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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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Senior Reflection: Emma Calderon


Motivation, the incitement for an individual to continue their daily existence, typically stimulated by their supposed purpose; or so I initially thought. Prior to my sophomore year, my younger self assumed success was defined by the validation I received from the adults and peers a part of my life. 

Yearning for higher grades compared to the rest of my class, or a comment from teacher verifying a sense of self-worth within. My identity relied on superficial assets, ultimately signifying nothing, the naivety of a sheltered self led to the downward spiral towards a fractured mental health.

I strayed from my path of reason, to fit my belief of prosperity, I pushed myself far past the limit of what a human can bear; I became what I feared most, a burnout. As my classmates flourished academically, I waned in isolation, unable to fulfill the unrealistic expectations my subconscious assigned.

[/media-credit] Senior editors, Aubrey Graham, Emma Calderon and Taylor Beckworth interview WW2 veteran Bob Cole, Oct. 26.

Thus the first day of junior year ensued, I entered a computer lab unsure of what was to come. A few months prior, my AP European teacher, Kori James, invited me to join The Feather Online, an esteemed high school online newspaper, as a journalist. 

At first I doubted my zeal for writing consistently held onto me despite my trials, desperation to pursue any achievement convinced me to sign up for the elective. 

Alongside my history teacher the co-adviser, Greg Stobbe, greeted the class with exhilaration for the potential of the numerous new members. As the first quarter progressed my eagerness to absorb the knowledge of journalism grew exponentially. 

Stobbe originally taught journalistic writing, he rehabilitated my desire to thrive scholastically, while simultaneously adapting my flawed viewpoint. He instilled in me the purpose of journalism, to serve the people, each article possesses its own unique approach to the benefit of the audience. 

Perplexed at the state of self-absorption the stage my mind abided, the fogginess clouding my eyes cleared, and I discerned the abnormal realization: to live is to aid everyone except myself. The purpose of journalism is to help the people by informing the community, as every action must hold the same purpose for there to be good in the world.

Instead of relying on unoriginal writing styles, for my first article, I followed my writing advisor’s guidance. I chose to write a book review because I assumed the piece’s complexity would be quite direct. As I scoured lists of upcoming novels I found a memoir involving a lawyer, Qian Julie Wang, sharing her story as an immigrant child’s experience in the United States. 

Her journey reminded me of my parents’ venture from Mexico to pursue opportunities attainable because of the freedom to exercise an individual’s rights. I proceeded on a pursuit to discover Wang’s contact information for an interview, celebrating the discovery of her Instagram, I messaged her. Distressing the possibility of never receiving a reply, I felt a buzz coming from the phone, my peripheral view witnessing a notification pop up. 

[/media-credit] I interviewed scientist Susan Lynch, who spoke at town hall, increasing my fascination of the human body in 2023.

The articles I continued to write exceeded the expectations of my advisers, they assigned me trivial to essential tasks to aid the other journalists in their writing, contrary to procuring more stress I found enjoyment in working along with others. By the end of the first semester, I received the title of senior editor, and before the school year ended my position advanced to editor-in-chief. 

From interviewing public figures such as Miss Clovis and a decorated WW2 veteran, to tackling controversial subjects such as the value of the student voice and the fentanyl crisis. I wrote my articles in one night, after club practices with volleyball and finishing homework, because of the overwhelming amount of pervasion the words held in my mind. 

I needed to write, unable to simply split up my amount of work over multiple days, it was annoyance to myself when I could not finish some of the articles in one sitting. I would begin my articles at nine in evening and completing them around two or three in the morning. 

The credibility I built up occurred solely due to my fellow staff members; the photojournalist aestheticize the websites and social media. My co-editor, Amanda Johnson, and creative editor, Summer Foshee, partnered with me to edit and publish all of the drafts, and the advisers invigorated me to become the best version of myself. 

The articles I published, and the writers I advised, satisfied my desire to be of service. I endeavored to be as benevolent, yet firm, for those writers to become the best versions of themselves. While building a strong relationship where they would not be ashamed to ask for help.

Without the short, yet invaluable, time I graciously had with the eccentric Stobbe as my mentor, I  would not have been able to unlock my own potential. In all likelihood the only use I would have with a pencil, pen or keyboard would to finish tedious tasks with no underlying purpose; in contrast every word I note involves meaning and personal vulnerability. 

Consequently, I now work incessantly, not provoked to attain endorsement but to educate the community and for the amelioration of my team. My renaissance of motivation is the continuation of living despite adversity in the pursuit of alleviating humanity; I plan to use my gifts for that exact purpose as I move forward.

I come to a understanding that without the generosity and kindness of the two photojournalist editors Aubrey Graham, ‘23, and Taylor Beckworth, ‘23,  none of my articles would be truly complete. Their professional photography brought completion with my packaging, I will always be grateful for both of them.

Another individual who deserves recognition is Elise Bessey, ‘23, a astounding photographer and

[/media-credit] Thank you to my parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents; I love them to the moon and back.

videographer, together we endured through hardships and all nighters. Bessey never failed to make me laugh, and continuously encouraged me to push forward and excel. 

Julia Retamoza and Carlos Calderon, my doting parents, supported me throughout my time on The Feather. Sharing every article I published to family and friends over WhatsApp with pride. My mother cooked me delicious homemade meals and tea, she

brought them to my room and picked up my dirty dishes when I was glued to my chair writing an article. 

The current head of The Feather, Kori James, has become a second mother to me. From the beginning of my time on staff she offered any help I needed, caring for me as if I was one of her own. James gifted each of the senior girl staff members a bracelet, a jewelry piece I will wear everyday from now on. 

I am currently looking forward to attending University of La Verne to pursue a Kinesiology degree. I plan to work in the sports medical field; I have always been drawn to the anatomy and physiology of the human body and with my appreciation for health and fitness the degree materialized as the perfect choice.

With the pursuit to join the world of medicine, I will attain the opportunity to aid those who are truly suffering. I yearn to be a place of stability for patients in exigency of better health. The passion writing grasps onto me, at no time, will never deteriorate-maybe in the future I will metamorphose my skill to documenting medical journals.

I have made unforgettable memories on The Feather over the course of four semester, those two years of hard work has prepared and accelerated me to succeed in life and endured

I am blessed to have a supportive team, graduating along with 13 other seniors: Amanda Johnson, Elise Bessey, Taylor Beckworth, Elise Bessey, Micah Friesen, Mason Petrie, Enrique Castaneda, Trinity Cox, Ezekiel VanNoy, Aubrey Graham, Antonio Ruelas, Summer Foshee and Zoe Bull.

Below is a podcast recorded by seniors Emma Calderon, Summer Foshee and Amanda Johnson discussing their opinions on The Feather Online.

For more senior columns, read Senior Reflection: Summer Foshee

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Emma Calderon
Emma Calderon, Editor in Chief
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    rachelMay 19, 2023 at 10:15 am

    such a good article Emma, you are amazing!!!