Podcast: Questions you may have before joining eSomethin
Matthew Rutherford: Hello all you amazing PHS students! This podcast is meant to answer some of your questions that you might have before applying for the eSomthin team this year.
Anna Miller: My name is Anna Miller and this is my first year on the team and I’m loving it.
Matthew Rutherford: And my name is Matthew Rutherford, and this is also my first year on the team. We’re both part of the Communications team, where our job is to spread the word about eSomethin.
Anna Miller: Applications are due February 12, so let’s get to some questions you might have. What is eSomethin? So this is a class where you write for the school newspaper, but, there’s two parts to it: You also learn about AP style, video editing, and media editing. The second part of the class where you dive more into the specifics of journalism, and that’s a very cool thing to learn about.
Matthew Rutherford: So, another question is, is this just another English class? Sort of. It’s a writing elective, so it would be equivalent to taking a creative writing class, but you don’t get graduation credit for it — it doesn’t count towards your ELA credits. You still need 4 credits. This class has a very strong writing focus, but there’s other– many other things that you also do in the class, such as media.
Anna Miller: So what is Technical Writing? So, Technical Writing is the official name of the class. So if you do sign up for this, and you do want to be a part of it, when you get your courses next year, Technical Writing will be the official name of the class what you see in Schoology. Like I said the “technical” part of this class is where you do more assignments, it’s more assignment-based and you’ll learn about the things that go with journalism.
Matthew Rutherford: So, you might be wondering right now, what is the commitment? It depends on what you’re doing at the moment — what you’re working on — on for the class at the moment. Some projects are going to obviously take more commitment than others, especially now during COVID. When we only meet twice a week in class, the chance that you’re going to have to do some work outside of class is very high. We also do get technical writing class homework assignments as well — I thought I should bring that up. So yes, you will have a little bit of commitment outside of the class, but it’s not as stressful as you might think.
Anna Miller: Yeah, so, going off of the stressful part, are there stressful deadlines? I know this is one of the main questions I had going into this class — like when I first took it –because, on top of other classes — I get it, you have stress — a lot of other classes are stressful — but for this class there aren’t exactly very strict or stressful deadlines. You kind of make your own deadlines. But with guidance from Mr. Kitson. You have to take some personal, like, you have to not drag out your assignments, like you have to be quick with it, and you have to take some responsibility, so, you kind of gotta get articles out as fast as you can, but there isn’t going to be like “it’s due now.” You kind of just ask Mr. Kitson and you kind of agree on a deadline.
Matthew Rutherford: So you might also be wondering, what can you write about? You can write about a variety of different topics in this class. You can do anything from your opinion on politics and certain issues to just, writing a movie review. You can — there is a wide variety of things. And there are some rules that our school has — that PHS has — along with CSPA which is our grading — the scholastic press — that is the high school newspaper organization that grades all of the papers in the the United States. So, there are rules that also come with that. But I would just say if you want to write something, write it. If it gets published, it gets published. If not, you tried.
Anna Miller: Yeah. And then, “What can I get out of taking this class? So if you’re thinking about going into journalism as a college career or a communications major, this class is going to show you if that’s for you. I know for me, I’m serious about going into journalism as a career and in college but I took this class to make sure that this is something I really liked, and I’m glad, because it definitely showed me that journalism is for me — and also, you can learn more about how to write strong articles. And I can guarantee that the writing techniques and the stronger writing that you learn in this class will transfer over to your English classes, and your English teachers will be impressed.
Matthew Rutherford: So, is this class a semester class or a full year class? It is a full year class. Just like many other electives, at the beginning if you just, like — if you get into the class on day 1 and you’re like, “No, no, this is not for me,” you can drop the class, within that timeline. And then you also don’t — it’s not one of those classes where if you’re in, you’re in for the rest of your high school career. If you have schedule issues or you have classes that you want to take and you need to drop eSomethin for the following year, you can drop it. But, this is a full-year class.
Anna Miller: Yeah, so can I do other things besides writing articles? Yes definitely. You can make podcasts, hence what we are doing right now. You can also make feature images, which is the pictures that go on, like, the top of articles to kind-of give more background about the articles. So, a photography aspect is definitely included in this. So, if you love doing photography, this is also beneficial for you, taking this class. And video editing — if you have videos that need to be edited — you can be involved in that. There is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that goes on behind us writing all of these articles that you can definitely be a part of.
Matthew Rutherford: So, let’s think for a second that this class is something you are interested in and you want to be a part of this but you have scheduling issues that cause you to not be able to join the class. Either you have a full schedule or whatever it is. Can you publish articles to the website without having to join the class itself? And this is for anyone — this goes for anyone in the high school — if you are just curious about writing about something, you are actually able to submit an article to us to review to publish to the website. And if it follows all the CSPA guidelines and it follows all of Perrysburg High School’s rules and we as a team think it’s a well-written article, your article you submit to us could very well be published to the website, even though you are not a part of the Technical Writing class.
Anna Miller: So another question you guys might have is what is the class environment like? So it’s more like on the laid-back side, but it’s fun, but we get things done. I don’t want to mislead you guys and say you can act like you don’t have anything to do in that class. Like, no, there is stuff you need to get done but at the same time it’s just a great environment to be in. It’s a great class to look forward to going to every day because it’s just different than any class, and it’s just, it’s very fun to be in. The class is awesome, everyone gets along, the teacher is awesome and it’s just a great environment, like I said.
Matthew Rutherford: So we’re going to end it off with the question — me and Anna decided on 3 words to describe this class. The first word being involvement. You have a lot of opportunities in this class, that — that you get from taking this class — that you don’t normally get as a, not being a part of this class, or just other clubs in general. For example at football games. If you’re taking pictures of the game, or the marching band, or just the student section, you can actually go down onto the track and do that. That’s something that normal people at the high school don’t get access to. Obviously, this year with COVID, a lot of this stuff that we normally get access to that other people don’t is dumbed down a little because of COVID. A lot of school events are having no spectators. Uhh– and then next is, supportive. All the people in this class I think are, this class is an amazing environment like Anna already said. And the people in it are what makes it a very supportive environment. If you need help on an article because obviously new people, like, me and Anna can probably both agree on this, we needed guidance at the beginning.
Anna Miller: Mhm.
Matthew Rutherford: We needed other classmates to give advice to us. And —so don’t be afraid to ask any of us questions because this is a very supportive overall environment. And then finally, fulfilling. There is nothing that you will enjoy more, is that first article you publish to the website. It is such a satisfying feeling to know that you worked hard on that article and it is now published to the website for anyone to look up and read. So that’s the fulfilling part of this class. Uhh…
Anna Miller: Because- like, yeah. Sometimes in English classes like, you feel like you write a really good essay and you’re like “Oh I wish I got more recognition for that,” and this is the class to do that. You’re gonna get a lot of recognition for your articles and that’s super — like — the word, fulfilling.
Matthew Rutherford: Exactly. So this is the end of the podcast. Just remember that applications are due February 12, like Anna said at the beginning, and we hope to see all in Tech Writing next year! Have a nice day, guys.
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