Saturday, May 24, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Sitting out on the screen porch, enjoying a mellow Saturday afternoon, solo bueno. Hubby is at Ye Olde Golf Course; Ella Numera Dos is working at the pool. Opening Day, natch.

Your Humble Scribe sponsors a Journalism Honor Society at OHHS, which in turn sponsors scholarships every year. The Cherubs must fill out a form and write an essay "explaining your involvement in the journalism program and explaining how you intend to use journalism-related skills in your future." A committee appointed by our counselors reads the entries, selects winners, then hands the winning essays over to us.

We were touched by all of the essays we read today, but the following hit that special chord. Sometimes, we just have a kid who gets it. Kelly, one of 6 Editors-in-Chief on two newspaper staffs (yup--we need two staffs to come out every 2 weeks), is a kid just like that. This essay brought Your Humble Scribe to tears. Edited, of course, To Protect The Innocent.

I remember the moment I realized my experiences on the newspaper staff would have a lasting impact on my life. The principal's words announcing the murder of graduate Leslie Sherman at Virginia Tech reverberated throughout the school. While listening to his calming voice, I immediately began thinking about the newspaper. As News Editor, I was in charge of the demanding front page. I nervously wondered, "How will we write the stories, acquire the pictures and re-do Page One in time for deadline?" This issue was going to be one of the most widely read and most meaningful of all time as the community wrestled with this senseless act of violence. I poured my heart and soul into that issue, perfecting every last detail.

Leslie's roommates at Virginia Tech made their way back home and into our classroom, bringing with them not only dozens of photographs but also emotional memories. Kristin and I sat solemnly and listened to their stories of Leslie. We selected four pictures that would run in the newspaper and thanked them, in words that could not adequately express our feelings, for helping us to celebrate Leslie's life.

I became an adult the week of April 16. I learned how to work with pressure and overpowering emotions. I learned the importance of a job well done. Most of all, I learned the value of teamwork. It would have been impossible to produce the newspaper without the cooperation of every staff member.

Although the Virginia Tech massacre brought out the best of my talents, times of tragedy were not the only occasions when my journalism expertise came in handy. If I were ever in a managerial position, the skills I've acquired as a member of the newspaper staff would prove beneficial. Today, I attribute my successes primarily to my work on the [insert name of newspaper here].

As Editor-in-Chief this year, I gained valuable knowledge on how to lead others. There were times when I had to act as an enforcer, but others when my position required me to be more empathetic. Not only did the newspaper improve my writing skills, but it also gave me great editing capabilities. Both of these traits will help me in the future as I write research papers in college and apply for a job.

When I first arrived at OHHS, I was shy. Interviewing faculty and peers, who were often intimidating, made me step out of my comfort zone. The dozens of stories I have written over the years forced me to conquer my fears. I intend to pursue a business major, and now have the confidence to raise my hand in a lecture hall of 200, or firmly shake the hand of a prospective employer. I can safely say that the [insert name of newspaper here] has been the most important part of my high school education.

We often wonder if we're doing a good job at all this Education Janx. Kelly's essay tells us that we are. It's not until we see ourselves reflected in the thoughts and fears of Our Cherubs that Your Humble Scribe thinks that maybe we're on the right track. All six Journalista Jefes are pictured above. Thanks, gals!

4 comments:

cupcake said...

Wow.

What a wonderful essay, and what tremendous pride and humility you must feel reading it. Congratulations to her and to you!

I also like that you have an Honor Society and scholarship. A terrific idea!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I shall be calling on you repeatedly as I tackle Yearbook.

teachergirl said...

See, Cupcake and I just follow each other around the blogsphere. I am thrilled you stopped by my little blog, too.

I'm going to be responsible for all the writing and Language Arts in my little 5th grade next year, so I'll be here quite a bit myself. Maybe we should start a newspaper. Because all my experience should could for something.

Melissa B. said...

Cupcake & teachergirl: I think we need to get on the Yearbook & Newspaper Bandwagon ASAP! Let me know when/where I can help. Also look forward to many mucho spirited political debates! :)

Sean Hogan said...

Those were my feelings exactly. Our coverage of the shootings at Virginia Tech was by far my proudest moment in all of high school, not just when I was a member of the staff. I'm glad Kelly felt the same way as I did.

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