It is the summer before freshman year and I have a long list of electives staring right at me. I move the mouse to click on “Art I” before my mom comes running in and says, you should try journalism, I think you would be really good at writing for a paper! That was the beginning of the end.
I walk into my first day of journalism at Campolindo High School and the first words out adviser utters are: Think of this class as a job. You do your work and you will be alright, you don’t do your work and you will be fired. That introduction set the stage for a very enlightening and beyond frightening year.
Well, my expectations for that class were definitely met, if not exceeded as Campolindo approaches journalism very differently than Northgate. In short, at least three kids cried that year and one was kicked out for not writing well enough. Yet even after spending an hour a day shaking in my seat and vigorously writing article after article, I wasn’t ready to leave journalism just yet. I think I secretly felt a sense of pride for being part of such a select group of students, reporting on everything that happened on campus. Maybe I was just a naïve little freshman, but the second I decided to transfer school, I wanted to take journalism again.
My second year in journalism was a stark contrast to my first, as I went from spending a class period feeling as though a Dementor named Chuck Woolridge was slowly sucking the soul from my body to working with—quite literally—Professor Trelawney. Do I miss Dementor Woolridge? Maybe a little bit, as I like to think that he favored me out of some other students, but my real home resides in Room 65.
In retrospect, I’m glad I took that journalism course freshman year, because it did nothing if not strengthen my writing skills and toughen up my skin. After having my articles torn apart for nine months, I can now write an extremely cohesive article in less than 10 minutes (not that I ever actually did that…). In actuality, I never expected to become Editor-in-Chief while at Campolindo, because I was too timid and shy and unsure of myself, but I guess that with a new school came a new confidence.
I’m not saying that I go around nagging every writer to turn out new articles every single day, and I hardly ever bother anyone without a thank you or an apology (or at least I hope not), but I feel as though I have gained true journalistic integrity and grit and may even be able to consider myself a strong leader.
Writing for a high school paper has not been the easiest, but I am truly sad to see that my time is up here. This final paper signified not only the end of my time here at the Sentinel, but the end of my high school career altogether. I am both terrified and excited for what will come in my future, as I am sure that life will become much harder when my biggest worry isn’t getting an article to fit across three columns instead of two, but I feel ready. Pennsylvania is a long ways
away from home, but I think I will find a new home and that home will most likely be in the journalism classroom once again.
And a quick word to my fellow editors, and to the Editors-in-Chief that will follow behind me: I know it is extraordinarily annoying that about five teachers
and three students actually read
the paper, actually appreciate all of the hard work and dedication
you put into each page (believe me, even my friends don’t bother to read each issue); but you should always be proud of the effort you put into this paper
because it is something that you
love and, believe it or not, that you are good at. So keeping making great papers and continue to represent Northgate well, even if you are only representing it to roughly eight people.