Hazel: Worth A Thousand Words

Hazel: Worth A Thousand Words

Photo by Callie Hazel

I joined the News staff with the intent of becoming a journalist, to grow more involved in the student body, and to become a better writer. I have loved writing since I was a young kid. I always loved telling stories and I had an idea notebook filled to the very last page. When you are young, the world of possibilities seems endless, so the writing could be, too. As you grow older, that curiosity of the world, and how to paint the most beautiful picture with your words becomes something to strive for, but more daunting. Especially when you think you don’t have anything worth saying. Due to this class, this staff, and the mentoring of Mrs. Basinger, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I do have something worth saying, and I can paint like Picasso with only my words, and I can instill the child-like curiosity in my readers because it is something I yearn to have and yearn to give. I found a voice, a safe place to land, and a drive to never stop chasing curiosity.

The environment within the News room is unlike a typical classroom. One of my favorite things: not having to ask to pee, a small liberty that is so freeing and definitely worth mentioning. Working with this staff this year pushed me to be better, they are all talented beyond measure and their words are a treasure to read. I have grown closer to each person on staff, and that isn’t typical of a high school class, and it truly is because of  the collaborative nature of the team and our passions for writing. News was a safe space, not only to create but to just be. Your opinions and your thoughts are cherished, and respected. In today’s world that is something very rare. I have laughed, I have danced, I have cried under desks, and I have loved and embraced it all.

I can’t reflect on what I have learned about being a student journalist without acknowledging who was at the forefront of teaching me all these amazing lessons. Mrs. B,  I could listen to you talk for hours and still be so drawn into what we were talking about, even if it was how to write a good caption for the fourth time that year.  Or the curse of your infamous “that’s a news story” that pops into my head after almost every conversation. You worked with me on countless stories, and praised my work always making sure I  felt appreciated and worthy of being “a good writer,” which is something I struggle with. You are one of the most caring and dedicated people I know and my life will be forever changed for getting to be one of your students. You have so much love and enthusiasm for journalism, and even more for getting to teach us about it, and for that I am forever grateful.

With my first and last year on staff coming to a close I am amazed at how fast it went. I have accomplished more than I could have imagined, and I have learned more lessons than I could of dreamed. Though this is my last year on staff you will still be hearing from me, I will be milling around the News room, and posting pictures on my photography account (self promo @callie_ photogrpahy_acc), publishing some stories every now and then, and also hopefully keep Rawr XD alive. There is a whole years of work, and memories in the classroom and it will be hard to leave. It isn’t really until some of those last moments when I look back and realize that most of what I learned in this class didn’t come from a standard I had to show my understanding of, but how to lift not only my voice but our voices, and how to be a better person, who is always lending an ear to anyone who might need reminding that they too have something worth saying. I am beyond sad I won’t be able to be on staff next year and I will miss it a lot. But I am so grateful for the time that I had, and the people I got to create with. These people, and this class, and the memories I have made, and the lessons who have shaped who I am and who I want to be will be carried with me always.