Tag Archives: English

Reporter's notebook

What does it mean to be a CVU Journalist?

By: Phoebe Henderson

HINESBURG, VT– As a Junior at Champlain Valley Union High School, I wasn’t sure what to expect when joining the group of journalists for my last quarter of the year. I had little to no knowledge about what it meant to be a journalist. After completing my Creative Writing class second quarter, I learned that I have a passion for writing stories and poems. This influenced my decision to join the Journalism class taught by Amanda Terwillegar. 

My experience this year gave me the chance to dig deeper into the world of local news. I have never been one to read the newspaper or watch the news, but becoming a journalist has opened up new opportunities and experiences for me. Personally, I wouldn’t have normally chosen a writing class that involves interviewing people outside of the classroom, but doing so has taught me to speak up and become more involved with our local community.

An average day in Journalism consisted of first reading the news and sharing out amongst the class some of the top headlines from breaking news websites such as BBC, CNN, VTdigger, etc. Then we moved into editing our individual stories.

There are many different forms of journalism that we worked with, such as investigative journalism, where journalists dive deep into a certain topic, researching and interviewing different ideas (these pieces tend to be longer). A roll-in piece is a film that includes main footage of a specific topic, along with a voice over explaining what’s happening in the short video which we then sent over to the CVU Show. “Hard news” refers to breaking news and is normally a much shorter and very relevant piece. Lastly, feature articles tell you what you want to know; they take you behind the scenes and explain everything in much more depth and greater length. I worked mostly with feature and hard news pieces.   

As you know, Covid has played a major role in our education system this year. School schedules were shifted and classes were cut in half. Meaning that I was only able to experience Journalism in half a semester. Although we were cut short with time,  we made the best of it and ended up receiving a lot of consistent news regarding the pandemic that then got turned into pieces.

All of our pieces go through editing and revising once completed. Then they either get posted on the CVU Chronicle, which can be found on the CVU website, or are passed onto the CVU show!

If you are interested in writing or even just need another English credit, I highly recommend joining Journalism. It gives you a new perspective on writing and can open up new opportunities of learning filled with great experiences!

Tanzanian Transplant: Faibe Achinda talks culture

The immigrant population makes up 13% of the United State’s total population, making 42.1 million immigrants able to call the United States their home. Faibe Achinda and her 8 siblings are 9 of those 42.1 million people who have come to the United States.

Faibe came to the United States when she was only 15. She was dropped into a culture she had never experienced nor heard of before, one that was also nearly 8,000 miles away from her home. Coming from Tanzania, she swapped her yearlong summer weather with a climate that experienced winter like conditions for more than half the year. Having never seen snow before she took a quick liking, but soon her feelings toward it changed as she realized it was a package deal with subzero temperatures.

However, Faibe says the climate was the least of her problems. “When I first came here, the only thing I knew how to say in English was ‘Hi.'” She came to the United states already knowing French and Swahili, but says learning English was one of the hardest things she’s had to learn thus far. When she was enrolled into Champlain Valley Union High School, she felt embarrassed and alone because she didn’t know how to make friends with people she couldn’t say more than hello to. She couldn’t talk to her teachers, she couldn’t talk to her peers, she said the only place she felt at ease was her French class, but even there the teacher spoke primarily English, to appeal to the majority of the students. “Everything I said I felt like people responded with ‘what?’ because they couldn’t understand me, and then I would just say never mind because I didn’t want to repeat myself so many times.”

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