Week-long New York trip offers exploration, education
During an exploration of Times Square, journalism adviser Greg Stobbe, far left, points out the sights. The journalism staff will once again travel to New York this year, after a three-year hiatus.
In order to trade their daily high school ritual for a more adventurous form of education, 20 members of the publications class will travel to New York City to participate in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's 86th annual Spring Scholastic Convention, March 14-20.
In addition to the convention, The Feather staffers will explore the city, attend Broadway shows, visit Ellis Island and shop. In previous years, students have also held a burger-eating contests and skated in Central Park.
For students like sophomore Nick Avery, the opportunity to visit Columbia University is the most exciting aspect of the trip.
"I'm looking forward to see the Columbia campus," Avery said. "Columbia is a huge journalism school and I'm planning to become a journalist. I'm not sure I'll have another opportunity to tour the campus before I start making college decisions; so being able to visit is very exciting for me."
While he is interested in the academic aspect of the trip, Avery says he plans to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in activities that are not related to school.
"If we have a burger eating contest, I definitely plan to participate," Avery said. "I've heard White Castle Burgers are really good. There are only four boys going on the trip, and I've already sized up the competition; I think my chances of winning are pretty good."
Instead of taking part in the fast-food frenzy, sophomore Raine Hayes says she looks forward to more conventional activities.
"I'm most excited to get a chance to shop in all the renowned stores," Hayes said. "New York is like the Mecca of shopping, they have so many stores we don't have in Fresno."
Publications adviser Greg Stobbe says the Columbia conference offers perspective and motivation to students.
"One of the reasons I take the kids to New York is so they can see and appreciate some of the determination, focus and drive that thousands of high school journalism students have across the country." --journalism adviser Greg Stobbe
"One of the reasons I take the kids to New York is so they can see and appreciate some of the determination, focus and drive that thousands of high school journalism students have across the country," Stobbe said. "It lets our kids know that they are not alone in their publications efforts, especially, when considering that thousands of others have the same kind of passion as they do."
After at least 10 years of the trip, Stobbe says he has seen improvement in his students.
"Ever since I've been taking kids to New York, the skill level of The Feather has been amped up," Stobbe said. "I would put my kids in any other publications lab in the country with the confidence that they would be able to compete with the best."
After a red-eye flight and chilly ferry ride, journalism and drama students pose at the entrance to Ellis Island in March 2007. Some students were able to find their ancestors' names on the memorial there.
For editor-in-chief Suzanna Quiring, '10, the trip to New York is not a new experience, but an opportunity to relive an old one.
"I'm going because this is my final year in journalism," Quring said. "I went to New York my freshman year and it was an extremely memorable experience. As the only returning student, I'm excited to share all sorts of new learning and fun experiences with the other staff members."
For Quiring, the trip is about more than making memories.
"This is the second year The Feather has earned a CSPA Silver Crown," Quiring said. "We will find out in New York if our efforts have been rewarded with the top honor: a Gold Crown. So as well as learning from the conference, I hope we can bring home a top award."
While many students will benefit from the conference at Columbia, senior Tyler Duerr, The Feather's media specialist and one of 10 staffers remaining in Fresno, says he feels it would not be a worthwhile experience for him.
"I'm not going to New York partially because of the price," Duerr said. "But, mostly because I do more of the media stuff for The Feather, rather than writing articles. I don't feel like I would get that much out of the conference; I just don't really feel like I'm part of the class's target audience."
For more information about the crown read the Feb. 18 article, Columbia recognizes The Feather staff.
For more information about the New York trip, read the March 22, 2007 article Quintessential New York includes professional advice, urban adventure, 911: Portrait of FDNY hero or e-mail Stobbe.