g a fresh perspective
THEIR EXPERIENCES AT THE WEEKLY
Pleasanton Weekly has a real office where we gather to work nually update the websites run out of our office, Pleasantonpress.com and DanvilleExpress.com. So we have opportunism — from gathering news, planning stories and selling ads
e and small and all went out on assignment to help us cover nal assignment, they interviewed and wrote about each other.
fine with whatever you want me to do.” However Managing Editor Dolores Fox Ciardelli knew that Dena was capable of much more and said, with a laugh, “You will be surprised at what we plan on giving you.” One of her most memorable stories featured a professional dirt-biker and motocross racer, Kacy Martinez, who recently participated and competed at the X-Games. “It was almost like I got some insider coverage because she told me a few things that not many people were aware of,” Dena said. Furthermore, Martinez’s experiences were unlike anything Dena had known before. The fascinating people and experiences that she encountered throughout her internship are exactly what piqued her interest in journalism initially. Dena currently is the design editor for her high school’s yearbook. She recalled what appealed to her when, in middle school, she signed up to be a member of the yearbook staff. “You did everything — designing, talking to people, photography, writing,” she said. “Right off the bat I fell in love with it.” However, writing for the Weekly was a much different endeavor than partaking in high school journalism. She feels that her maturity and work ethic have grown, and the way she had to approach people was much more formal. “It’s no longer just covering an event on the quad,” Dena said. “You’re talking about stories that are going on in a larger community.” Dena is also an active member of Pleasanton’s Youth and Government group, a model legislature in association with YMCA. “It’s basically a kid-based California with a youth governor and everything,” she said. She was the editor-in-chief of the Sunday Magazine within the Print Media portion of this body, which allowed her to incorporate her journalism skills. Additionally, Dena helps out in her community by babysitting a few of her neighbors’ children. In fact, she once overscheduled herself to the point where she had to cover an event for the Weekly while she was babysitting. “I completely forgot about babysitting Dylan, so I ended up taking him to Relay For Life while I interviewed people,” she laughed. Luckily, everything worked out: Dylan found a classmate at the event, which helped ease her initial worries. The event itself also proved to be rewarding; after interviewing several organizers and those who were running in honor of their loved ones, she became inspired to participate next year. “Everyone was very supportive and excited that the Weekly was covering the event,” Dena said. Throughout her journalism journey at the Weekly, Dena has developed a sense of appreciation for news in general. “You can be anywhere and there’s always something to talk about,” Dena said. “News is prominent in any society and it’s how people interact with each other.” As her internship concludes, Dena is certain that the Weekly will remain close in sight.
Meet Priyanka BY AMELIA ARVESEN
t’s rare to find someone who is always smiling but for Priyanka Mody, it comes naturally. Even during the long process of updating the Info resource guide at the Pleasanton Weekly, Priyanka seemed to always keep her positive attitude. In the fall, Priyanka will be a senior at The Harker School, a small private school in San Jose. She is looking forward to taking charge of her school’s newspaper, The Winged Post, as editor-in-chief. “I never knew how passionate I would become about a certain group at school,” she said. Priyanka said she feels fortunate to have come across the opportunity to be an intern at the Weekly, especially after applying to many small papers and being turned down. The position has turned out to be a good fit, and she has enjoyed her numerous tasks, including reporting and taking photos. The 17-year-old said she has learned a lot about journalism during her internship and has come to realize that people
are only a phone call away. She now feels confident calling people she doesn’t know and said that learning how to interact with others will be helpful in the future. “Everyone has a story and it’s up to you to find out what it is,” Priyanka said, quoting her newspaper teacher. After high school Priyanka hopes to pursue psychology, attend medical school and specifically become a child psychologist. If that doesn’t work out, Priyanka said her dream job would be to own a successful restaurant and be the head chef. When she’s not keeping busy with extracurricular activities such as cross country track, she enjoys “wasting time” surfing through online recipe guides. Surprisingly, she spends more time on Foodandwine.com than Facebook. On Sunday mornings, Priyanka puts her knowledge of all things epicurean to work at the Fremont Farmers Market. “Nothing beats fresh, local produce — a colorful array of yellows, reds, purples and greens,” she said, adding that going to the market with her mother every week has become a tradition. Priyanka said that she loves to cook and eat and believes that great conversations happen around food. She also relishes playing the piano, traveling, running and flying planes. She is taking flying lessons at the Palo Alto Airport, which include ground training and practice in the air, using a 1966 Cessna 150. While she didn’t know what she was getting herself into at first with flying, Priyanka has since learned to appreciate the skill. She said she knows flying is a risk that not a lot of people are willing to take but feels she will be thankful later in life that she learned to fly. Priyanka said she prefers to be on land, running and dancing, and is learning the Indian classical dance Bharatnatyam. She also enjoys long runs with her cross-country teammates, who help her endure what she calls “the unbearable sport.” “Going on really long runs is mentally refreshing especially when you’re stressed out about something external,” she said. A social butterfly on and off the sports field, Priyanka delights in being around family and friends. She said she’s good at talking to people and understanding situations from different perspectives. “I can’t imagine a job that you can’t be around people,” she said, explaining that interning at the Weekly gave her plenty of practice and experience. Priyanka said that she has learned how instant news is. Through her experience at the Weekly, she has learned that sometimes you have to be persistent because people don’t always respond or give you the exact quotes you expect. “You just keep trying and eventually you’re going to end up with an article that reflects the amount of time you put in,” she said. Although she doesn’t want to be a professional journalist or pilot, Priyanka said that she is just trying to find out who she is, while keeping a smile on. Pleasanton WeeklyÊUÊAugust 12, 2011ÊU Page 15
Section 1 of the August 19, 2011 edition of the Pleasanton Weekly