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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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Sojourn to New York expands sophomore's horizons

As a native Californian from a lower-middle-class family, I have not been presented with many opportunities to travel. However, as a writer for The Feather, I was able to fly to New York City and accept an award with the rest of the team, widening my horizons many times over.

When we arrived at the airport, I was amazed. The chance to ride on an airplane was my first such adventure. Luckily, I got a window seat, and as we took off, my face was plastered to the plastic window. I mumbled fears of ‘what ifs’ as we soared higher.

Thankfully, I had a sympathetic friend. Because Madison Dooley, ’11, also experienced her first plane ride, we survived the take off and landing together – though there was some queasiness.

Completely groggy from the time change, the first day in the Big Apple began as a blur. However, with the city’s energy rushing around me, I surged into an adrenaline rush. I sat at a bar stool by the window inside Chipotle, looking out at all the people as I ate a burrito. From this vantage point, I observed as the homeless shuffled along wasting time, the business class rushed down the street and women in 5-inch heels kept up with the crowds.

The bright sunshine lifted my mood, and strutting down the street made me feel like a star. We went to a Broadway show on Wednesday night and naively I chose to wear a short dress and 4.5-inch heels as we walked over 16 blocks on the street that night. Never had walking been such a difficult task.

Every moment of the day I smiled because the joy of the city life. Once when Kristen Rosenthal, ’12, lost her metro ticket, a resident of New York bought her one to help out. This circumstance contradicted the typical rude New Yorker stereotype.

One night, after touring all over New York for hours, a small group of us were in the elevator along with two middle aged men. Gigi Thao, ’11, asked the men what room they were staying in – but none of us caught the inappropriate incentive until he repeated the question. As her face was engulfed in a deep red hue, we snatched her off the lift onto our floor as the men began to talk crudely to each other about her.

Of course, in a city of 17 million, there were many attractive boys. I said hi to a few as they bumped into me, and my eyes locked just like in the movies. Though I had no real interest in any of them, I felt like a celebrity because of the unrealistic, chick-flick-like moments.

As Nicholas Avery, ’12, and I often watch a lot of movies together, we immediately noticed how certain landmarks had appeared in film. We yelled out “Hitch! Devil Wears Prada! Ghostbusters“! We could easily relate to the landscapes that we had so often seen on TV.

Though sleeping and doing homework were encouraged on our trip, I had no desire to do either. I stayed up late, cherishing these days of hanging out with friends under the bright lights of the skyscrapers. On several occasions, we laughed until we passed out. I discovered that insomnia is a great tool for developing closer relationships – and promoting awkward situations.

I did not travel 3,000 miles to do homework, I traveled that distance to learn not only writing technics but the culture our world lives in and revolves around.

However, the Big Apple was not completely ripe. There were some negative aspects when compared to my home city. Most notably, the people seemed to demonstrate strange character traits. They often talked to themselves very loudly, and not all of their conversations were approved for all audiences. In addition, the food costed quite a bit more than I was used to.

Despite the fun of the tours, I loved going to the school of my dreams, Columbia University. As a group, we were required to attend journalism classes to help improve our skills; sitting in those college-sized rooms made me feel more intelligent. Unlike at home, where I would doze off if I had only got three hours of rest the night before, I was alert and ready to learn.

The college’s student atmosphere was wonderful because I was always treated with respect even though the teachers’ language was crude. I felt a step closer to my future, as though my college dream was less of a fantasy and becoming reality. Valuable lessons I learned were to not settle for the skills I have now to carry me through college, but to always build on them and excel beyond present excuses. The workshops I attended were to improve my writing skill, which gave me more self-confidence and incentive in high school.

To end it all, I sat in the same place I started my journey, eating a burrito by the window of Chipotle watching the people. But unlike before, I had a new perspective on New York society. The locals were not sterotypical people, but familiar beings in a new home I instantly fell in love with.

For more information on The Feather staff’s trip to New York, visit the March 22 article, Feather staff gains cultural, journalistic education.

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  • A

    Alexis EllisFeb 21, 2011 at 12:02 am

    This picture is really awesome, and neat. Varsity, good game on senior night and every other game! haha. Goodluck in playoffs! love you girls!

  • C

    Cassidy HutchinsFeb 21, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Hannah, this is such a cool picture! You are an amazing photographer!