Day 5 (Thursday): I finally got to edit a video! All week I have been waiting patiently to finally do what I came for. I’m pretty happy with the final product so if you’re reading this you should check it out.
I talked with Rebecca Anzel, editor of The Statesman. I was happy to hear she thought my video was very professional. I love it when hard work pays off. Following a long day of working on our projects all the girls stayed up till 2 a.m., which has become a regular routine this week.
We hung out in the lounge for a few hours and attempted to play BS and Duck, Duck, Goose with the math camp staying in our building. When the conference assistants eventually kicked us out of the lounge, all the girls talked and hung out, and of course played Cards Against Humanity again. I never thought such a unique group of people would be able to get along and bond so closely within just one short week. It is going to be sad to say goodbye on Saturday.
Day 6 (Friday): Leaving is getting kind of sad. Although I am excited to go home, sleep in my bed, use the bathroom in private, see my family and friends and eat good food, I am going to miss everyone here. I feel like I have made some great friendships over the past week.
We just had a family pizza party and reflected on the program. Looking back, I had a great experience and wouldn’t have done it any different. Although at the moment I don’t see myself pursuing a career in journalism, I do think everything I’ve learned here will help me in life. Now I understand the demanding life of a journalist and respect them for their dedication to their careers.
I have so many great memories with unforgettable people. I have learned photography and improved my writing skills as well as developed an eye for news broadcasting, which will not only help me in my broadcast class but also in my future in film.
To my fellow “journalists”: I love you all and hope that you reach your goals. I wish you all luck in college and pursuing your careers, in or out of journalism. I hope we have a reunion and hang out on the regular. It is because of all of you that I had such a fantastic experience here, so thank you. It has been an amazing week.
The last day being on the Greene Team has snuck up. It feels like just yesterday I was becoming acquainted with other team members.
The progress I have made in five days is astonishing. Learning from journalism professionals has made me a better journalist and more interested in blogging. It has really been an amazing experience overall. The food was good, an unpopular opinion, the professors were helpful and respectful, and I made lifelong friends with whom I’d love to keep in touch. Being surrounded by aspiring journalists has been nice because we can talk about our future and interests. I wish I could do this program again next year, but I hope to come back as a student at Stony Brook University rather than a student on the Greene Team.
Although I’m sad to leave my friends and professors, I’m excited to go home and teach my friends writing techniques and tips I have learned this week. Also, I can’t wait to show my parents all my pieces I have been working hard on. I want to impress my family members and friends with my writing and journalism skills because I want to show them how serious I am about journalism.
Even though I am leaving my new friends, I plan to have reunions with them somewhat frequently. It’s going to be weird not waking up and getting ready to go out at 7 a.m. on about six hours of sleep with the girls. Surprisingly, I might actually be a little upset I won’t be waking up so early and working for over twelve hours a day. I am so passionate about journalism; it doesn’t even feel like one hour. Time flies and it’s not okay with me.
I know for sure this will not be my last journalistic experience, and hopefully not my last journalistic experience at SBU. My goal at the beginning of this week was to hone my writing and editing skills. I think I mastered the skills I wanted to and completed my goal, which makes me feel satisfied and accomplished.
I will miss taking panoramas and asking professor Ahmad if he can make my panoramas 3D. I will miss giving Noelia Vazquez a hard time whenever she spoke. I will miss taking ugly pictures on Photo Booth with Lisa Angell when we finish our work. I will miss everything about this program and it’s heartbreaking that I have to leave tomorrow afternoon. Positively speaking, this experience was life changing and I will use the tools and techniques learned for the rest of my life. I’d like to thank everyone who made this week fantastic.
Last night, Professor Wasim and I had a heart to heart. We shared our opinions on journalism and he told me all about his job. We came to an understanding of how we both have different opinions on the field and we respect each other’s differing ones. I am not going to completely rule out journalism as a profession, but I do want to explore other options.
On the way back from working in the newsroom last night, Hanna Da’Mes, Sharon Ahmed, Dan Walocha, Kelly Colligan, Reid Rubio, Kayla Aponte and I played tag as we walked to the dorms. It was a lot of fun, but I thought one of us would trip in the dark—good thing that didn’t happen!
The CAs were really laid back last night because they let us all hang out in the lounge an hour past our curfew. We hung out with the math kids in the lounge and they were so much fun! They left today, so we are all really going to miss them tonight.
This morning we worked on our video footage and by early afternoon my team and I were all done. I really like how it came out and the four of us worked very well together.
