Two questions for the peanut gallery …

… Would love any/all thoughts:

1. I teach an intro to journalism class at Manhattanville College. One of my students is a wonderful young woman who desperately wants to get into photo-journalism. She showed me her portfolio the other day, and it’s great. Beyond great. That said, she lacks experience/any sort of resume material related to the field.

With a new book coming out in September, I was going to have my nephew take my picture for the back of the book jacket. He’s only 10, but a wicked-cool kid, and it would have been fun for him. Then, after my class ended, I thought about this woman, and how much it’d mean to her to be able to slap it on the resume. So I asked if she’d like to, and she was extremely happy.

Got home, told my wife, she thought it might cross a teacher-student line—using the services of a student. I disagreed strongly, because I’m doing it to help her. Period.

Who’s right?

2. My friend Laura recently took a vacation. She’s a big reality TV fan, and as she and her husband were eating dinner, they were shocked/excited to find their waiter was a cast member from a Real World season from eight or nine years ago.

Question: Do you ask him about having been on the Real World—or would it embarrass the guy?

Personally, I wouldn’t ask. Not that anything’s wrong with waiting tables, but who knows how he would feel about being recognized doing the work.