Tag Archives: Hanna Da’Mes

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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Click, click, click

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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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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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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Family reunion, the sweet escape and an enlightening realization

Tuesday night was a lot of fun. We stayed up until 2 a.m. playing Cards Against Humanity. One of the CAs (the one that played Disney music in the shower) joined us, too. Her name is Nujbat Meraji or Nuji for short. She is so nice and was a lot of fun to hang out with for the night.

Madison Flotteron in the School of Journalism broadcast studio on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Photo by Wasim Ahmad.

The following morning we went to the TV studio at Stony Brook and did practice broadcasts. This was my favorite because I love being in front of a camera. It gives me such a rush and I enjoy seeing how the videos turn out in the end. It’s amazing how much goes on in a broadcast. There is never a dull moment when putting a broadcast together because there is so much teamwork. Everyone needs to help each other into making the broadcast a success.

Later that day made Wednesday the best day of camp. We finally were able to leave the campus. The lack of freedom here is really getting to me, so I really appreciated the field trip that took place.

Running around at the Ducks Game
Running around at the Ducks Game

Visiting Newsday was fun because I found my uncle, Pat Mullooly, who works for Kidsday. I hung out with him for a bit and he gave everyone Kidsday T-shirts. He also took me around Newsday on my own and I was able to see all of the interesting people who work on the paper.

Selfies at Kidsday with the one and only Uncle Pat
Selfies at Kidsday with the one and only Uncle Pat

One of the speakers at Newsday helped me realize that this career isn’t for me. He said that if you want to make money this isn’t the job for it. It hit me that I’d rather make a lot of money than broadcast everyday. I think that broadcasting will get old pretty quickly because I am starting to get sick of it from just a week of camp.

I was really excited that we were going to a Ducks Game because I really wanted to watch the game and have fun with the Greene Team. Silly me! I did not even get a chance to sit down in our seats and I don’t even think I saw the game at all. We had to work the WHOLE time!!

I thought this was going to be the one fun day before we dove into finishing all the work. I did not find it necessary to work the whole game because the footage just got repetitive. On top of that, we didn’t even stay all nine innings, resulting in us missing the fireworks show that was supposed to take place after the game.

When we finally finished the broadcast.
When we finally finished the broadcast.

The trip wasn’t a total bust though because Reid Rubio, Noelia Vazquez, Hanna Da’Mes, Yardalie Daniel and I went inside the Ducks’ bouncy house! Yes, we sound like we’re 10 years old, but it was the most fun thing about this week. It was the most exercise we got in a while too because we’ve been cooped up in the newsroom all week. The people working the bouncy house were very nice letting us in because it is generally for younger kids.

Inside the bouncy house there was a slide, also. Those three minutes in the bouncy house were the highlight of this week. We were finally able to let loose and just enjoy each other.

We like tall trophies
We like tall trophies

I found out last night that I can’t have journalism as a career. I cannot imagine missing out on every event I go to because I need to cover a story on it. Last night was a real eye-opener and I want to find another career.

Overall, I do still enjoy broadcasting, but I think I want to find something else as a profession. I will still keep up with the world of journalism, but I will most likely minor in it rather than have it as a major in college.

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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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Hanna Da'Mes

Hanna Da’Mes: Writing is easier than talking

Hanna Da’Mes, a rising junior at Riverhead High School, had her interest in journalism sparked by her school newspaper.

“I decided to join the club because I already knew of my love for writing,” she said. Before she knew it, she was the president and editor of her online school newspaper, Riptide.

Hanna undoubtedly has a passion for writing, saying “I like writing because for me it is easier than talking, easier to get my point across in the right way without holding back or freezing up.” She added, “I started to love writing about five years ago, but didn’t realize how much until two years ago.”

She said she especially loves writing fiction and fantasy in short stories, poems and prompts for her creative writing class at school. Hanna has even written introductions and outlined ideas for longer stories and novels. Hanna’s mother, Shana Fink, has seen Hanna’s work.

“She writes stories that captivate the reader,” she said. “Hanna is very inquisitive and honest. She is thorough in whatever she does.”

Hanna has started to expand her writing repertoire by investigating a journalistic path.

“I first was interested in journalism in ninth grade,” she said. “I wanted to explore all aspects of writing.”

