No, this isn’t a crime blog nor is it a suspense-thriller. Rather, it’s headlined for the simple question I asked myself the other day when I learned of the nearly unbelievable (literally) accomplishment of the young woman who has been sitting in our COJO 111: Communication and Citizenship course all semester (co-taught with my two fabulous colleagues: Dr. Wendy Wyatt and Dr. Dina Gavrilos).

The student we’ve known all semester as the diligent, kind, on-time, thoughtful, smiling, attentive coed in the third row stage right on the aisle got some incredible news the other day. We learned of her rather unbelievable (literally!) accomplishment when she asked if it was okay if she was a few minutes late for class because … well … she wanted to watch TV. We said “Absolutely! Come late! No problem, whatsoever. You go, girl!” Her excuse was one of the best I’ve encountered in more than 16 years of teaching.

Last Thursday morning that sophomore – Christine Ertl – found out that a book she and her mother published by their start-up publishing company (Titletown Publishing of Green Bay, Wis.) would be featured on the “Today” show. Check out Matt Lauer’s interview with the authors of that book, Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean.

It is a fascinating story of a Green Bay area woman who survived a mass murderer on a boat that sank in the Atlantic and today – nearly 50 years later – has written the book about the ordeal. Christine and her mom learned that the woman and a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay professor were going to write the book and made a successful pitch to be the publishers.

By the time you read this blog, Alone and its authors also will have been featured on “The View” and “Inside Edition” as well. Holy cow! That’s huge. Who knew we had a publisher sitting in our midst in humble little COJO 111? And featured in the national and international media?

That’s one really good excuse for being late for class, I’d say.