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PORTFOLIO

MAX SOTELO

MAY 2019


FIRST REFLECTION

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s many of this year’s editors leave, and the torch is handed to next year’s editors, I feel as though this past semester has been more full of new lessons than the last. I have learned how to handle the stress of being committed to writing articles and getting interviews on tight deadlines. I tried as much as I could to challenge myself to get multiple articles done along with a video, which has actually worked out to be extremely rewarding for me, which has shown me that I really can do anything I put my mind to, as I get ready to embark on a new challenge next year of early college. It used to be a problem for me to get myself to write articles and find inspiration for how I would gather all my research and thoughts, and organize them in an article. Ever since the beginning of this semester, I’ve found it to be much easier to do that. This year, I’ve realized that I have actually grown as a writer in my English class because of newspaper. I continue to learn new things about journalism ethics with every issue. There have been many times I felt like I needed to change a quote in order to improve the quality of my article, but I ultimately knew that the ethical thing to do would be to just pick a different quote from my interview. This quote issue has been a huge motivator for me to just ask really good questions, because great questions usually tend to elicit great answers. Newspaper has helped me improve my skill of working on a team because being under some level of stress each month for one common effort is one of the key

parts of being in this class. Naturally, when I see people under a lot of stress, I like to do as much as I can to help. For example, I found myself checking in with editors and asking what I could do to help and if I was writing for their page, I would ask there was anything I needed to fix with my article and I would check my document to view and approve any new edits almost every day. With the production of the videos, I became very dissatisfied with the quality of them. I felt like there was something off with but I still don’t know what that is. A recurring challenge I had with making the videos was finding B-roll for things that there wasn’t really much B-roll I could film that would be relevant to the topic of the video. I am going to be honest, I usually started the videos during the final week of production, and I finished the day before the paper came out. This is probably the reason I feel like there is something off about the quality of the videos. I realized I probably don’t want to continue to produce videos for the newspaper. I feel like the reason probably has to do with how I’m personally stronger making news stories about less serious things, such as the Kardashians and, like pop culture, or other things along the lines of that. I feel like editing the Trending Now page will actually be a good thing for me to do. Also, my horoscope said I should pursue things that excite me and that I’m passionate about. Everything that being an editor entails, and trending topics are definitely things I would say excite me and I’m passionate about.


SECOND REFLECTION My most significant piece of written work for the CS Press this year was my news article about guitar class. This was definitely the most difficult piece I have written this year. I remember I first suggested this idea in January because I wanted an excuse to talk to the guy I liked, so in April, when it finally was up to me to write it, I found it to actually be more difficult than I had thought it would be. First of all, I was extremely nervous to interview the person I was going to interview, but I eventually mustered up the courage to do so. My biggest issue for this article was figuring out what I would talk about in the article. I had had some prior experience writing difficult articles in the past, but for this specific topic, there was literally nothing to write about. I had great difficulty finding an angle for the article and what sort of things I would write about in it. When I first started writing this article, I probably had about two sentences on the page. When I got all three

of my interviews, I still was not able to come anywhere near the word count. Another challenge was getting my adult interview. The teacher for this class leaves campus after third period, so there was not much I felt I could do. I ended up emailing the teacher to set up an interview at a time that was really easy for me. Although this interview was great, I still struggled to write a great deal of information to meet the word count. I decided to do some greater research, and I found examples of articles about guitar classes that gave me some really good inspiration for more questions to ask. I did another interview with the teacher, asking the questions that I felt I missed during my first one. I was finally able to complete the article. Even though it was under word count, I did as much as I could, and everything was all good. I really liked how when I asked the second round of questions to the guitar teacher, I got a whole new perspective on questioning and for sure will help me to come up with interview questions in the future.


THIRD REFLECTION My opinion piece I made for the March issue of the newspaper is definitely one of my favorite articles I’ve done. This was my first opinion piece I’ve ever written, so I was a little intimidated, but very excited. I like how I was able to write a lot of things and how clearly I discussed my stance.

Another article I really liked was the little question and answer thing I did with someone I would call one of my closest friends, Ryan Pogemiller, who was also student body president. This was originally supposed to be a whole written article, but I felt as though his answers were extremely interesting and a formal article with three interviews wouldn’t do him justice, so I wrote it as a Q&A.

The article I wrote about Lily Ellison’s soap business was such an interesting experience. When I interviewed Lily, she did not seem like an average immature high schooler. She was very well-spoken and her answers were really nice and interesting. My interview with Ms. O’Hare was the definition of something that just falls into place. I was lost on which adult I would interview, I had no idea which adult could have been a good interview. I noticed Ms. O’Hare talking with Lily about a soap order after I finished interviewing Lily, and that’s when the idea hit me. I love it when things just fall into place like that.


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