Tuesday, I along with some fellow Harbinger staffers, went on a downtown adventure to attend the school board’s bi-annual Student Social Media Journalism Forum. The panelists included The Harbinger‘s very own Neyda Borges as well as esteemed broadcast journalists Ari Odzer and Patricia Hurtado de Mendoza, student journalist Marcus Frias, and communications expert Matthew Beatty. The superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, also dropped by to share some inspiring words in defense of journalism and the work that young journalists like us do. The panelists used their own experiences to give insightful answers to questions we all may have had, and since the forum is about social media, we took to social media to share them. Here are the tweets of my favorite pearls of wisdom from that day:
These inspiring words on the role of journalism made me appreciate the field more and strive to be better in every aspect of it.
As student journalists it can sometimes feel like doors are closed because of how young we are, but Marcus advised us not to give up. Having faced age discrimination before he knew how hard it could be, but he also knew how rewarding it was when you worked hard and were finally seen as a capable journalist despite your youth.
Today was Take Your Child to Work Day, and while I have abstained from participating for several years now, I was talking to my mom and was reminded of how much I loved days like Take Your Child to Work Day when I was younger. I used to go to my mom’s office and file and shred and staple and highlight, and even though they were small tasks, they gave me a sense of importance. It was fun to experience a little bit of what my mom handled on a daily basis, even if I wasn’t always working alongside her or fulfilling any of her actual duties.
Another of my favorite days— tied with Take Your Child to Work Day and second to Hibernation Day, the day we’d come to school in pajamas, have a party, and take a nap—was Career Day. While we were exposed to many interesting careers on Career Day (like martial arts training, limo driving, and being an officer of the K-9 unit) my alltime favorite was pest control. My classmate’s father specialized in bird and bee removal and his presentation got the undevided attention of the entire crowd of usually restless children every year. If you’re wondering how that’s possible, it’s because it’s incredibly easy to capture a child’s attention when you drive a firetruck decorated with a honeycomb pattern and you give them sticks of honey.
Throughout my years of elementary school I looked forward to Career Day, however, when I was in about second grade I stopped going to Take Your Child to Work Day. My mom has been working in the same office for about as long as I’ve been alive and I’d already seen all there was to be seen; if I ever did want to visit her at work again, there would always be another opportunity. I decided to go to school second grade year and I’ve done the same every year since because there is something so wonderfully strange about going to school on Take Your Child to Work Day. Going to school on Take Your Child to Work Day is like going to school on a weekend or really early in the morning for a field trip— the hallways are practically deserted and it seems like by being one of the few people there you’ve become part of a big secret. It’s a silly feeling, but ask any kid and they’ll tell you the same thing. The best part about being in on the secret is that your teachers treat you differently. There is no lesson or classwork or homework— there are only a handful of students to a class anyway so it’s not like there’s any point in giving assignments— instead, you get to play board games, watch movies, or even roam freely. And to students who’ve grown tired of doing the same thing every day, the change in classroom activities is welcomed as a godsend.
Because I am returning to school tomorrow and have yet to make a post celebrating the holiday season, I thought it fitting to share my photo essay of my experience at Santa’s Enchanted Forest. It had been years since I’d last gone so I savored every minute of it. I didn’t go on many rides or eat until I had that familiar fair-food sickness, but I had an amazing time and it was the perfect way to bring in the holidays.
The entrance to the park glowed as a lit up Santa greeted us merrily.
This stand is one of the first that you see when you enter the park and it’s tradition that we get an order of doughnuts. In line with all the changes of this year, we skipped out on the treats.
This was the first (and pretty much only) ride that we went on. There was music (that I didn’t know but everyone else seemed to enjoy) blasting and we loved it so much we took another spin.
We stopped for food at a sausage stand and my sister took a huge chunk out of her sandwich.
She managed not to get any mayo or mustard on her face, but she gave her sandwich a fresh coat of lipstick.
My god-sister pointed out the giant ferris wheel and suggested we go on it. I’m slightly terrified of them but was saved from getting on by the fact that it was closed.
As we approached the mechanical bull we were suddenly reunited with an old friend. We were a little surprised but not altogether shocked when he signed a waiver to take his turn.
He had a rocky start but managed to keep on for another speed setting or two . . .
and then he tumbled.
It started to rain so I took shelter under the awning of a burger stand.
We missed the show but were able to catch one of the sea lions stealing a kiss from his instructor.
This lamp from a custom lighting stand caught my attention as we were leaving the park.
As I left the park this giant Christmas tree gave a show, changing colors and patterns, and left me with a feeling of joy and increased excitement for Christmas to come.
As excited as I was for Halloween, I forgot to make a post about it. I suppose I wasn’t really feeling the spirit. It’s a bit difficult to immerse yourself in all of the Halloween activities when it’s a Monday and there’s school the next day. I did enjoy myself, however, because I spent the evening with close friends chatting, playing board games, rocking out on X-Box, and gorging on pizza and lots and lots of candy.
This Wednesday, Stephanie Bertini, a broadcast journalist currently employed at NBC 6 News, walked into the journalism classroom at Miami Lakes Educational Center prepared with an audiovisual resume and powerpoint, ready to impart her knowledge on the future generation of journalists.
