Why you should join Newspaper

NEWSPAPER’S FEARLESS LEADER, Mr. Miller, provides words of wisdom to a student (SCHS yearbook)

Sophie Rapeepat | Head Editor

March 14, 2024

I used to love writing back when the most that was ever expected of us was a “weekend recap” or a one-page personal narrative. I loved how writing just meant recording words I wanted to say and preserving them to be recited over and over again. I loved how in just a few moments, I could peek into the minds of my classmates and learn about their experiences, beliefs, and hopes. According to junior Abby Allen, “Everyone loves stories. Especially when you’re young, reading and writing is just an adventure with nothing else to it.”

Then came seventh grade, and with it the expectations of rubrics, standardized tests, and on-demand essays. All of a sudden, writing my raw thoughts wasn’t enough, and academic worth became dependent on a structured claim, evidence, and reasoning. Instead of writing about history or debating topics we were passionate about, we focused instead on whether school lunches should be a little bit healthier, or how the literary choice to use the word “sprint” instead of “run” reflects the author’s purpose. Writing quickly became a chore, and all I learned was how to fluff an essay to reach the word count or follow a strict template to score points. Ultimately, the fluidity and freedom that I loved about writing were taken away as I was told when to write, how to write, and what to write. 

TRITON TIMES STAFF hard at work on their articles (SCHS yearbook)

I joined the Triton Times during my junior year at San Clemente High School. When our first article came around, I was shocked to see there were no instructions attached to the canvas assignment. Everyone I asked for direction would just shrug and the answer was always the same: “It’s whatever you want it to be.”

At first, I didn’t know what to do with this new freedom, and many of my articles were flavorless and rigid and reflected what I’d been taught others wanted to hear. However, I loved reading the work of my classmates: Eden Havel with her comedic commentary, Aaron Velez with his factual reports, and eventually, I learned what it meant to have a unique writer’s voice. I discovered an interest in philosophy and many of my articles became open-ended rants derived from that week’s shower thought. Newspaper allowed me to express my wonder and share the same curiosity with others. “My grandma, my mom, and I all stay updated with the Triton Times,” says senior Emma Hudelson. “It’s a great way to keep up with what’s going on in SC and on campus.”

More than anything, the class allowed me to rediscover my love for writing with the flexibility to make mistakes and try new approaches. 

I think everyone should take “PubDesign4-News.” I personally love it as a creative outlet, but the class has something for everyone. Yes, it is student-led and a weighted course, but it also allows you to research things you’re passionate about and learn about current events in the world around you. It’s an opportunity to connect with students all across campus and to hear from different perspectives on every topic imaginable. Talk to any staff on the Triton Times, and you’ll find that every single one of us loves the class and recommends it.

Join next year! We can’t wait to have you. 

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