Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Knight Times

So, as was mentioned in the post below (psst, if you haven't read that post yet, hurry up and read it because it will make much more sense if you do) I am now an actual member of a newspaper. 

The story of my journalism class is a fun one, but it is filled with tales of trial and heartbreak.  It all began in June of 2013 when I met with my councelor for the first time to choose my classes (theres a post about that too :) I chose my first elective without a doubt: foods class. It seemed to be a simple enough decision to make. 

That was, however, until I became smitten with another class: journalism. My councelor warned me that choosing a full year course my freshman year was going to be tough, but I didn't care. Journalism was my dream and a silly councilor was not going to get between my dream and I. 

Flash forwards to August 2013 and I'm waiting on the curb outside my house to pick me up and whisk me to my first day at the mysterious Grayslake North. The beginning of the day went pretty smoothly, I found my classes quickly and I didn't trip down the stairs so I considered it a success. That was, until 6th period. I first realized the largest dilemma when I entered the classroom. I turned around and began to walk out, immediately thinking that I was in the wrong room when the teacher, as short woman in her late 40s called out to me. 

"Ashley Ray-an?" she asked. I cringed at her pronunciation but I nodded. 

She patted the desk in front of her and I slipped off my backpack, taking a seat. I felt the eyes of the other students burning into the back of my shirt. 

None of them were freshmen. Not a single one. 

The 'big kids' all seemed to know the teacher and joked around with her while I shrunk further into my seat.

I made a couple of friends the first day. Mikey, a scary looking senior who was actually a big softie and Megan a short junior. We were paired up for almost everything until I realized that they weren't even a part of my class. They were only there for yearbook and would be leaving to join their class shortly. 

After Mikey and Megan left, I happened to see a girl in the back who I hadn't seen before. She sat near the wall and looked so familiar, yet I couldn't remember where I knew her from. The next day I figured it out. She was my locker neighbor. And with that, Yvette Rivera and I, the only two freshman in the whole Knight Times staff became friends. 

Yvette and I were each others lifelines in that class while we learned the basics. She was the only person I talked to in that class for the first two weeks of class. 

On September 16th, we began the big work. We were each assigned an article and began work. I was given the article about the poms (aka dance) team, a 200 word article for the last page of the newspaper that was all I thought about for the whole month of September. I got my interviews and began my story a week ahead of schedule. 

Most of you have already heard of the infamous writer's block. The first time it hits you is the worst, trust me. And of course I received my first jolt of writer's block while working on my poms article. For a full week all I did was spin in my chair and try to pull a lead for this story out of my brain. But it wouldn't work. Finally, with the help of my wonderful teacher Mrs. Smith, I broke through writers block and began the story. Within the hour I was finished with it.

The next step was editing. I was so afraid to approach my editor I had Mrs. Smith give it to him for me. Dalton brought it back to me and told me the words that made me so happy, words that I will not forget for the rest of my life: 'looks good. You write pretty good for a freshman.'

I was ecstatic. I made my edits and send it in the to page. And as promised I received the paper two days later. My name was in print. I wouldn't even breath while I read it. 

Today I have graduated from one article to five. I have written 4 sports article, 1 featured article, two captions and created my own page on the school website. Journalism is my favorite class and all my editors and classmates, Steven, Dalton, Hannah, Sean, Becca and Lauren are fantastic. Yvette and I are still extremely close and I am so glad to have a newspaper family like them. 

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