Bertini began with a video that compiled her 10 year broadcast career to show her transition in journalism, beginning with local stories in Canada and progressing to more cutting edge stories in the larger and more competitive Miami market. To show how she made her way to where she is now, she also showed her powerpoint presentation entitled “Dream and Reach: My Journey in Television News.”
She stressed the fact that broadcast journalism is about helping others and not oneself. It’s about going out and telling people’s stories, informing the public, and reporting the facts: “If you have selfish goals, this is not a business for…
Nathalie and I discussed this more than a few hours after it was posted, and though I had no knowledge of the post, its topic was as relevant that day as it is every day for people with these national identity issues. I am one of those people, though I don’t feel that my case is as severe as most’s. I was born in the U.S., but because of my Haitian descent and upbringing, I feel split. I don’t speak the languages (though I do have a high understanding of them), nor have I been to Haiti, but I feel that I am too Haitian to be American and too American to be Haitian. I recently joined the Caribbean Culture Club at my school, and when they asked me to introduce myself I thought that I was going to have to give an awkward explanation of how I’m Haitian, but not really. In reality, I felt accepted, and I think the kids who attended that weren’t Caribbean felt the same way. We may be “Americanized”, but we will forever be drawn to the people and things that remind us of our native culture because of that feeling of home.
This week I found myself talking with a friend about children who are part of two ethnic groups but seem to belong to none. This hits home as a was born in Colombia and I lived there for five years, however, I have lived here, in Florida, for the rest of my fifteen years. There is a gray zone where all with the same situation as me stand. I am not considered American but in a sense I am not considered fully Colombian either. Family members joke about me being “gringa” but here I’m Hispanic. Honestly, I am beyond proud of my Hispanic background but I embrace the culture of the place I was raised, to a certain extent.
Cultures in Hispanic countries seem to be more strict and structured in comparison to cultures here, in my opinion. I find myself in the middle of this, having been brought up a…
You’re probably wondering why I posted a picture of feet, and while I know it’s strange, there is a story behind it. As some of you may know, I recently became a staff writer for my school newspaper The Harbinger, and as I’m sure you all know, journalists are very busy. On this particular Thursday (yes, I’m quite late with this update, I know) I was very busy running errands, and the weather was not at all on my side. The rain was coming down in heavy sheets and even under the cover provided by the building my top half got sprayed with water, however, my bottom half was worse. As you can see from the photo there is a little pool (the shallowest in the area, it was much deeper further along the path I walked) of water beneath the feet – which belong to myself (left) and Robyn Forbes (right) by the way – and our pants are wet up to the shins. There was enough water in our shoes to fill an aquarium and although it’s not shown, our thighs got pretty wet too.
Though this was towards the end of the day, there was still a bit of the school day left, and I stay after school for hours before going home. This meant that I had to spend another two hours and then some in uncomfortable wet denim, and shoes that squished and squeaked with every step. As I walked out of the building when I was finally able to go home, I was very upset to see this scene:
Now, don’t get me wrong, I was glad I wouldn’t have to wade in a river again, I was upset because after two hours the area outside had dried up . . . but my pants still hadn’t.
Today, September 1, 2016, is a first in more terms than the date. It is the day of my first blog post, and also of my first official interview. If you don’t already know, I am a staff writer for my school newspaper, The Harbinger, but as a sophomore, it is my first year on the staff. Even though I felt quite intimidated at first – everyone seemed to know what to do and where they fit in, and there I was, completely lost – I also thought that I knew the basics of what to expect. Today, I learned that I was entirely wrong.
I’d interviewed someone before – recently for another one of my classes and last year due to a slight schedule mishap when I had the Journalism class for a short period – and though they had both been trainwrecks, this one was by far the worst. I was shuffling papers all over the place (most of which were blank), not really prepared in what I would ask, and I didn’t write anything down AT ALL.
Anyone can tell you that I’m a mess on a normal day, but I’m usually not a nervous wreck. I noticed earlier in the day when I gave a presentation that I was anxious and the same was true during the interview. I found this odd because that only ever happens when I have to speak with people I’m not comfortable with, and for both instances this was not the case. After some reflection I realized what was the matter. The presentation wasn’t just any presentation and the interview wasn’t just any interview, they were firsts.
The presentation was my first of the year, in a new class, with a new teacher, and some new classmates. It also was not the usual PowerPoint on whatever I recently learned in science, it was a written work of mine about the life of one of my classmates. The interview was for my first assigned article in Journalism, which is the only one of my works that currently has the possibility of being published. I think that the pressure I put on myself for these things to be perfect was because they would be an audience’s first impression of my written work, and it made me (even more of) a hot mess.
Before entering Journalism I was able to slide by without sharing my works, but that can’t be anymore. If I’m ever going to be an author I need to improve my writing skills and have confidence in my writing. These are the things I hope to accomplish in my studies in Journalism as well as my other classes. I know that while my peers may not have been as much of a wreck as me, they have all been in a similar position and become successful through experiences like these. Today, my train wreck of a first interview was also my first step on the path to success.