All posts by Daniel Walocha (Lynbrook High School)

Greene eggs and ham

It’s day four. We got to visit Newsday and cover the Ducks game yesterday. The game itself wasn’t all too great; the Ducks got dominated and the Bridgeport Bluefish won. We aren’t allowed to truly do anything by ourselves here; we usually just get escorted around. But yesterday gave us a taste of freedom as we were allowed to walk through the stadium as we pleased. It gave me a sense of relief, and I’m thankful for that.

The Greene Beans.
The Greene Beans.

The Newsday trip made my day yesterday. We visited the headquarters and got to learn some history behind the company. Did you know Newsday was started by a woman who just wanted to get into the family business? Because I didn’t until yesterday.

Even more so, we talked to a bunch of memorable figures that made me laugh. There was this one lady who talked to us about her job. She eventually started talking about license plates. She was fun though, and kept my attention (which I can’t say about everyone that comes to talk to us). She was wearing slippers and looked very comfortable in her workplace, making her by far my favorite Newsday employee.

Madison’s uncle even got us cool t-shirts. He’s my second favorite. His quirky attitude added to the personality of the trip. It was an enlightening experience, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The bus was nice too; it had air conditioning and comfortable seating. After Newsday, we went off to the Ducks game.

We laughed till we cried.
We laughed till we cried.

We got to the game an hour early, and overall, it wasn’t a bad experience. We had to wait to get into the actual stadium for about 40 minutes. The tickets were cheap ($10), so it was a good investment.

I thought we would be able to watch the game and enjoy ourselves for the whole time. However, when we got there, we were put to work right away. My group worked for the first hour and a half, but we got a little time in the end to actually watch the game. We left around the seventh inning of the game, and didn’t get to see the whole thing. We didn’t even get to see the fireworks show at the end of the game. The last score we saw was 11-1 Bluefish. Nonetheless, the piece of freedom we got was worth it.

Us taking video and a baseball goer in the background.
Us taking video and a baseball goer in the background.

Yesterday was the best day, but I wish we had more time for time for outdoor activities and things that were listed in the program. For example, we got to our dorms at around 10 p.m., but all the fun activities like volleyball start at around 7 p.m..  By the time we get back, everything is finished; we got one game of pool in with the other math campers, but that was it. We also haven’t experienced the film festival yet, so hopefully we, as a group, get to go tomorrow.

This whole week made me realize that I don’t want to pursue journalism as a career. I like writing articles and news stories, but everything else isn’t up my alley. Video editing is tedious and dull, photography isn’t too bad, but not extremely interesting or challenging, and news casting is too stressful. To find out what you love doing, you first have to experience what you don’t. My team, the Greene Beans, consisted of Madison, Hanna and Yardalie (“Yaya”); they keep me smiling throughout the day. They make me laugh, and we find ways to pass the time in the Newsroom when we aren’t doing anything.

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Review: ‘May in the Summer’

“May in the Summer,” directed by Cherien Dabis, tells a cliché story of May (Dabis), a soon-to-be bride who reevaluates her life after finding out that what she wants isn’t what she needs.

Her overly religious mother, Nadine (Hiam Abbass), is the barrier between her and the perfect wedding. Her two sisters provide support for the stressed-out bride, and along the way, they grow closer, as does their appreciation for each other.

The film is properly laid out, with a less than consistent plot line, and fails to deliver smooth transitions and excitement. In the beginning, the audience is exposed to an array of events that set up the major conflict later in the film.

For instance, Dabis is seen arriving in Jordan via airplane to plan the wedding and visit her family. As suggested, the religious bumper sticker on the family car conveys a sense of constricting rule by the mother, Nadine. The car ride to the house also sets-up information the audience must know: Nadine was cheated on by her husband (now hated by Dabis and her sisters), Dabis is having communication trouble with her hubby, and the entire family seems slightly hostile towards each other. The scene cuts abruptly to the family standing in the house and eating dinner. It didn’t, in the least, contribute to the story, but it definitely built the setting.

Later on, Dabis learns that her mother will not be attending the wedding for religious purposes: the husband, Ziam (Alexander Siddig) is Muslim, but Dabis was raised as a Christian. The plot suddenly gets deeper in a short amount of time: Dabis rekindles her shriveled relationship with her dad, the mother actually still loves the dad, and the sisters encounter their own troubles regarding both sexual orientation and loyalty. Along the way, the audience could easily get confused, and a conscious effort must be made to actually keep track of what’s going on.

Eventually, Dabis realizes that her needs are not being met by Ziam, who is constantly too busy with his work to pay attention to his fiancé, and she, following in her dad’s footsteps, has an affair with a friend. The wedding gets called off as she confronts him with the conflict at hand, and the film ends with the audience wondering what becomes of the previous affair: Will she marry her friend? Will she change her mind? What becomes of Nadine and her ex-husband’s relationship? Nothing, in reality, is truly answered.

Overall, the movie had a sloppy ending and a poor story line.

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No sleep

It’s day three. We wake-up at 6:30 a.m. each day and come back to our college housing at 9 p.m. It’s exhausting since we can’t really go to sleep until 11:30 p.m. since someone bangs on our dorm door for bed checks around that time. That leaves us with, at most, seven hours of sleep each day.

