Crist debuts weekly chat
A mostly shy class of high school students takes part in the governor's first "Tallahassee Tuesday."
By STEVE BOUSQUET
Published January 10, 2007
TALLAHASSEE - After one week on the job, Gov. Charlie Crist kept a campaign promise Tuesday - to the delight of two dozen high school students.
Crist said he would hold a series of open houses to bring government closer to people. "Tallahassee Tuesdays," he calls them.
The first such event was held at the Governor's Mansion, with about two dozen seniors from an American government class at Tallahassee's Lincoln High School.
Most of the students had never set foot in the mansion before, and they sat in silence for a full half hour, surrounded by TV cameras and microphones.
Crist said he's still getting used to the bigness of the mansion. "It's just me. I'm a single guy, and it's a little creepy at night," Crist said of his spacious new surroundings. "It's just me, knocking around in this place."
The students sat on couches and chairs, facing Crist in the mansion's sun-drenched Florida room.
Crist spoke of the influence of his parents and of how he got to be governor, despite being a C student in fourth grade and never being "stellar" in the classroom. "Math and I didn't get along very well," Crist said.
Senior Jennifer Brill asked Crist if he supported a new law requiring high school students to declare majors.
Yes, Crist said.
"Study as hard as you can, within reason," he advised.
Heather Smith asked Crist how he dealt in the campaign with "rumors that circulate about you."
"People like to talk," Crist said. "I pretty much ignore it. It's harder for my parents, and I feel for them."
Among the advice he gave his teenage guests: "Be good. Be kind to people, because the kindness will come back."
He encouraged the students to choose a career that is fun. "Do something you like," he said. "Then it's not work at all."
Steve Bousquet can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850 224-7263.
[Last modified January 10, 2007, 00:52:42]
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