The past four years at Elk Grove High School have been unforgettable, largely in part to my experiences within the EGHS journalism program. Coming into my freshman year, taking the course was sort of a risk because I had absolutely no idea if I was going to fall in love with the class or hate it completely.
It turns out, that risk I took was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.
Being a part of The Guardian has taught me a number of life lessons that I can carry with me throughout life, and the relationships I’ve gained at EGHS will last a lifetime.
When I think back on my time here, I think of three words: entertaining, weird and motivating.
First, entertaining. This dates back to freshman year during both class and paste-ups after school. During class freshman year, it was the most fun I’ve ever had in school. From the constant random singing, movie references and Mr. Modelski imitating baseball players’ batting stances, class seemed like an all-out free-for-all.
One of my favorite moments was during one of our first paste-ups. I had just finished football practice and got to Room 196 at about 6 p.m. Mr. Modelski and former editors-in-chief Paul Jonas and Natalia Habas were munching on some Little Caesars deadline pizza. Katlyn Schwarz, a reporter, was reciting every song and word from the “Hamilton” music. Mr. Mo began singing Taylor Swift and that’s when I knew it was time to leave. The rest of the group was there until about 9 p.m. that night, and we somehow met the deadline.
My sophomore and junior years were obviously cut short and extremely weird because, for pretty much the first time in history, we were on lockdown. I still remember March 13, 2020 to this day, sitting in my English class getting an eerie feeling that what was gonna happen next wasn’t going to be good.
We finished our class that year on Zoom and we were actually able to get our senior issue out that year as a PDF which is something that all of us hadn’t done before. I think that issue definitely got everyone in the class more in-tact with page design which helped us going forward.
My junior year, at the beginning, was definitely a challenge. We had little staff and being virtual for this class was very hard because the only way we could get ahold of sources was via email at the start.
And by the middle of the school year, we had some kids in the building and some kids out, which was another weird roadblock thrown in front of us. However, that year we were able to get out more issues than expected and it was actually very successful.
Plus, my time in the Guardian was motivating. This comes into play mainly during these past three years. The amount of effort and time our group put in those two years during the pandemic was remarkable. It was definitely very assuring to see the final product after a months long of hard work.
As for this year, our staff was very young and inexperienced. For our first few cycles, I’ll admit we struggled as a group, but once the underclassmen got that valuable experience, then the wheels started to go. By the end of first semester, we really got into a good groove and one of the most important things I’ve learned taking this course, especially from this year’s early struggles, is that you just have to keep going. You can’t let your classmates or teammates down if you make a mistake.
Though the time is winding down, I will never forget what The Guardian and Mr. Modelski have given me.
I’d also like to thank my sources over the years. Never once did a teacher or student at this school decline to interview and I can’t thank all of you enough for being so welcoming. I truly enjoyed talking to every single one of you.