becomes a professor and this kind of gets passed along and it's a mistake to bring up this word in the context of recent history with Northwestern University, where I would have been more scared to do this on campus at an alumni event. Is the Medell F kind of like a form of hazing that gets kind of passed along? Like, well, it toughened me up and I suffered from it, so I'm going to pass.
Annie Krall: It mean, I think what's interesting and again, I'm the correct definition of hazing, I would have preferred to have looked up and then be able to quote back to you on what that exactly is. But in terms of an allegory or a metaphor for kind of what's happening with medil, I definitely do think there's a gravity of like, this is the tradition that's handed down. It's interesting to hear Ja wanted to bring it to USC and it was not well received because I don't think USC disagrees with the concept of make sure your names are always right, make sure your stats are always right. That's not something that they're going to push back on. But I do think something that's very unique to medil is just like the all or nothing of it, the fact that you're going to get a zero on the assignment.
Annie Krall: And I think I made a passing joke of like, I don't care if it's Pulitzer Prize winning worthy. If you have the mistype, does that count as a Medil F? So I don't know if I would immediately go to the word hazing, but I do think I understand kind of the gravity of you have a lot of journalists who've come through medilla and who have gone through that experience. I was very lucky when I was a student. I never got a Medulla F, but would have friends who got two.
Annie Krall: I would have friends who would get one, and it would just ruin their whole week. Or they would just be so upset at themselves, they're like, oh, I should have known better. This was such a good piece. So I don't know if it's something that will continue. That's going to be something interesting to see.
Annie Krall: Again. Maybe we do have to do a survey of professors of who still uses the medellf and who still does not. But it would definitely take a very long time for the medil F mantra or ism to go away. Just because it has been branded so deeply into so many of the alums and maybe even just a handful of students at this point.
Mark Graban: So I wonder what department or what degree I would have to pursue to try to make that, let's say a PhD thesis and studying the anthropology easy.
Annie Krall: Am I wrong? Like the anthropology?
Mark Graban: No, I was asking the question because, I don't know, I'm an engineer. I don't know what social?
Annie Krall: Oh, my goodness, no. I think anthropology would be all over that. But it also draws me back to how is there a Stanford class about Taylor Swift and all of her songs, like the anthropology department? So I feel like anthropology is just this catch all for, like, I have a question and I'm going to do a PhD on it. And everyone's like, Please do.
Annie Krall: We're curious too. So I always have in the back of my head of, like, I wish I took more anthropology classes, because those sound really interesting.
Mark Graban: Observing human behavior. Yes, is what that? Or maybe it's economics. Because part of me wonders, when you look at outcomes, do Northwestern Medil graduates out in the workforce make fewer mistakes? They make a mistake in trying to say the sentence out loud.
Mark Graban: Do they make fewer mistakes than Missouri and Syracuse graduates of top notch journalism programs? Do they make fewer mistakes? Does the lesson really sink in? Or do you just feel like, oof, I got the gut punch of that time. I remember getting an F.
Mark Graban: I mean.
Annie Krall: You literally have just queued up someone's PhD project. I feel like that is just an amazing sort of like, next generation journalism question, because you do have incredible schools like Mizzou and like, Syracuse and obviously like Medill. And so where do the differences lie? Where are they going in the certain I always find it so funny because obviously I work with a lot of meteorologists, and Medille just does not touch weather with a ten foot pole. But you go to Syracuse and they have an incredible meteorology department, and so I always am like, why are we all different, and how are we also all similar?
Annie Krall: So I think that would be if any listener is interested in getting a PhD, that would be a fabulous project that I would absolutely read the dissertation on.
Mark Graban: Yeah, someone can steal my idea, but maybe I should start talking to somebody.
Annie Krall: About I'm and broadcast that. That sounds like a great idea.
Mark Graban: Yeah. But I'm surprised since Northwestern also has strong programs in the sciences and engineering, that you think meteorology and news would have a home together there in some integrated program.
Annie Krall: I don't know what it is, but we just don't do meteorology.
