One of my goals for second semester is to improve my skills with a camera. Even though I can handle a camera, I am not a very good photographer. I would like to have a better understanding of what makes up a good photograph and how to get the shot. Also, I would want to try and get the up-close and personal shots. I have never used a camera as advanced as the cameras used by journalists, so it will take some getting used to. I have seen some of the amazing shots on our site, and would love to be able to contribute some photographs that keep up the standard of the Foothill Dragon Press.
One of the extracurricular activities I am involved in this year is dance. I am taking the dance class this year, and I did the same last year as well. The dance class at this school is a lot of fun and really gets you in shape. I have always enjoyed performing for people and dance is something that I really like doing. I even tried out for Foothill’s Dance team last year. However, I am not the best dancer at this school, but I still keep dancing.
Off campus I am very involved with the acting community. I volunteer at Straight Up. Straight Up is a local company that promotes social change in regards to underage and binge drinking. We set up mock teen drinking parties and act out for parents and teens what can really happen at them. Another organization I am an active member of is Ventura Improv Company. Ventura Improv Company is located downtown, and I have been taking improv classes there for about a year. I have also performed in Improv shows three times this year, most recently on January 7, which was also my birthday.
Some example of initiative I took this year came form my article “Talent flourishes at Artwalk”. This article is by far my favorite and am very proud of it. One specific example was when I interviewed a local photographer Andrew Uvari. I was still not very comfortable interviewing people, but as the interview went on I found out that he is a Foothill alumni, I got really excited and started asking questions about how he got started and how Foothill had effected his work, I had found my angle. The next day I went to school, with my notepad in had, and asked art teacher, Mr. Frazier, about Andrew and how he felt about Uvari work in the Artwalk.
I feel this article is my best example of initiative because it was the only event I did that took up most of my day. I was there for hours on end, and it was a little tedious walking for store to store and getting pictures of the art and artists. At least six or seven people were interviewed and I got a dozen business cards. My feet ached from al of the walking and my notepad was crammed with notes. When it was time to actually write the article it was so chaotic, but despite the random notes and business cards, I wrote an article that I am still very proud of and accurately described the event.
I am a very cooperative person and I love working with groups of people. Cooperation is an important trait, especially for a student press, because not everyone is and expert in everything, you have to use specific skills from each individual. For example, I am a good writer and I have worked with my friends a lot to improve the writing of articles.I have also worked with people for bigger events, I’m good at compromising and dividing up tasks, so I would take notes while someone is interviewing or taking pictures. Cooperation is what really makes newspapers work because if no one is working together and talking then stories won’t be put up in time, or even at all. I also, have worked with people to put together the slide show for the Artwalk and helped Chrissy use the SLR cameras and take pictures. I have worked with Chrissy a lot this year and we have made a good team. I have always preferred working in groups of people as opposed to by myself. I think that group works is especially good for journalists to divide up tasks for an event and get multiple opinions on an article.
My Highlight was definitely writing about the Ventura Improv Company’s Labor Day event. Overthe past year I have become very close to everyone at the Improv, they have become a second family to me. Attendingand writing about Laughstock 2010 was a side-splitting honor. The shows I were so funny I forgot I working on an article. There so many side splitting moments including Christopher Walken impressions, children playfully beating up their parents, and so much water being thrown at improvisers when it was “raining”. It was definitely the funniest event to write about, and my improv family was very grateful that I wrote about it.
The rights of student journalists are protected by law; The First Amendment gives freedom to the press. The First Amendment prevents the government from censoring or controlling newspapers or the press. However, as students we are more protected. It may seem like we should have less rights because of some rules on campus, but in a public school we are protected by the state government. There are many important cases that were vital to the rights of students on campus.
Tinker vs. Des Moines was one such case. Two students went to school with black arm bands in protest of the Vietnam War. The students protest was nonviolent and not disruptive. However the students were suspended anyway. They took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, were it was ruled the suspension was unlawful because students do not lose right when they step onto a campus.
The Hazelwood case however reduced the rights given by Tinker vs. Des Moines. The court ruled in favor of a school to censor the school funded newspapers. This happened because of a controversial article about teen pregnancy. The story was removed and the rights of school newspapers diminished.
As journalists we have a responsibility to students to write the truth and write about things that matter to our school. No matter what people may think or how controversial the topic, it is our duty to write for our piers and make sure we write in a respectful and honest manner.