Apex, you’ll live on in my heart like Jack from Titanic

If I had to sum up my four years at Apex High in three words…..

 

Not enough roaches.

 

Just kidding. Everyone knows that Apex High has more than enough cockroaches. There just aren’t three words that can encapsulate my experience at this quickly crumbling school, so I shan’t make something that miniscule up.

As a senior I think I have the right to say that I know this school pretty well. I’ll probably be one of the last to know the school this way, as depressing as that sounds. If I look back at everything I’ve gone through, being on the Legacy staff was the cornerstone to everything at Apex.

 

I signed up as a small little sophomore having no idea what I was getting myself into. I remember seeing the sheet taped to the door of Room 203, and then feeling the despair of not seeing my name on that list of admitted students. Probably the first time I “put myself out there” was when I went to ask Mrs. Knall (the Newspaper teacher preceding Mrs. McGee) what I could do to improve my application next year, a.ka. “What had I done wrong?”

Turns out my name was illegible on the application, and literally everything but that was fine. So here’s a lesson to those aspiring job seekers: write your name legibly. I say job because that’s what Legacy is like. A job. There aren’t hard deadlines like a regular homework assignment because a lot of the time the articles we write are time sensitive in regards to reader interest. The classroom environment is very chill and relaxed. I have never held a desk job, but if I ever do, I imagine it will be a lot like Newspaper class. Also, don’t you hate those teachers who don’t let you go to the bathroom? In all my time here, I’ve never had to ask to go to the bathroom. I can either just go or just give my teacher or classmates a heads up. That small difference is everything in the world when you attend a public high school.

 

I can still remember what a disaster my first article was. It was a collab between the only other sophomore in the class and me, which was a bad idea from the beginning. It took us a month and a week to write it to the standards of Mrs. Knall, and I’m chagrined to know that from a future perspective, her standards weren’t even that high. It takes time to learn how to write in the specific newspaper style, but nothing I’ve seen in the past three years is as bad as my first article. I cringe even thinking about it.

Newspaper is a very class-run class. The students are the editors, the writers, and the publishers. When I eventually became an editor, it felt like I had come a full circle and was experiencing the class from the opposite perspective. I can’t describe the power you experience when you have a red pen and an unedited article in front of you. I remember in my very first year on staff, Mrs. Knall gave me a newspaper pass, and it was like getting handed the keys to the kingdom. That was back when Apex had three lunches, and since Newspaper class was right in the middle, technically we could go out during all lunches. I did a lot more interviewing work in those days, and it was nice to own the school so to speak.

 

I remember the first half of my first semester was very scary because everyone else was either juniors or seniors and all already friends. They knew the teacher well and knew exactly what they were doing, which was a pretty big contrast to what I was capable of at the time. Seeing how relaxed I am now in comparison for how anxious I was then is laughable. It’s safe to say that my writing style has definitely improved.

One thing that I’ll never be able to thank Newspaper for enough is how it requires you to be informed. Before Legacy I never bothered to watch the news or even browse CNN. Taking the class forced me to keep up to date with what was going on around me, and I haven’t been uninformed since. All the hype over “fake news” has taught me it’s better to be more informed than ever.

Through the course of this class I’ve become…..fairly opinionated. Time and time again, I am reminded that although you have your opinions, you probably shouldn’t let the audience know which way you swing on an issue. Thankfully, Mrs. McGee is there every time to remind me that Legacy should be unbiased, and I’ve learned a lot from that.

 

My final year on Legacy was when we decided to bring back actual print newspapers. It had been close to ten years since the last issue went out to Apex High, and it felt pretty great seeing our hard work in physical form. If I had to hear one more person say, “Wait, we have a newspaper?” I was going to scream. Knowing that at least a few more people had read our paper was indescribable to say the least. I’m sad that I’m leaving and won’t be able to see how the paper is going to grow from here, but I am comforted to know that Legacy will be in good hands in the coming years whether it be at Green Level or Apex High the sequel.

One comment

  • Beautifully written Jessica! I know what you have learned in newspaper will carry into college, for whether you go into journalism or not your writing will always be such an important asset.

    Like

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