Day Number 4

Today wasn’t a very exciting day. We just stayed on campus all day which I was totally fine with because my feet were sore from walking with no shoes on all day yesterday.

The day started off exactly like the past few. We got up, hurried to get ready because we were running late, then ate breakfast. Today, I had blueberry pancakes, shredded potatoes and something else, I just forget. It seems like so long ago.

We started the day by meeting with our color group. Our group became so close so fast, it’s amazing honestly. Anyways, we were preparing and presenting the first part of our simulation. Basically, you and a partner are assigned a certain section of news and a paragraph sentences describing your topic you need to write about. There’s three “editors” who kind of acted like judges. It was basically a competition between you and the other groups to get a front page story. I was paired up with a rising senior named Angela. She’s really sweet and shes from Portland, Oregon. The little bit that we were given about our story said:

After years of dealing with a failed subway system in the D.C. area, the new FastTrain finally opens. Commuters can now dash around the metropolitan area five times faster than before. The previous system was called Metro and ultimately failed in the last five years. Its safety problems lead to three deaths and a $50 million deficit for the system. The FastTrain has been in the works for only three years and has faced criticism from the federal and state/local governments that it’s opening too quickly. They are afraid it will face the same safety issues as Metro. On the flip side, the people of D.C. area are ecstatic for a new subway system. They are hoping it will help commuting and decrease traffic.

So, me and Angela got to work right away as the local news group. We read it over and over again and came up with a lot of ideas. Some of them including a protest against FastTrain, lack of thorough testing, interviewing a mother of one of the passengers who passed away, creating fake dates, names, and all sorts of stuff. The first time we presented, we weren’t aloud to answer any of the questions the editors asked us so we could answer them in our story instead.

We were kind of awkward standing up there but that was okay because we only had a minute to present. They said we needed to answer questions like: what happened to make it unsafe, whats the differences between the two trains, get quotes/testimonies, more government ideas and why are the people protesting.

Then, we had to put our simulation on pause so we could go to the next thing on our schedule and come back to it later.

Before I tell you this next part, I suggest doing some research on a woman named Carol Guzy. She is officially my favorite journalist ever and I’m so happy I got to meet her.

Anyways, Mrs. Guzy is a photojournalist for the Washington Post and she’s one of the four people to win four total Pulitzer prizes for her work. When she came to speak to us, she didn’t say much about journalism, just her experiences as one of the greatest photojournalists of all time. She then played a half hour video of all her pictures and let me tell you, everyone in the building had tears streaming down their faces. I’m not going to share any of her work with you because sadly, most of it is quite graphic. Anyways, she’s extraordinary because she went through so much for her work. She was crying and everyone was crying. Then we told her thank you for everything and gave her a scholarship of $1500, I think it was. Then she started sobbing and we all started crying again. It was really emotional.

After that, all of the young, sad journalists made their way to lunch. I had fettuccine and a salad. Then, we went and met another speaker, Sonya Ross. Ms. Ross is a race and ethnicity editor and she talked about racism and a bunch of random things. She was also really good and super funny.

We then went to finish our simulations but I’m going to leave you in suspense as to what me and Angela’s story was exactly. I’ll just let you know, we sadly didn’t get our story on the front page (I know super sad face) . Then, we had a debriefing from Mrs. Guzy’s presentation and we all got really sad again.

Now comes the best part of my day. Let me remind you that for going to this conference, I get one college credit. Okay? Our next speaker was Amy Takayama-Perez, the dean of admissions at George Mason University. She was just talking to us about college but then she gave us a present. She said that if we apply to her school, we’ll get the admission fee payed off for us and also we get a scholarship. She didn’t say how much it was but a scholarship is a scholarship, right? I’m only a rising sophomore and I already think I know what college I’m going to (that was a joke but not really).

After that, all our little excited booties went to dinner. I had mac and cheese and another salad. As you can see, I’m obsessed with pasta and greens.

Then, we went to our career exploration sessions that we picked a few days before. Victoria, a rising junior, and I picked Hannah Menchhoff, a reporter. Once we got there, the first thing Ms. Menchhoff told us that she isn’t in the journalism field anymore and she’s a marketing manager at a coffee shop. She isn’t even one year out of college yet so why was she there? Who knows. Honestly, Victoria, our new friend Mckenna and I were all bored out of our minds. After an hour and a half of pretty much just sitting there while, we were dismissed to yet another speaker, Greg “Grouchy” Watkins.

Grouchy Greg was the owner of He was super funny and told us that we about starting our own little businesses in journalism.

After him, we were done for the night but my wonderful faculty advisers bought us pizza!!!!! The BEST POSSIBLE WAY TO END THE NIGHT!!!!

Well, I got a big day ahead of me tomorrow so goodnight!!




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