Behind the Troy InVoice staff

The end of summer and the beginning of school swept our newspaper staff like a bag of very heavy rocks. One minute we were sitting by the pool reading AP journalism formatting style books and scrolling twitter for updates on Taylor Swift’s new album. The next minute we are staring at each other’s faces in the journalism room wondering what happened to our beloved summer days. Meaning the struggle to keep our minds on track to the goal of journalistic excellence is very real.

We officially have eight gorgeous and talented staff members. In case you are unaware of these lovely individuals, I feel it is necessary to make introductions.

Justina Brown, our sensational editor in chief. Justina is expert on everything related to journalism, communication, donuts, and making the staff feel like we are the coolest people in the universe. You know she puts one hundred and twelve percent of her soul into this paper because her car is always parked in the space closest to the school, a position only obtained by someone who arrives long before any other student.

Yulenni Vennegas, one of our rookie reporters. Yulenni is the resident theater star and speaks fluent sarcasm. Her level of oratory eloquence makes us all look like primitive apes but she is far too modest to ever affirm such an idea.

Cameron Tsosie, one of our beloved return reporters. Cameron is the sunshine of our staff. He radiates optimism and curiosity, ready to accomplish any task without a single complaint. He is not capable of abrasive words or judgement, and a critical addition to our staff.

Andrew Hernandez, the yearbook editor in chief. Andrew’s delightful sense of humor keeps every class day full of vivacity and excitement. Do not trust him with government secrets, heavy machinery or your MySpace passwords. DO trust him with hugs and photography skills.

Adam Sanders, future marine and a professional at spinny chair bumper cars. He’s one of our returning staff members and keeps a certain degree of cool to our nerdy journalism style.

Alex Vasquez is our newest staff member, she came all the way from Riverside to dispense her skills on the Troy InVoice. Her renowned article on school confession twitter accounts has us very excited for what she will do for our newspaper.

And last but not least, our darling Jorge Hoolahan. Not only does he have the best hair of anyone on the staff, but Jorge is absurdly intelligent. His refusal to use spell check or capitalize his name are just a covering for his genius mind, we promise.

We will be slaving over our keyboards and college ruled notebook paper all year (aside from the occasional cookie break) to make the Troy InVoice something that will open your brain windows when you read it. We will do all the writing, picture taking, and designing, all you have to do is read.

Expectations

High school has often been described as a form of the Animal Kingdom, where students are divided into groups and categories depending on their interests and popularity (let us not forget the memorable scene in the movie “Mean Girls,” where new-girl Cady Heron is introduced to the different “cliques” at the lunch table). Therefore, it seems fitting to compare the student body (in a very simplistic sense) to a group of predators.

This comparison seems particularly fitting during the scheduling period. Many factors are included in determining the value of one course over another: the teacher, the ratio of friends, strangers expected to back you up in case you missed an assignment, and former students’ assessment of the class, are all subconsciously swirling in the minds of students as they choose the courses that would lead them to graduation (or, to continue with the jungle analogy, figuring out the best course of action to survive and leave the wild savannah and to never return).

Due to much (and persistent) persuasion from newspaper Editor-in-Chief Justina Brown, I have been convinced to take journalistic writing as a class for my senior year. Having heard much of the class from said EIC, there are a number of things that I expect, namely: A lot of time on the computer (which quite honestly is never a bad thing); inside jokes; interesting, if at times possibly random conversation on anything and everything; and doughnuts (Justina was quite animated about this last expectation).

The improvement of a skill is somehow overlooked in any course. This is expected, since the main goal of the average high school student is usually just passing the class (or just having fun, depending on the student). But whether it’s in the ability to solve a new, seemingly irrelevant mathematical formula, the ability to finally serve a volleyball correctly, or the great importance of identifying the difference between a verb and an adverb in a sentence – in any course, some skill is improved at least a little bit.

In this course, I plan to improve my journalistic writing skills, after having left them to rust for four years since my last journalism class in middle school (though nobody should remember middle school, it having been universally accepted as an awkward phase that should never be mentioned ever).

However, this is not to say that I will not be surprised in regards to the course. On the contrary, I hope to be pleasantly surprised. But for now, I wait.