All posts by Reid Rubio (Westhampton Beach High School)


High fives and goodbyes

Sunday, the first day of camp, felt like forever ago. Even though it has only been five days since we left our parents for a week of camp, the whole week has been a blur. Between the Ducks game and the two interviews yesterday, there has been no time to breathe. But right now, all of us have just finished editing our videos, so it’s cooling down a lot.

The best parts of this experience would have to be the video editing and the news anchoring parts. These were really fun compared to taking notes and reporting. Besides anchoring, we also got a full broadcast journalism crash course lesson, which included learning about the control room, cameras and teleprompter. If anything, I would be most interested in the broadcast and video editing section of journalism; I find it the most intriguing and it is easier to speak in front of the camera than it is to write.

Kelly Colligan and I, second day of camp.
Kelly Colligan and I, second day of camp.
Two pairs of roommates, plus YaYa
Two pairs of roommates, plus YaYa

We had some really interesting and fun alums of the program come and help all of us with the process of journalism. Becky was really helpful in writing my script and Briana was really helpful with writing the Ducks post.

I am in the middle about going home. I am sort of excited because I can’t wait to eat some real food other than college pizza twice a day. But, I really want to stay because of all the amazing friends I’ve made this week. Tonight is the last night we will be seeing each other for a while, so we are going to try to make it count. Hopefully the math and science camps won’t hog the Ping-Pong and pool tables like the rest of the week. We have already developed a Facebook page to make plans for a reunion, even though the camp didn’t end yet.

There were some really fun times, there were some really stressful times, and there were some really sassy times. But, all in all, the camp started off pretty shaky, but ended up being a really worthwhile life experience with lots of new friends involved.

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Two Ducks fans, Louise and Dan, attened the Ducks game on July 23rd, 2014. (Noelia Vazquez)

Ducks’ playoff dreams dim

The Long Island Ducks faced another loss on Wednesday, July 23 to the Connecticut Bridgeport Bluefish. This is the eleventh consecutive loss for the Ducks this season, a trend that started on July 9. The team lost 11-3, which clearly does not help the spirit of the Ducks fans.

“The Ducks have been on a losing streak so far,” said a Ducks staff member. who Brandon Schneider, a Ducks staff member. “With what I’ve seen so far, the losing is really putting the crowd and the players down.”


“The Ducks need a win soon.” Schneider is constantly with the crowd. Therefore, he gets an inside look at the crowd’s reactions to the game.

With the Ducks loss to the Bluefish and no sight of a win, the spirit of the crowd might be slipping. However, Chris Wenz, 38, of West Islip and a frequent Ducks fan, said otherwise. “They [the Ducks] were national champions for the last two years, so I figured that a losing streak now and then is probably expected.”

Another loyal fan of the Ducks, Michael Heeren, 13, from Long Island, expressed his worry. “If the Ducks lose 10-plus games, I might be a little concerned if the Ducks are going to make it to the playoffs or not,” he said.

With the loss last night, the chances of the Ducks making it that far are growing smaller.

There are eight more July games for the Ducks, all of which are away. In August, there are 29 games, 16 of which are home.

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Courtney Taylor

Courtney Taylor: Teen scribe and lit scholar

Many people might find planning for the future a scary topic. However, the future is clear to Courtney—receiving her doctorate in English literature.

Although Courtney is planning on pursuing an English major degree, she’s currently in the Robert W. Greene Institute for High School Journalists program at Stony Brook University.

When asked why she chose a journalism camp, Courtney responded, “My interest in journalism began when I took a creative writing class last year at my school that was linked to a journalism one. I had never been interested in journalism before, but the class piqued my interest and made me want to learn more.”

Being 17 years old and going into her senior year in high school, Courtney faces the pressures of choosing the right colleges for herself after her final year in high school while juggling living at home with five siblings and trying to get her schoolwork done.

With all of these challenges, Courtney’s family knows her goals and shares her vision.

