All posts by Hanna Da’Mes (Riverhead High School)

Can work be relaxing?

 

Yaya, Madi, Dan, Me
Yaya, Madi, Dan, Me

Thursday was the day that we dedicated ourselves completely to finishing our stories. It was hard work, but it was also relaxing in a way, compared to the day before.  I worked with my group, the Greene Beans (shut up, the name is awesome), and we have grown even closer in the past couple of days. To be honest, when I met Madison, Dan and Yaya, I thought they were going to be completely different. I never imagined how funny they would be, how fast we could become friends. And that’s true for pretty much everyone on the Greene Team.

It’s hard to believe this camp is almost over. While some of it has been stressful and annoying, I have made a lot of good memories and made friendships that will hopefully last a long time.

I feel like just as I started to get used to the routine and work, the week was coming to a close. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my bed and my siblings and quality food, but it has been an overall good experience for me.

Even though I don’t plan on a future in journalism, I think that this camp has changed my overall view on jobs in general, college life and the hard work that people put in when they feel passionate about something.

That’s probably the problem—I don’t feel passionate about journalism. I love to write, but my interest veers more toward creative writing, the ability to create anything without any restrictions.

Today (Friday) was pretty much the same as Thursday. The only thing different is that for lunch, we all went into a small room, crowded around a table, and ate pizza. We all shared our comments on the camp, what we wished had happened and what we approved of. It was interesting to hear what everyone had to say, and how their opinions had changed throughout the week.

Most people had realized that they didn’t want to pursue journalism as a career, but that they appreciated all that they had learned from the camp. I think that it is still a minor possibility for me, maybe for most of us, but I just don’t think that it is for everybody, because it is so different from other professions.

Despite everything, I had a good time at this camp, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

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Cub scouts from Pac-12 League attend a Long Island Ducks game at Bethpage Ballpark on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Photo by Madison Flotteron.

Take them out to the ballgame

From the moment the Metro-Gnomes, a youth violinist group from Bay Shore, did an unusual rendition of the National Anthem before Wednesday’s Ducks game, it was clearly a night for the kids.

“I’m a baseball fan myself, and I have a lot of little boys who also like baseball and I thought it would be a really fun thing to do,” Thalia Greenhalgh, teacher of the Metro-Gnomes, said. The young boys performed in front of the large audience and received huge applause.

 

Ten- year-old Mia Grello of Bay Shore said this was her third year with the Metro-Gnomes.  “I like playing in front of everyone because I think everyone likes to hear the violin,” she said. “You know, it’s like, it’s a nice instrument.”

Gregory Reardon, a 9-year-old Cub Scout from East Northport, said he came “to watch the Ducks crush the other team,” and that this is not his first time being at a Ducks game.  “The Ducks are gonna crush ‘em by like 10 runs,” Gregory said. Unfortunately for him, the Ducks lost, 11-3.

The Lacey Township All-Stars, a youth baseball team, came to Central Islip from New Jersey where they are representing the area in the Eastern Regional tournament.  “I’m feeling a win,” Keith Apostolos, a 14-year-old Lacey player.

Commack North’s baseball team is participating in the same tournament. “Well, they’re [the Ducks] not winning right now, but they might come back,” 12-year-old player, Timmy McHugh said.

Evan Wallis,  a 14-year-old Commack player, offered an observation that could apply to the Ducks as well as his team’s upcoming game in the tournament. “We can win if we have just enough hitting and enough defense,” he said.

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Real journalists in real cubicles: a day of real-life experiences

Newsday cubicles. Photo Cred: Hanna Da'Mes
Newsday cubicles. Photo Cred: Hanna Da’Mes

Wednesday was probably the most eventful day out of the week so far. It began with an early breakfast as usual, and then after our morning lectures, we headed over to Newsday. We were able to see rooms full of cubicles that real journalists worked in, and we learned more about the history of both journalism and Newsday. Some people from Newsday volunteered to speak to us, telling their stories and letting us ask questions. Before the field trip, we went to a broadcast set on campus and worked the various jobs included in TV news. My favorite job was probably the sound booth.

Lisa Angell and Kayla Aponte sleeping. Photo Cred: Hanna Da'Mes
Lisa Angell and Kayla Aponte sleeping. Photo Cred: Hanna Da’Mes

Afterwards, we all got back on the bus and rode to the Ducks game. We separated into our groups and tried to figure out what we were going to write our stories on. My group, which consisted of Madison Flotteron,  Yardalie “Yaya” Daniel and Dan Walocha, wanted our story to be on the high school and college students who worked in the concession stands, but we were told later that we weren’t allowed to, so we had to settle for it being on the various groups and organizations that were attending the game. We walked around for hours, interviewing people, shooting b-roll and taking pictures for our story. After a couple of hours, we decided that we needed a break, so we went to the bouncy house, and it seemed that a little time acting like a kid was a good way to relieve stress. We quickly got back to work after eating, interviewing another baseball team and shooting some more b-roll.

It was a really long day, and the exhaustion showed as we drifted to sleep on the bus ride back to the university.