Monday we met with Shawn Heilbron, the new Director of Athletics at Stony Brook. He gave the Greene Team a rundown of his whole career. He started July 1st and plans on improving fundraising for the school. It was our first interview in the program.

I also learned how to work a camera from John Williams (A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist). He was, by far, the most interesting figure that came to talk to the Greene Team. He got us involved and motivated about the lesson (we even got to go outside and take our own photos!)

We also got the chance to talk to Sandra Peddie, an investigative journalist from Newsday. It’s great that we’re being exposed to the different subsections in journalism, and her storytelling was on-point. It must be a stressful job since you’re exposing corruption and people’s lies. Crazy.

Later we worked with Professor Rick Ricioppo about broadcasting. Nothing sparked my interest in particular, but he made it work. He had a cool ear piercing and sense of humor. Now I know how to set-up a tripod and work a video camera. Woohoo!

We worked with our teams on our designated stories. My team had to cover the new arena and get footage of the place. It was tiresome, but we got through. I just want to go to bed.

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Laura Fallick

Laura Fallick: Following her father’s footsteps as a writer

Seventeen-year-old Laura Fallick has known she has a knack for editing and writing ever since she was a child. Having a dad who worked as an editor at Newsday, Laura would be brought Kidsday articles to critique and edit on a regular basis.

“Ever since the day my dad first brought me to Newsday, I’ve had a passion for journalism. I loved the aura of the newsroom and constant research and reporting on events,” said Laura, speaking of her father, Alan Fallick.

Shortly after that, the aspiring journalist began writing her own articles featuring celebrities, athletes and other remarkable figures.

“Two celebrities I interviewed were singer Colby O’Donis and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer,” she said. “Interviewing them was an exciting experience and it felt like I was a real reporter. It was exhilarating and enlightening.”

But her dedication and interest did not stop there; as she became older, her talent only matured and flourished as did her love for journalism, she said.

Laura’s commitment and determination shown in writing is also expressed in almost everything she does. She has been on the Honor Roll since sixth grade, is an avid member of the English Honor Society as well as the Quill and Scroll Honor Society, and regularly contributes to the high school yearbook at Commack High School.

Rising Senior Alyssa Smail, Fallick’s best friend, commented on her energy and diligence: “[Laura] is outgoing and energetic all the time… she has come a long way in the last few years;” she added, “I had English [class] with her this year and she was always willing to proofread my work.”

Smail further added that her high-achieving peer has very strong opinions and “always shows interest” in basically any subject. For example, Laura firmly believes that writing should be encouraged at a young age. Just as she was encouraged by learning from her dad, she advises “[parents and others should] let [their] child write about themselves and their feelings.”

Fallick strives to be a conscientious student and a rising writer.

As for her writing, Laura’s style is to focus is on one point.

She said that her strength lies in her grammar and spelling. The writer concentrates on one specific topic with immense and lucid detail(s). “I want them to feel as if they know every detail about the topic, but not overwhelmed.”

When asked about some weaknesses she humbly stated, “I am quite repetitive when I feel [as if] I have nothing else to say.”

This energy and excitement has led Laura to use her writing to convey different messages to her audience and make a difference.

“My favorite part about writing is that I have complete control over the intended message,” she said. By using the right amount of detail, not too much or too little, Laura manages to find the balance that allows her to write an article that is both concise and full of detail.

Laura is also furthering her own journalistic endeavors by becoming a part of the Greene Gazette community. Thrilled about the opportunity, Laura said she hopes to learn about the different technology used in the field and learn the various strategies and methods used to become a successful journalist.

“I’m hoping to hone my writing skills during the week,” she said. Even more so, Laura wants to pursue the profession in college, saying she wants study at Stony Brook University. This opportunity is one step closer to learning the ups and downs of the journalism field.

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No hashtags for me

It’s day two of my Stony Brook journalism experience.

Yesterday I found out I had no roommate. It has its ups and downs. For instance, I have a room to myself: no conflict picking a time for the alarm, no need to argue over who gets what drawer, and no one to tell me what time lights should go out (besides maybe the senior residents that look over us summer students). The solitude doesn’t bother me.  Although I’m missing out on having the college experience of having a roommate, I’m fine with it. I got more time to finish George Orwell’s 1984 without the distraction. I wish I brought more books because I’m near in the end and I’m running out of material.

My parents aren’t too adapt at navigating the Greene Gazette website, so I have no worries about that. But I won’t be using the hashtag “greenegazette” anytime soon just in case. I barely use my Twitter, and I when I do, I usually just favorite posts, not write them myself. There really isn’t any use for me having an account, but I keep it anyways. It’s weird, but at least I know I won’t be spied on by my parents.

The Student Activities Center (SAC) is a great place to spend some down time in. The Greene Team ordered pizza yesterday after ten minutes of difficulty trying to find a Dominoes or different delivery place. We all chipped in and eventually ate our individual slices together while watching Monsters University together. Afterwards, I played a round of billiards. Nothing too exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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