Tag Archives: Greene Gazette

Wasome week

It is Friday—how exciting. I lost track of time Thursday after working all day in the newsroom with food breaks throughout the day, but my team progressed in our assignments. We agreed on a team name—Wasome Sauce (Wasim is our coordinator).

Everything is coming along together and I can’t believe its been a week. It is a different atmosphere working specifically to finish assignments, rather in school when I have to balance meeting deadlines and editing with homework and reading for other classes.

Working all day yesterday was tiring. But it was a draining type of fatigue. It was not so much physical, but a common feeling that comes with a package of education usually followed by a catharsis of success once you open it. I finished the broadcast piece on the Emergency Operations Center and submitted my story on new police cars on campus for edit.

A panoramic shot my work station Thursday night. Professor Ricioppo sitting in Kelly's seat, helping her with editing.
A panoramic shot of my work station Thursday night. Professor Ricioppo was sitting in Kelly’s seat, helping her with editing.

Professor Ricioppo helped us out with the film editing and learning about scripting tracks, then we laid the tracks down in a little studio booth that was cool and professional. I feel more confident about writing voice-overs and recording and editing now, which was something that I was really looking forward to. Usually at school, I rushed broadcasts to meet deadline and tended to focus on writing more but now I feel comfortable with both.

It has been a fun week and I have learned more than I thought I could learn in a week from walking and planning a report to editing video and audio to playing pool with kids from other camps.

This is my last blog post for the Greene Gazette but I will try to find the time to blog elsewhere. I found it amazing how close the Greene team got and the level of comfort we felt with each other without really knowing one another previously (with a few exceptions).  I will try to stay in touch with everyone I have met, and keep learning and applying skills to journalism wherever it is applicable.

I snapped a picture back during the first photography lesson, that sums up the week.

Profesor Ahmad jumping to help us get a good photo as we practiced newly learned skills.
Profesor Ahmad jumping to help us get a good photo as we practiced newly learned skills.
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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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Returning to my grandfather’s roots

My feet are sore, my eyes are barely open, and I feel as if I’m going to fall asleep any second.

Wednesday was fun. We got to go into Studio B and played with different broadcast journalism equipment. That was fun. Then we went to Newsday and I got to see pictures of my grandfather and hear stories that made me cry because I was proud. I haven’t really talked about him for a long time.

Then, at the Ducks game, they lost big but we didn’t stay for the whole game. We interviewed 12 kids and took pictures. I ate fries, ice cream, and cotton candy. We got back to our dorms around 10:30 p.m.

Bob Woodward and Bob Greene
Bob Woodward and Bob Greene.
This morning, I didn’t get woken up until 6:50 a.m. I put my hair in a bun, put on some foundation, brushed my teeth, and got dressed. Now all I want to do is sleep.

It’s so bad for us kids to be up so early and sleeping so late. Every time we have a speaker I’m just trying to stay awake. I need an energy drink ASAP!!!

I’m excited for this to be over so I can be able to sleep.

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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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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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Interviews with a thousand words and learning about pictures worth a thousand words

It is Tuesday, the second official day of camp. The first day was a tight can full of fun surprises. To pick up where I left off yesterday, the interview with Shawn Heilbron was great; I got to ask him about what intentions he has to improve women’s sports, as it had been demonstrated by various sources that he wants to focus on football and basketball. He answered fluently, and he couldn’t stop smiling – he has a lot in store but I believe that information will be released in a story later on the week. He said that working job after job he hadn’t really found that one dream one up until he was at UCLA, where he realized he wanted to be an Athletics Director, and now he is one. I wanted to ask what is he aiming for now, but didn’t get to do so.

After the press conference, we got to learn photography with John Williams, which was fun because I took photography in the fall semester of my junior year and didn’t remember everything vividly. We learned a lot more about techniques from his Pulitzer Prize winning perspective.

Observing the Greene Team practicing photography as a longboarder cruises behind.
John Williams observing the Greene Team practicing photography as a longboarder cruises behind.
After dinner we learned about broadcasting with Professor Ricioppo, specifically we practiced getting good B-roll shots and he told us about his career.  He taught us his “go to” trick of playing with the foreground and background while focusing on something.  I’m excited to use all these new things we are learning.

It was a long day but not in the bad way. After the broadcasting lesson/lecture/seminar/practice we went back to the residence halls where I met Shakir and Reggie, two boys in a pre-med camp that assured Jason and I that they will have our backs in a couple years if we come across any medical issues. Then I headed down to the lounge where I met another boy, Matt, who is at a Math camp and I started conversing with him alongside Madison, Noelia, and Lea. He told us that he is participating in about four camps this summer to kill time. I mean, I wouldn’t mind deriving and integrating or deciphering other hieroglyphs of the mathematics language in my free time, but I wouldn’t do it for two weeks just to pass time! The boy is pretty much learning in an organized form of education year round.

After chatting in the lounge, I headed to the dorm for bed and then, in the blink of an eye and a tiny puddle of drool, the sun was shining and I was greeting the morning with a yawn. I got dressed and then it was breakfast time, the morning news showed unrest in various nations and an editorial about the US’ immigration issue made me wonder about where could the xenophobic opinion, shared by many, have come from in a nation that was founded by all sorts of European immigrants?

After breakfast we went to the newsroom and learned about news writing, and midway through the lesson Sandra Peddie, an investigative reporter from Newsday, came in and talked to us about her career.  The day was still young and we are about to learn more about photography with John Williams.

Every person we have met whom has shared his or her career with us has demonstrated that the field is far from boring, more of a career in which every step you reach for a branch that is higher and higher as you soar over a river in the jungle of informing contemporary beings on events that are concurrent with everyday life.

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Day two – So much to do, so little time


Everybody is telling me what to blog or what looks good to blog. I’m just freaked out a little that I see my name basically everywhere. Hearing people talk about my grandfather makes me choke up a little. Good thing about tonight is that a handful of us are going to the film festival. The only movie we can see is a wartime movie because it’s at 9:30 and we get back at 9:00 , So not so bad, time-wise.

All us girls had game night in one dorm with snacks and laughter, like you see in the movies. But I hit the hay at 11:30 p.m. and when I woke up at 6:15 a.m. I wanted to go back to sleep, but I got up and took a shower, I’m proud of myself. Now all I feel is sleepy. I might need a protein bar. I should have taken advantage of naptime in kindergarten. I take more naps now than when I was little.

Yesterday we worked with still cameras and video cameras. John Conrad Williams is our instructor with the camera. He is an award winning photographer. I took an amazing picture of Professor Wasim Ahmad as payback for Sunday. It’s on Instagram and soon to be on the Greene Gazette website! What goes around must come around.

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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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