Lauren, Courtney’s older sister, said, “Courtney’s always loved to write, so she’ll definitely enjoy being at Stony Brook learning at the journalism camp.” Sandra, Courtney’s mother, said Courtney has had a passion for writing from a young age.

“In first grade, she’d bring stories she wrote to school and have the teacher read them during ‘circle time’ —so, she’s always been interested in writing,” her mother said.

Based on her older sister and her mother’s opinions it is clear that Courtney has always had a talent for writing.

Courtney, who currently attends Massapequa High School, has written many articles and papers that have been published in her school newspaper, which shows a commitment to a higher standard of writing. Courtney finds inspiration in Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.”

She thoroughly enjoys watching him on the news and hearing everything he has to share with the public. When Courtney isn’t spending time at school, she likes to pick up on some of her hobbies.

“My hobbies include reading, writing and acting,” Courtney said, adding, “I’m president of the drama club at my high school.”

All of her hobbies have helped to guide her in making a decision to major in English literature. Courtney believes there is truth in the saying that everything you do paves the way for what you are going to do in the future, including the Journalism Camp.

Timothy, Courtney’s father agrees: “I remember reading Robert W. Greene’s work and since Courtney is a writer too, I’m really proud of her for getting a place in such a program.”

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A jam-packed day with lots of lessons

Monday, the first full day of the Robert W. Greene program, was a really excellent experience. In my previous blog post I described the excellent breakfast here, and I finished before we had the interview with Shawn Heilbron.

Heilbron is the new addition to the Stony Brook staff. He is the new Athletic Director and has high hopes improving Stony Brook’s sports reputation as a whole. In the interview we got to listen to Heilbron’s story as to how he got to be where he is today, and then we proceeded by each asking questions, acting like a real reporter. Through the question and answers we discovered that he is interested in building up the football and basketball program, and then marketing them to get more of an audience at the games. He would then use these funds from the games to fund the other sports equally, and even has hopes of starting up a new women’s sports team.

After the interview with Heilbron we headed out to lunch. Lunch was pretty good, there was a various amount of options, but I can personally say that the pizza was really good.

John Williams Photography ClassJohn Conrad Williams then came in and taught us about the ISO, aperture and shutter speeds of the camera. We then took the cameras outside and practiced taking pictures of moving targets and of each other. This was one of the best parts of the day, going outside where it’s not  -20˚ like in the newsroom.

Kelly Colligan by Reid RubioAfter the photo lesson, we took a dinner break, which was basically the same food as lunch, which was fine by me as long as there is pizza. Next, Professor Rick Ricioppo came in and taught us about the topic I’m most interested in—broadcast journalism. We learned the basics, most of which I had already known from my class in school, but I did learn a few things about layering which was really nice.

Even though the day felt never-ending, I did learn some really exciting new things that I can’t wait to take back to my broadcast program in my school and share.

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A great ending leads to a busy beginning

Last night was fantastic. After we had a story talk, we all got together and ordered pizza. This pizza was some of the best I’ve ever had and I really can’t wait to get more. Then, we sat back and watched Monsters University courtesy of the Math and Science camps that are also attending Stony Brook right now.

During the first full day here at Stony Brook University, it’s not even noon yet and we’ve already been up and moving for the past few hours. The day started with a loud knock on the door at 6:30 am…. way too early. My roommate and I, Colin, had to try to find the energy to crawl to the bathroom and get ready by 7:15 a.m.

Kelly and IAt 7:30 a.m., we were escorted to breakfast by a Conference Assistant. Of course, being the health fanatic that I am, I had a wholesome and balanced breakfast of Lucky Charms cereal and Pepsi this morning.

Since then, we headed to the newsroom, which is equipped with some really cool, state of the art iMacs for the journalism program. We then researched the new Director of Athletics, Shawn Heilbron, who came in for an interview with us at 11 a.m. We developed questions for the interview.

Out of all the people here, who are truly amazing, one person that really stood out to me was Kelly Colligan. Kelly is a fantastic individual who is really talented at journalism and playing volleyball. It is so great to be meeting such interesting people here.

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