Published: Granite Bay Gazette Vol. 18, Issue 8. Friday, May 20, 2016.
For the last half of my time as a high school student, I felt I have truly found my niche on campus.
After reading the Gazette for three years, since before I even entered high school, I only realized that I too could write for the paper after I read Caroline Palmer’s Voices piece on rape culture my sophomore year. It was a stunning piece, and I realized then that if someone in my grade could voice their opinion so openly, I too could voice my passionate opinions about social justice via the Gazette.
One day I broached the idea of me joining the Gazette staff to my mom and now, two years later, all I can say is that my time on the Gazette has been an honor and pleasure.
Advanced Journalism is my favorite class of the day. I have found a few of my best friends through the class and, as cliched of an idea as it is, the journalism class is like a dysfunctional but somehow functional family. There is no feeling greater, to me, than to see your hard work published in a nationally-renowned paper such as the Gazette. Doing so with my Gazette family by my side has been the best experience of my life.
I have loved being a co-editor-in-chief this year for the Gazette alongside both Troy Pawlak and Savitri Asokan, two brilliant human beings who patiently put up with my perfectionism.
For two years now, the non-plagiarizers group message, made up of Amanda Nist, Olivia Heppell, Caroline Palmer, Epsa Sharma and Blake Panter has been there to dissect every school event, national and local controversy and the ever-interesting 2016 Presidential race. You are all such wonderful people and I have loved our dining adventures.
And to Mr. Grubaugh, your wisdom and entertaining anecdotes have inspired me to be both a better journalist and person. Your experience and guidance have helped me to become a deeper and more analytical thinker.
For me, high school was an incredibly enjoyable experience, and I owe much of that to the wonderful teachers I have had. Mr. McLearan fueled my love for literature. Ms. Elkin showed me so much warmth and care that I only strive to do the same for others. Mr. Dell’Orto taught me to be more empathetic, especially by considering more than just my own perspective.
Mr. Cordell taught me to see beauty in everything, and seek betterment through questioning and learning. Mrs. Padgett resparked my passion for social justice and love of writing. Mr. Westberg taught me to examine my own ideology and then take action. Mr. McGregor showed me humility and kindness, although he wasn’t afraid to point out how he knew I had started to tune him out after asking a question. And Mr. Grubaugh, of course, introduced me to my passion for journalism, which I will be forever thankful for.
If this serves as my senior advice to my class or future seniors, what I have to say is there is so much more learning to be done! There is a world of knowledge waiting to be uncovered and absorbed – explore a museum, read a book (I recommend Murakami), watch a movie (too many to recommend), constantly seek to improve, reevaluate and better yourself. Be a contributing member of society – be a voice for justice. But above all, continue to be kind.