All posts by Yardalie Daniel (Huntington High School)

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The Greene Beans team
The Greene Beans team

If anyone had asked me to accompany them to any sporting event two years ago, I probably would have laughed it off and rejected them. That is because it’s not my thing. However, going to the Ducks game last night opened my eyes to different things.

We arrived at the game an hour and half early with no story to write about. My teammates (Hanna, Dan and Madison) and I called ourselves “The Greene Beans.” We bonded to shoot videos, take pictures and interview people. Though it was nerve-racking to ask people their experience during the game since we didn’t want to be rejected—or get yelled at—it turned out to be experience that I could never forget.

I loved going to different places at the game and snapping pictures of the teams that were playing, the audience and the youth baseball leagues. Some children were so eager to be on the camera, which motivated me more. Unfortunately, we couldn’t interview all of them.

After nearly an hour and half walking around with our equipment in hand, we finally stopped to have some fun. We were later joined by Reid Rubio and Noelia Vazquez, bought tickets to go in the Ducks bouncy house and relax. This definitely made my night.  Overall, I enjoyed myself and I wish I could do it more often.

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An unforgettable week

I can’t believe the week is coming to an end. The days were certainly longer, and the nights shorter. But the experience was definitely one that will last forever. I am so grateful that I was chosen to be part of this program that cost me nothing, but taught everything; the different aspects of journalism, friendship, living the college life. I couldn’t have asked a better way to spend this last week of July. I wish it could have last longer.

Here at Stony Brook University, the Greene Gazette program is the first summer getaway I have ever experienced throughout my teenage life. I made great friends in the span of one week and we bonded as if we’ve been friends our whole lives. I enjoy having girl nights with them because we talked, laughed and joked about everything. My roommate, Kelly Colligan, was the best roommate I could have ever asked for.

YaYa, Kelly, Hanna, Reid
YaYa, Kelly, Hanna, Reid

Going to Newsday showed me that journalism is not simple and a lot of work has to be done. It also gave me a clearer picture of how diligently people work in the field. In addition, I enjoyed going to my first ball game ever, the Ducks. I took pictures and  jumped in the bouncing house with Hanna, Reid, Madison and Noelia.

Most importantly, I am thankful that the team and I had amazing and supportive professors who organized this program in honor of the late Bob Greene, who left them motivated enough to organize this institute. Wasim Ahmad for teaching us about blogging, Cathrine  Duffy  for her lessons and patience and Zachary Dowdy for his motivation and the other professors who also participated in the program.

Their teachings have changed our perspective on journalism for the better. I took what they had to offer in such a small amount of time and applied it to what I really want to do in life. I know for sure wherever life takes me, I will definitely take some type of photography and writing courses in college. They will both be an aspect in my life. This experience has really been a week to remember.

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A photo of  the new Stony Brook Arena at Stony Brook University on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Photo by Hanna Da'Mes.

Stony Brook’s home court advantage

As summer is quickly coming to an end, Stony Brook University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams look forward to their upcoming fall seasons in the newly renovated Stony Brook Arena, designed by NK Architects and Popolous with Fortunato Sons Contracting Inc.

“Before the game, the arena will be a great atmosphere for fans,” said Adam McLeod, the assistant director of athletics. “And we find that a lot of times the players draw off the fans and really when you a great atmosphere you know that helps the team.”

Construction on the arena started in June 2012 and cost $21.1 million. The 40,000-square-foot renovation holds 4,008 seats; three times the 1,800 seats that Pritchard Gymnasium features.

Additionally, four luxury suites were built into the arena, which also features two video boards, three scoreboards, three concession stands and four men’s and women’s restrooms.

“We’re excited about packing the place, our goals is to sell out every game and put 4,000 people in the seats, build a great environment and go from there,” McLeod said.


As school as school starts up again in the fall, Stony Brook University will not only have a new arena, but a new athletic director as well. Shawn Heilbron was introduced as Stony Brook’s new athletic director in May 2014. Heilbron said he is excited about the new arena and is working toward growing it with more opportunities and fans.

“We want to have a great show so that when people come to a game they tell their friends,” Heilbron said. “We want to bring concerts in. We want people outside of the Stony Brook community to come on campus and experience the arena. It is a great way for people to see what Stony Brook is really about.”

Women’s basketball player Brooke Proctor, a senior who has been playing for the school for three years, believes that the new arena was well designed.

