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A Weekend in Austin

Esmeralda Quintana, Features Editor

28 June 2014 
  I opened my notebook to a crisp new page for the first time since school had ended. While scribbling June 20, 2014 at the top right hand corner of the page, I thought to myself; this was the first time nine peers and I were going to witness college life. A four day workshop at The University of Texas at Austin that included bunking with roomies, scary and grody community showers, very talkative professors, and, of course, college food—because that’s always important, right?

     Slouched in my chair, a little weary from the three hour ride just before, I was already dreading the arrival of the professor. The last thing I wanted was some prehistoric, withered-looking man in a suit and matching tie, gabbing on about the "ethics of journalism.”

      But with false expectations, in came the adviser and assistant professor Scott Winter wearing a worn out yellow Cheerios t-shirt that clashed well with his worn out tennis shoes. We started the class off with an introductory PowerPoint that featured a shirtless Brad Pitt photo on the first slide, with a caption underneath that read, “It's an old pic.” 

     A quirky character that he was, he opened up our views of journalism in a whole other way. His style of teaching was captivating and unorthodox.

     "Throughout everything you’ve learned from your English teachers," he said, "Don’t be afraid to break the traditional rules of writing."

      In the outcome of taking his class, I learned more about journalism in just four days than I have ever learned all year long from any of my previous teachers.

    At the Interscholastic League Press Conference, which was the summer workshop at UT, we were taught that great writers write sentences that have never been written before. We were warned that the only people that are going to read the same old football and debate team finalist stories are the people who the stories are about and their mothers, if they’re lucky. And in all honesty, as sad as it sounds, it’s the truth.

    So with all the editors boasting great passion, huge enthusiasm, and a bucket full of ideas, expect great stories from the John F. Kennedy High School newspaper this upcoming year—the Kennedy Profile.