Her newspaper club supervisor, Martin Faint, a former journalist, encouraged her to apply to the Greene Institute. In the program, Hanna hopes to learn more about broadcasting. “I have no experience in it,” she said. “I would also like to learn about video editing and other technological aspects of journalism.”

Hanna said her favorite aspect of journalism is that it shines light on the truth, giving people new perspectives and hopefully aiding others. “I like how journalism is not only hard facts, but opinions and angles, and I love how articles tell others of the good and bad in the world, whether it be global events or little acts of generosity and kindness,” said Hanna.

Thanks to the Internet, the world of journalism is evolving, including Riverhead High School’s online newspaper. Hanna enjoys being able to learn and interact with people from all over the world using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. “I think it is good because it is a great way to be informed of all other cultures, philosophies, and ideas.”

Along with writing, her dream career would be in stage acting. She has been acting for about six years and has been involved in shows such as The Wiz, Fiddler on the Roof and Tom Sawyer. Besides her school drama club, next year she hopes to become a member of the chamber choir as well.

Hanna’s mom says she is excited for Hanna to attend the program.

“I am happy she is on the Greene Team so she can see all the avenues journalism has to offer,” she said.

Although Hanna may not see herself as a future journalist, she says she is “willing to learn more about it, so that maybe it could be a sort of back-up plan. I do enjoy writing, however, and I would like a career that entails some form of it.”

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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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An arena broadcast with the Greene Beans

Today we worked on portraits with John Williams. He helped us with lighting and gave us tips on how to take a better photo.

Photo credits to Noelia Vazquez
Photo credits to Noelia Vazquez
Unfortunately, today was his last day with us and I know I personally will miss him.

We started working with our teams on our stories. My team will be covering the new arena that was just built at Stony Brook. It was fun meeting the basketball players and talking with the athletics director. Everyone seems enthusiastic about the new arena and has high hopes to attract new fans.

My teammates and I really enjoy working together. We decided on calling ourselves the Greene Beans. Dan Walocha was amazing at getting the right angle for our footage. Yardalie Daniel and Hanna Da’Mes got great photos of the new arena. I think our final piece will look fabulous when we finish it.

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Hanna, Sharon and Kayla (from left) helping me practice depth of field

Photography and Murphy’s Law

Day 2 (Monday continued): Tired as anything, the day continued as we embarked on our first photography lesson with John Conrad Williams. He taught us all about exposure and within a few short hours we were taking photographs like professionals (and modeling not so much like professionals). Leaping and jumping around in the quad trying to get a good action shot with Kayla was definitely a highlight of the day.

Kayla "Jumping for Joy" while I captured the action shot
Kayla “Jumping for Joy” while I captured the action shot
Our endless day was followed by dinner, where mac and cheese seemed like the most appetizing option. I got to know a few more of the Greene Team members over our “delicious” dinners. After dinner we got a video lesson from Rick Ricioppo where we learned the importance of angling and layers (like an onion). “Shrek is love, Shrek is life.” That is my new motto. Our day of work ended with the announcement of our groups. My group-mates are Lea Greene, Colin Maloney, and Laura Fallick. I am excited to find out what our assignments are for the rest of the week. When we arrived back at the dorms all the girls joined in for another game of Scattergories (with snacks). The Greene Team is becoming closer by the hour. I can’t imagine having to leave some of them at the end of the week.

Day 3 (Tuesday): And so our sleep-deprived week continues. I think I finally know everyone’s name. Once again we had a photography lesson with John Conrad Williams. We learned depth of field and how to take a good portrait.

Hanna, Sharon and Kayla (from left) helping me practice depth of field
Hanna, Sharon and Kayla (from left) helping me practice depth of field
Kayla and I aced it as always. Afterwards we started on our assignments. My team and I attended a cancer graduation scholarship ceremony on campus and reported (at least attempted.) And just like always- whatever could have gone wrong, went wrong. The lighting was too dark in the building, so as the reporting photographer I was rendered pretty much useless. Then when I went to edit the video my team had captured (which I have been looking forward to all day) the video did not transfer to the computer! So my lesson for the day: technology will never work the way you want it to; Murphy’s Law: what can go wrong will go wrong. Well at least it is a learning experience.

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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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