“It would attract the fans of Long Island and bring the women’s team into a new level and bring a new vibe to the game,” Proctor said, adding that she’s looking forward to the new, louder sound system. “It would give the players more energy to do well.”
 

 
Despite the anticipation for the new arena, the players and staff expressed an emotional connection toward Pritchard Gymnasium because it has been the location of practices, failures and success.

“Pritchard has its place in all of our hearts,” said Carson Puriefoy, a junior and guard on the men’s basketball team. “It was a great atmosphere. We had one of the best home courts in the country, I think. But I think we can make this arena a great home court as well.”

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Mary Kate Guma

Mary Kate Guma: ‘Being at the school newspaper meetings help me feel alive’

Mary Kate Guma never thought she would have a passion for English and journalism.

But the 16-year-old Locust Valley rising senior has developed a love for the subject. She said she is hoping to gain even more experience during this week on the staff of the Greene Gazette at the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists at Stony Brook University.

Her shyness has never kept Mary Kate from showing her passion for journalism. Rather, quite the contrary is true; the field helped her to come out of her shell and express herself and her talents to the public.

Mary Kate has been a member of her school’s newspaper, The Voice, since entering Locust Valley Middle School. She will become the club’s editor-in-chief for her final year at her high school’s newspaper, the Spectrum. Her school’s staff has nearly 10 editors and 15 writers. She said she plans on trying to bring add more staff and, perhaps, start an online version of the paper.

She was born in Locust Valley and still lives there with her parents and younger sister, Olivia. Mary Kate said she enjoys traveling and that she recently traveled to Canada and referred to the trip as an “exceptional visit,” mainly because of her interest in learning French. She also enjoys skiing in the mountains of Connecticut, where she spends time with her aunt.

One of the things she likes to do most is eat French toast, which she described as her favorite food. And she is not afraid of doing so at any time of the day, even at 11 p.m.. She enjoys participating in various clubs and playing golf and volleyball.

Furthermore, Mary Kate said her journey to becoming a journalist derived from her love for reading. As a child, she enjoyed reading classics such “Anne of Greene Gables.”

She said that she found “comfort,” in reading and that it “was a way to express herself” as a child.

History has been her favorite subject in high school since she enjoys learning about other people. Plus, she said, it’s always been a subject to discuss with her family members.

However, her English teacher, Mary Greco, has given her a new perspective by analyzing literature and talking in-depth about books she uses in her class.

If being a journalist is what she her destiny is, she hopes it’s in the writing area of the field. She said she is excited and feels that it’s important to her because she will get to concentrate on one thing and have the ability to know “how it feels as a career.”

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Motion in action

My first day here at Stony Brook University, with the Greene Team has been exhausting, but fun. Thanks to the wonderful John Williams, who devoted his time to teach the team about the aspects of photography, my day was fantastic. Photography has always been something I wanted to experience, but never pushed myself to do. The lesson that he taught us was long, but fairly educational. His sense of humor also made it entertaining.

IMG_0244I enjoyed the way he photographed pictures. It gave me a new perspective of what photography is really about. For many people (and me) using a camera has always been about taking a picture—and we would be lucky if they were good ones. But now, I think of it in a different way, as in changing the shutter speed of the camera to obtain a perfect shot, switching the ISO and knowing the difference when I’m taking picture inside and outside. Although I didn’t do so well in taking the pictures, I am looking forward to learn more about photography in today’s lesson.

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No pillow. No fan. No problem.

Forgetting my pillow and fan seemed to be the worst way to begin my journey with the Greene Gazette team at Stony Brook University. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying my first day with students I barely knew, who within the night became the best group of friends. I’m eager to learn new techniques and methods about journalism, and also looking forward to make and keep wonderful friends.

With a charming welcome and a barbecue, the team was able to learn a little bit about everyone and everything. We were also accompanied by a quick lesson on blogging and photography by our program advisors. They are wonderful people who take their time to teach us in order to accomplish Bob Greene’s dream.

My first night with the group has been excellent since my arrival. For someone who has never been in a residence hall or any summer program whatsoever, I quickly adapted to my short, but new environment. The students welcomed me kindly and even nicknamed me “YaYa.” I was pleased with the idea since I’ve never been given a nickname with my real name, Yardalie.

My roommate, Kelly, has been nothing but wonderful and friendly to me. We all spent the night eating pizza, chatting about boys, dancing and singing to the craziest music. It felt like we’ve been roomates our entire lives. And I enjoy every minute of it. As I’m excited to develop new ideas, I also hope this week could be longer and never end.

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