Lunch today was a nice change because we had pizza in a conference room. I was running out of ideas for wrap creations in the cafeteria so that took the pressure off. At lunch it hit us how we are all going to miss each other. The Greene Team got so close in such a short period of time. I know that we will all stay in touch even when the program ends.
I am looking forward to seeing the movie tonight at the Film Festival. I think it will be a wonderful way to end the camp with all of us hanging out together.
I hope that the friendships I made this week last for a long time. I met some really amazing people and I will miss each and every one of them.
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.
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.
The lectures are over, the articles posted, and the week-long Greene program will officially close in less than 24 hours.
And wow, what a week it’s been.
As is said in the bio Reid wrote of me, journalism is not my primary passion – the reading and writing I’ve always loved has been fiction and flowery language. The creative writing class in my high school was linked to a journalism one, but, even then, my interest in journalism was rather secondary.
This week, however—holding a microphone and interviewing randoms in “man on the street” segments, researching and writing, asking questions in a press conference setting, working the tech board in a television studio—has been enlightening.
It’s hard, even, to pick highlights to reflect on here. From all the special guests and unique opportunities of the week, so many stand out. (And, additionally, writing this blog has really been a blast).
Reporting at the Ducks game and in all formats throughout the week (at the Emergency Operations Center, the Shawn Heilbron press conference, last night’s “man on the street” segments) has been my favorite. It’s not so much of a stretch from what I already love—as president of Massapequa’s Drama Club, I’m no stranger to improv, which is what the interviews mostly came to be. Still, holding the mic and asking questions was a rush each time.
SBU! (Photo Credit: Courtney Taylor~)
The aspects of journalism I had been unfamiliar with also ended up being intriguing and enjoyable—photography and film, for example—and the teachers of those lectures really made them easy to understand (professor Ricioppo for film and John Williams for photography).
The week has been jam-packed with special guests from the field: Bob Herzog, who brought sports journalism to life; Matt Clark, the investigative journalist who truly piqued my interest (I’ve always wanted to write, of course, but after seeing the movie “Agent Cody Banks” when I was a kid, I became crazy about the idea of being a spy—this seems to be the perfect blend of the two); Sandra Peddie, another investigative reporter, busting crimes and getting to the bottom of things (while also being an engaging speaker and intriguing professional).
Speaking to people pursuing journalism in the real world has been enlightening, and hearing their stories furthered my interest in journalism from secondary to, perhaps, a bit higher.
While the special guests of the week were exciting and interesting for the bits they were here, the professionals I was with for the entirety of the week—Professor Ahmad, Professor Duffy and Professor Dowdy—were incredibly informative and interesting in their own rights, teaching us the business that they themselves are passionate about.
Sitting down this morning to edit my piece with professor Duffy and professor Dowdy was an extremely valuable journalistic experience, as their classes on writing have been throughout the week.
And, of course, as member of Team Wasumsauce, I’ve really enjoyed professor Ahmad’s courses on blogging (three blog posts in one day, so, clearly) and the photo side of journalism, as well as his guidance on our group’s stories. Outside of his intriguing courses, I’ve had a great time as a member of his team: working at the Ducks game, going on an impromptu tour of campus after we all missed the bus and hearing about his experiences in the field.
Outside of class altogether, I’ve met a ton of interesting, intelligent and all-around cool people in this program, and being on a real college campus has been an eye-opening experience as well.
So, with the week coming to its finale (finishing off with a movie and tomorrow’s closing ceremonies), I’d be amiss if I left out my thoughts on journalism altogether after this week.
I don’t know where to begin—it’s exciting, it’s thought-provoking, and I know now that I would find my life lacking without pursuing journalism in some avenue—a minor, a double major, who knows?
Nevertheless, the Greene Program has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I learned to use a camera from a Pulitzer prize winner on the first day, amongst all the other extraordinary opportunities the program has given me—that certainly doesn’t happen every day!
I come away from the program with skill, interest and a heightened love for written word—the Greene legacy, fulfilled.
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.
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.
We got right onto the world of a real journalist today. We were on our way to the interview with Assistant Police Chief Eric Olsen without even knowing who Eric Olsen was or what he did. Professor Ahmad said it happened all the time – sometimes journalists have to work on the spot and don’t have time for research or to prepare. We missed the bus that took us to Stony Brook’s police station, where we had the story. It was a half hour walk, which was in the heat, and brutal. It went relatively quick because we had to do all our research for the story on our walk. We came up with questions, walked up hills and streets in the blazing sun carrying all of our video equipment, being true journalists on the job.