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Madison Flotteron

Madison Flotteron: Getting to the bottom of truth

Madison Flotteron had no intention of pursuing journalism as a career until her ninth grade English teacher, Walt Fishon, encouraged her to take the journalism class offered at her school, Bay Shore High School.

“I fell in love with how everything works and getting to the bottom of the truth,” she said.

This class was only the beginning of her journalistic journey. She says her uncle, Pat Mullooly, editor of Kidsday at Newsday, is the true inspiration behind her passion for journalism and writing. Madison was introduced to the “real world” of journalism when her uncle would take her to interviews, where she would help him write the stories.

“The one thing that attracts me most to journalism is that one answer isn’t good enough,” said Madison. “You need to talk to everyone to get a story straight and I love how reporters will do just that.”

She said she believes that a story does not only involve a single person, but everyone who has witnessed the same events and has participated in making the story what it is. She admires reporters who have the ability to look at a story from all perspectives.

“I look up to them because they don’t put their personal opinion into a story,” she said. “They’re able to tell it without having any bias.”

Madison, 17, heard about the Greene Gazette program from Fishon, a Stony Brook University alumnus who took courses in journalism. “Madi has the ability to connect with the person she is interviewing,” said Fishon. “She listens and builds off of the conversation.”

He described Madison as effervescent, inquisitive and passionate.

She also heard about the program from a classmate.

“My Editor-in-Chief, Brianne Garrett, also went here the year prior and told me to apply because she loved it,” Madison said.

In school, Madison is editor of the newspaper, Brightside, and she is also the news producer for the school’s broadcast, BSHS News.

“The experiences I have had in journalism makes me love it more and more,” Madison said. “My newfound interest is broadcasting because I love being in front of the camera. It just feels natural to me.”

She said she would love to be a reporter for major news channels, such as Fox and CNN. She said she would like to double major in business and communications in college. explaining,  “…communications because I like journalism and talking to people, and for business because I like money and being the boss,” she said.

Madison is captain of her cheerleading team, the coach for her town’s cheerleading youth program, and the head coxswain for her school’s crew team. “I am part of “Keep Islip Clean Junior Commissioners program,” which is a select few from many school districts who come together to think of ways to improve our community’s environment,” said Madison.

She said she hopes to change the world by giving the people information that will undoubtedly aid them in some way. “I believe journalism influences the world around us by getting straight to the truth,” said Madison.

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There’s always time for Scattergories

The second day of the Greene Institute was much more eventful than the first. We started the day with an extremely early breakfast, utilizing the Student Activities Center for the first time, and then made our way to the newsroom for our first official lesson, which was probably the longest lesson I’ve ever attended. We then had the fortune of interviewing Shawn Heilbron, Stony Brook’s new Athletic Director, which was exciting and very informative.

Our photography lesson was taught by John Conrad Williams, who was kind and a great teacher. He informed us of the different settings in the cameras, and I was almost overwhelmed by all of the information I received in such a short amount of time. He then took us outside to practice shooting still pictures, profiles, and a technique called “panning.” I’ve always loved photography and especially the idea of it. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I had a great time.

Madison, Alejandro, Noelia
Madison, Alejandro, Noelia. Photo Cred: Hanna Da’Mes
After dinner, we went to our video lesson where we learned basic shooting skills and techniques. We also went outside for this, which was definitely a nice break from indoors. Separating in groups, we walked around campus and shot various videos of people walking from different angles.

After a long day, you’d think we would want to sleep. Well, you’d be right, because we were incredibly tired, but somehow our desire to spend even more time with each other overruled our fatigue. My roommate, Lisa Angell, and I went to Kayla Aponte and Sharon Ahmed’s room to play what is now becoming our nightly game of Scattergories. As we were getting ready to play, however, we decided that we would like to add others to play with us. Soon, almost all of the girls were piled into the little room, and the competition began. I became even closer with those girls, and as it has only been a couple of days I wonder exactly how close we’ll be by the end of the week.

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First Day

Upon arriving to Stony Brook University, I found myself with a nervously excited feeling residing in my being. Needless to say, about two hours in, that scared mentality proved unnecessary.

On the first night of the Greene Gazette program, I surprised myself by making more friends than I usually do in months. I think that being (gently) forced to mingle and share rooms with people creates a sort of urgency in that we feel we have to make fast friends. I am pleased to say that I was fortunate enough to have a great roommate who is both generous and already a great friend. The two of us made it our mission to meet new people, and we did meet two other girls who we became close with instantly.

Despite knowing that we had to wake up at an insanely early time in the morning, we stayed awake playing a game called “Scattergories,” a game that I hadn’t previously heard of. It was definitely effective in breaking the ice and I would recommend it for any other similar situations.

In a spontaneous decision, all the kids from the Greene Team ordered pizza, an unexpected delight. It served as a kind of bonding tool for us. If anything could be, it’d be pizza.

Already having gone through a couple lectures, Powerpoint presentations, and videos, it has been increasingly evident that this camp will aid all of us in more knowledge of journalism, and the many different aspects of it.

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