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Commentary: End of year wrap-up

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Senior Jennifer King shares memorable moments she faced while working with The Feather.

My older sisters, who had been in The Feather for at least two years, said that it taught them many life skills and most of all how to be good writers. Joining the staff my sophomore year, I didn’t have many expectations or planned to give as much commitment, seeing as though I just saw it as another class.

At this point in my adolescent years, my skills of communication, as well as confidence, were not too high, so when I heard that for The Feather I would be interviewing people, I was nervous. I can remember my first interview like it was yesterday.

Our adviser Greg Stobbe, told me that my first article would be about the use of technology in the classroom at FC and that I would need to interview Superintendent Jeremy Brown.

My mind mentally paused for a moment. This would be my first interview. I was not that comfortable talking with people that I was not familiar with, especially adults, and out of all people the superintendent! Now when he told me who I was to interview, in my mind I was thinking there was no way I was going to go through with this.

But sure enough the next day I was scheduled for an interview in the morning with the superintendent of FC. With my voice recorder app and crinkled paper of questions in my undoubtedly sweaty palms, I waited until my meeting time. Entering into his office, nervous butterflies erupted as I shook his hand and mumbled my name in a not so smooth or professional manner. In that moment I didn’t know how to smoothly introduce myself or begin my interview so I remember rambling on about how I just joined journalism and that I was writing my first article.

Aside from my squeaky voice prompting the interview questions that I look back and cringe on, in that moment I realized the realness that a writer experiences in an interviewing moment. With each question and Brown’s kind smile, I began to feel at ease.

His answers to my questions were not just words but stories and emotions that only I had on my recording. At this interview, I began to see that my role as a writer was not just another class assignment. These personal interviews were my ticket into another story that I only heard in those moments, which was special.

From this chapter of The Feather, I learned that some opportunities can’t be passed up. My adolescent self sophomore year would have never had the chance to find the passion in interviewing and writing, or the chance to grow as quickly in myself if I had not taken the opportunities The Feather gave me. — Jennifer King

As I look back on these moments in journalism, they don’t just make me cringe but make me feel a sense of growth and accomplishment from where I started. Now walking into an interview, there is a sense of peace and personal connection between the subject and me when discussing stories from a past time or joys for the future. What I most remember and will miss about interviewing was the shared union and meaningful stories that were personally shared with me that I had the privilege of telling to others.

Taking on any such role of leadership requires responsibility, communication, teamwork and encouragement, all of which I had to learn as Editor-in-Chief. In a time of immense pressure to get the job done was a time to really stress and express what it was to be a true leader.

Working with The Feather was everything I expected it to be and more. The Feather provided me a ticket to my personal interviews, a chance at confidence and growth, an opportunity to expand my writing, friendships with those in the staff and outside, a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown and, most of all, a position of acceptance.  

Working as a writer put me in places, whether it be on the mic or in front of a camera, all of which I am tremendously thankful for. Without these times that I was unwillingly thrust in, there would no type of growth in the end.

Captured Moments Photography

King has been on the staff for two years before being promoted to Editor-in-Chief her third year.

This journey of finding myself through writing would not have been possible without the, although sometimes annoying, motivation I had from Greg Stobbe and Kori Friesen. I am thankful for all the times they believed in me when I was stuck at the keys with no words or at the door before an important interview.

I am thankful for the times they stayed up past midnight helping me finish last touches to an article or preparing for my PowerPoint session at Columbia University in New York. Never have I met any other teachers who invested their family time, sleep, or weekends to make sure that I felt confident in my work.

From this chapter of The Feather, I learned that some opportunities can’t be passed up. My adolescent self sophomore year would have never had the chance to find the passion in interviewing and writing or the chance to grow as quickly in myself if I had not taken the opportunities The Feather gave me.

Finally, I am thankful to Jeremy Brown who made me realize that my role as a young writer was not something to be looked down on but something to be proud of. Thank you for bearing with my many wince moments during my first interview and sharing with me your mission for Fresno Christian.

Sincerely,

Jennifer King

Jennifer King will be attending Seattle Pacific University in the fall. She is majoring in Nursing, where she hopes to become a children’s and family nurse.

This writer can be reached via email at Jennifer King and via Twitter at Jennifer King.

For more senior reflections, read Senior reflection: Chloe Mueller.

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