them to bring in stories, and analyze the opening paragraphs known as
It will be the second summer for the workshop and the eighth year for
teacher Brian Crosby as newspaper advisor.
Although students do not get credit for attending the workshop, it is
mandatory for those who will be working on the paper in the fall, he
said. The workshop gives students a head start on what's expected so they
can hit the ground running at the start of school.
"In the beginning, it's overwhelming," student Shirley Kan, 15, said.
"What do you do, what do you do? But I'm making notes and practicing."
"Up until I joined the paper, I wrote essays," sports writer Efrain
Olivares, 16, said.
"Reporting is a whole different style of writing."
Students learn to look at information in different ways, said Crosby.
"They're learning to rearrange copy to make it more gripping," he
Student Eliz Hounanian, 16, described the process as "all color and
"It's your piece of work, your creativity. Everybody appreciates it."
From 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, 27 students were immersed in
journalism jargon and the finer points of journalistic writing structure.
"We splash them with journalism," Crosby said.
When the subject came to quoting sources, Crosby told the class,
"Quotes are like weapons, use them gingerly."
Students have chosen to work on the section of the paper that sparks
their interest -- news, centerfold, opinion, advertising/business,
entertainment, on campus, sports, graphics and photography.
The majority of them will be using the computer program Microsoft Word
to write their stories, and then import the text into the program Quark
Express to create a page layout, Crosby said. The workshop allows the
students to become familiar with the equipment in a relaxed setting.
The newspaper's computers underwent a face-lift with the help of two
students, Derek Ellis, 15, and Neil Tiwari, 16, who serve as the
newspaper's technical support.
The students used the district's computer network hookup, and
customized the high school's system at bare-minimum cost with donated
equipment, Neil said.
At first, the system was a mess, Derek said.
"We fixed a lot of the problems. A firewall was installed to protect
hackers from breaking into the system. We also centralized the file
storage so that all the copy will be stored on the main computer."