Mark Graban: Yeah. I mean, in the McCormick School of Engineering, of which I'm a graduate, it was not all or nothing. In some complicated physics problem, if I made one little flub up, I would get points off.
Annie Krall: Right.
Mark Graban: It wasn't an all or nothing dynamic. So that's why there is no McCormick.
Annie Krall: F. I think there's also but you can show your work. And I always love that about science classes, and physics was always my favorite class in terms of science because I loved showing my work. Right. And also just like, thinking through something so detailed in such a detailed way where it's like, okay, then I arrived here, and then I'm going to go this way.
Annie Krall: And with journalism, and this is just like a longer conversation about journalism in general. You don't get that intent, or this is what I meant, or this is what I was going for, because it's so, like, cut and dry. This is what you said, this is what you printed. Whereas in an odd way, sometimes science just seems so black and white. You can have more of that gray play because you have shown your work and you have shown that thought process, as opposed to journalism sometimes doesn't like that gray.
Annie Krall: We like the black and white. So I think that's a deeper conversation about writing and storytelling versus the mathematics and the science behind a lot of different degrees and career paths.
Mark Graban: Well, maybe at least there's an opportunity to interview a few other medill professors or students, or we'll do a panel discussion just on that. Maybe next year at homecoming, come to the medil school and help moderate that.
Annie Krall: Yes, I would think that'd be a blast and a half. And I think what's so cool about medilla in general is just like, there is that desire to have conversations like these. Right. I would not be surprised if, like, sat and grabbed coffee with someone who's in admissions or administration be like, where are we at with the F? Like, what are we doing with that?
Annie Krall: And there would generally be a really good, worthwhile conversation about that. And I think it does go back to the smart, thoughtful kid that you accept into Northwestern, especially into the number one journalism school in the country. You don't take slackers. You don't take people who are like, I don't know. It just is what it is.
Annie Krall: That doesn't fly at Northwestern, especially in journalism.
Mark Graban: Yes. That natural drive to get it right, that doesn't get squashed or reinforced. I think it probably just is.
Annie Krall: I always love to and I don't know if this was your case when you were there, Mark, but like and is in our DNA. That was so the tagline when I was applying and when I was at school. And you had Justin Jackson, who, again, for anyone who doesn't know, but Justin Jackson was like a huge running back for us at Northwestern, and he was, like, a French major, and he loved French. And I always find that as my example of so entertaining. Or you would have a theater kid who ended up being the captain of club tennis.
Annie Krall: That stuff I just love about Northwestern, because it doesn't have to be like the I am this, I am that. It's very High School Musical troy Bolton like, I want to be an athlete, and in like, Northwestern is very much that energy.
Mark Graban: Yeah, that motto was after my time, but I could think back to friends of mine, a friend who was an engineering student, and he was playing alto saxophone in the top jazz ensemble, which was unheard of because he was an engineer, not a music major.
Annie Krall: You're like, god forbid your brain can do more than one thing. I think that goes back to and I love your question about was it mistake to go to medical school or to do journalism? Was it mistake to go into saxophone and to start playing the saxophone more? Is that taking away from your engineering? And it's like your friend probably he's like, I need a break.
Annie Krall: Let me go do something else for a second.
Mark Graban: And he's actually worked quite a bit professionally as a musician.
Annie Krall: That makes me so happy. I love.
Mark Graban: I guess our guest today has been Annie Crawl. Really enjoyed the conversation. Thank you for coming and having a broader discussion. I got you talking more than you were able to on the panel, so thank you. Thank you for doing the episode.
Annie Krall: No, and I think what's really cool is that there's such a unique concept where I've never been asked what my favorite mistake is. So you have at least found that unicorn in a nutshell with how we can all learn from it. So you definitely have a very sort of incredible and unique setup with this kind of question and thought process and conversation, obviously.
Mark Graban: All right, well, thank you. It's very kind of you, Annie. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here. And we're going to end the conversation back in that very northwesterny way, I guess, right?
Mark Graban: Go cats.
Annie Krall: Go Cats.