We got into the police station (eventually) sweating with and thirsty, but ready to start the interview. We met with the chief of police, Robert Lenahan, and all acted as a team all doing different things to conduct an interview. I was in charge of taking pictures of the interview. In the second interview, I got to videotape and was in control of all the shots, which made me feel in control and able to express my own ideas with my group members. We shot a lot of B-roll with the interviews which I was already comfortable with from previous TV classes at my school.
The eventful day and heat continued as we finished the interview. We had to walk back to the library as we missed the bus, again. This walk was easier and quicker than the first because we all weren’t as tense to how we were going to go on the scene to write this story.
Since we missed the bus both ways to the police station, Professor Ahmad said he would treat us to Starbucks. Well, since our transportation didn’t go well the entire time of the interview why would anything go right? Right? Right. Starbucks was closed and we continued the journey of heat back to the library. We eventually got to the SAC and took a breather after a long and sweaty walk and decided to capture the unexplainable journey with none other than a selfie.
Day two continued with a final photography lesson with John Williams. Farewells were a tad sad, but we learned a lot in two days and it was great. I think the highlight of the day was being in the newsroom learning about broadcast and just as Professor Ricioppo finished his lesson Professor Ahmad rushed in and told us that we had to go cover our first story. In seven minutes he gave us background on what we were about to cover: a new emergency operations center is being built in the University Police center and we get to break the news. (By we, I mean the team of Kelly, Courtney and Jaqueline). Then Prof. Ahmad mentioned that we missed the bus and we had to walk a solid 27 minutes, which helped us prepare but the sun was scorching and halfway through I felt like a nomad with false hope of a destination. We made it in time and reporting was really fun.
After 2 hours of reporting, we missed another bus! Our timing was on point. As We started our journey back to the newsroom Professor Ahmad started sharing his career and different experiences he’s had.
Noting the disappointment of having to walk with the equipment, he offered Starbucks on him and we grew a bit joyous only to find a closed a Starbucks. I found the situations quite comical and thankfully we made it to the newsroom soon after with the relief that we were just in time for dinner.
Right after we finished our second broadcast class, we were told our group was to travel to the police facilities to interview and film for a new article. No time to research – no problem. Since we missed the bus, we had to walk there. This actually helped us because it bought us time to formulate some questions for our article.
As we walked the 20-30 minute route, we discussed the articles we would be writing/filming about. We were to break news regarding Stony Brook University’s new emergency operations center, and then also touch on the station’s new police cars. When we finally arrived at our destination, we were welcomed by police officers who let us into the building to speak to the Chief of Police about the school’s new emergency operations center. I was impressed to see this shiny new room adapted into what looks like a control center in crime movies.
We filmed, scribed, and snapped photos all at once, and practiced the new skills we learned from our broadcast class. Then, we moved outside to take a look at the new police interceptors. We filmed some more, and after two or three hours, we were pooped. Although we had got the job done, we were tired, thirsty, and hungry. Turns out, we missed the bus going back too, so we were forced to walk in the hot summer sun.
On the bright side, Wasim promised to stop at Starbucks and buy us cold drinks. The only problem was, when we arrived at the Starbucks, it was closed. Wasim had crushed our precious dreams. To compensate, we stopped at the SAC and got drinks there. We decided to take a post-adventure sweaty selfie. Enjoy.
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.
So I’m going to claim the first post—which I suppose isn’t fair since I’m editing the site, but hey, that’s why I gave y’all those packets about posting to the blog.
After the welcome from Dean Howard Schneider (the person in the photo above, if you didn’t catch his name) and the talk from Zack, Cathrine and I, hope you all have some great story ideas percolating in your head to bring to the table later today, and some great questions for our guest speaker, Shawn Heilbron, the new Athletics Director at Stony Brook University.
By now, you’ve probably settled into your residence hall and have made some new friends and discovered some interesting quirks about your roommate (my first roommate used to put post-it notes on everything that was his in the room, never mind the fact that we had clearly distinct halves of the room that we never crossed anyway. Odd.) – be sure to write all that down before the thoughts leave your head! All of that will make some great fodder for your blog posts.
See everyone bright and early tomorrow.
Oh, and one more thing. This:
(click the play button to see it in panorama mode!)
Good luck, Greene Team!
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The Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists