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Two journalism students win competition at Temple

Seniors competed at regional scholastic journalism conference

Seniors Zac Chan and Michael Droogan will advance to the Pennsylvania School Press Association finals in March after their performance at Temple’s regional journalism competition on October 13.

“When I got the news I advanced I was pumped because I felt it was a testament to all the work I’ve put into the paper,” Droogan said. “I’m really excited to represent the BFC.”

The journalism class, which is co-taught by Ms. Kate Plows and Mr. Jay Rogai, took a field trip to Temple University to participate in a Pennsylvania Scholastic Press Association write-off. Students competed in news writing, editorial writing, sports writing, and feature writing.

“It was a chance for them to see journalism in context outside of the classroom,” Plows said.

It was the first time Malvern students entered such competition for journalism, and although it was an exciting event, there was doubt trailing in the minds of Plows and her students.

“I remember telling them on the way down that we’re not going to win anything, not to expect much,” Plows said. “[They had] big competition against other schools with good journalism programs.”

Rather than winning in their events, the students and Plows hoped to learn new things through seminars and writing.

“I wasn’t really interested in the competition itself and didn’t think I would do too well,” Chan said. “During the competition, I was actually a bit upset. The pencils we had were really bad – the erasers tore through paper- so I kept crumpling up paper and starting over.”

Droogan had mixed feelings about the trip to Temple. “I enjoyed going into the city and doing the competition so I would do it again, but the other stuff like hearing the speaker and talking in groups I could do without,” he said.

Plows feels that the trip was a success. She is proud of her students, especially because two of them were unexpectedly named competition winners.

Droogan and Chan will compete at the state finals on March 4, 2016, at Penn State University Park. The journalism class will end in January, but Plows hopes the two students will continue practicing writing for the competition.

“I’m practicing sports writing by working in the paper, but right now I’m more worried about getting all my college apps in,” Droogan said. “After I send the last app I’ll be able to focus on the competition more.”

Although Chan said he is interested in computer science and graphic design he called the Journalism class, “one my favorites of senior year.”
Interview question responses

Droogan

Before coming i was thinking, wow I get a day off. I’m gonna try to learn as much as I can and maybe meet new people. Honestly I wasn’t really thinking about the competition because I knew mega-papers like neshaminy and conestoga were gonna be there.

After I felt like I did well but I wasn’t really sure how well.

Well we have been practicing with like really professional prompts so I felt like the temple one lacked information. It was mostly the same though.

I enjoyed going into the city and doing the competition so I would do it again but the other stuff like hearing the speaker and talking in groups I could do without.

Well I guess I’m practicing sports writing by working in the paper, but right now I’m more worried about getting all my college apps in. After I send the last app I’ll be able to focus on the competition more.

When I got the news I advanced I was pumped because I felt it was a testament to all the work I’ve put into the paper. I’m really excited to represent the BFC.

Zac

What were you feeling before coming to Temple? After the competition?
Before Temple I was honestly just looking forward to the day as a day off of school after my MECO weekend. I wasn’t really interested in the competition itself and didn’t think I would do to well. Ms. Plows had hyped us up telling us we were gonna win and I had felt like it was one of those things that you say even though you know you have no chance – I had been in the class for only about a week, and hadn’t even originally signed up for Journalism. I started the year in Creative Non Fiction.

After the competition I was kinda upset that I had never found some orange chicken to get from a food truck there. I thought the facilities at Temple were cool, but I have never thought of applying there, and won’t be, so the tour of campus we received was just like a general “Here’s what a college looks like” to me. I wasn’t really worried about how well I did because honestly I didn’t expect to go anywhere and I wasn’t going to be sad if I didn’t win.

How were your expectations of the competition similar/different to reality?
I thought it was going to be a lot longer / involved than it actually was. We basically went, listened to a talk, wrote a story, listened to a talk, talked among ourselves, got food, toured the campus, and left. I was hoping it wouldn’t just be write one story and be done – I thought I would get a lot more out of it than just that.

What parts about your experience at Temple/Philly did you enjoy/not enjoy? Would you come back if given another opportunity (outside of the finals in March)?

I didn’t enjoy that I only got to write one story and then was forced into plastic chairs to listen to people talk about how to get into a career field that I’m not interested in. I started off the year in Creative Non Fiction and really only switched out because I thought that class was full of goofballs – I’m uncomfortable with doing interviews and hard deadlines and being forced to do things at a breakneck pace – I’m actually interested in computer science and graphic design, not the journalism or news writing career field(s).

Outside of finals, Iwould definitely do it again, especially if they added mofe events.

Tell me your thoughts about advancing to the finals and the upcoming competition.

Ok, bud. I think it’s pretty cool. During the competition, I was actually a bit upset. The pencils we had were really bad – the erasers tore through paper- so I kept crumpling up paper and starting over. At one point Joe Mark just laughed, probably around the third paper I had crumpled. I guess this kinda validates my frustration – and it’s another thing to put on my college apps.
Any additional thoughts? Closing words or killer quote?

Shout out to Ms. Plows and Jimmy Faunce. Also VanO for helping me to convince myself to switch outta creative writing. Love the class, one of myf avorites of senior year. Temple needs more competitions. Shoutout DDom.

Ms Plows

What is the comp?

Comp is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Scholastic Press Association. Few years, state-wide. Now have regional comps. Ours was a regional write-off. Students participated in news writing, editorial writing, and feature writing. Did not know what to expect. First time taking students to this comp. “I remember telling them on the way down that we’re not gonna win anything. Don’t expect much.” Surprised. Big competition against other schools with good journalism programs.

Why participate?

More involved in PSPA. Good to feel being part of something bigger than in your own school. Planning a field trip is hard; it’s hard to justify missing classes with this schedule. I didn’t want to take the BFC because it was an extracurricular and they were already planning the Florida journalism convention. Journalism class just finished their news stories. Chance for them to see journalism in context outside of the classroom. Good excuse to take the students outside the school.

Expectations

Liked that it was not just competition, excited for educational sessions and workshops. students got to hear from guest speakers. Breaking out with students from other schools.

Goals

Practice for students. This is something bigger outside of school. Hearing from other people besides myself and Mr Rogai.

The winners

March 4th(?) state comp. I’m assuming the comp is similar to that in temple. Learning components, and write-offs. Hope that the winners will continue practicing writing after the class is over. Semester is over before comp. Not sure what will happen yet. Schedule announced in january.

The comp stops at the state level. nationals are separate.

Other

Proud of students. Cookies were good. Enjoy taking the train. Hope its something we do again.

Contacts

Mrs Houseman, coordinator?
1st draft – Two Journalism class students students win competition at Temple
Seniors were named winners at regional scholastic journalism conference
Benjamin Koo ‘16
Contributor
Seniors Zac Chan and Michael Droogan advance to the PSPA Finals after their performance at Temple’s regional journalism competition back on October 13.

“When I got the news I advanced I was pumped because I felt it was a testament to all the work I’ve put into the paper,” Droogan said. “I’m really excited to represent the BFC.”

The Journalism class took a field trip to Temple University to participate in the Pennsylvania Scholastic Press Association’s write-off. Students competed in news writing, editorial writing, sports writing, and feature writing.

“It was a chance for them to see journalism in context outside of the classroom,” Ms. Kate Plows, journalism teacher, said. “It was a good excuse to take the students outside the school.”

“I think it [was] pretty cool.” Chan said. “During the competition, I was actually a bit upset. The pencils we had were really bad – the erasers tore through paper- so I kept crumpling up paper and starting over.”

It was the first time Malvern students entered such a competition for journalism, and although it was an exciting event, there was doubt trailing in the minds of Plows and her students. “I remember telling them on the way down that we’re not gonna win anything, not to expect much,” Plows said. “[They had] big competition against other schools with good journalism programs.”

“I wasn’t really interested in the competition itself and didn’t think I would do to well.” Chan said.

The students and Plows simply hoped to learn new things through seminars and writing.

“I liked that it was not just competition. I was excited for the educational sessions and workshops. Students got to hear from guest speakers, break out into groups with students from other schools.” Plows said.

Droogan said he was thinking, “Wow I get a day off. I’m gonna try to learn as much as I can and maybe meet new people.”

Chan sums up his day, ”We basically went, listened to a talk, wrote a story, listened to a talk, talked among ourselves, got food, toured the campus, and left. I was hoping it wouldn’t just be write one story and be done – I thought I would get a lot more out of it than just that.”

Along with his disappointment with the number of activities, Chan feels he also missed out on good food. “I was kinda upset that I had never found some orange chicken to get from a food truck there,” he said.

Droogan had mixed feelings about the trip to Temple. “I enjoyed going into the city and doing the competition so I would do it again but the other stuff like hearing the speaker and talking in groups I could do without.”

On the contrary, Plows is happy that trip was a success. She is proud of her students, especially because two of them were unexpectedly named competition winners.

Plows said about the trip,“ [The Insomnia] Cookies were good, and I enjoyed taking the train, instead having to arrange a bus or a shuttle. I hope it’s something we will do again.”

Droogan and Chan will compete at the state finals on March 4th, 2016, at Penn State’s University Park. By that time, Plows’s Journalism class will have long ended, but she hopes her two students will continue practicing writing for the competition.

“I guess I’m practicing sports writing by working in the paper, but right now I’m more worried about getting all my college apps in. After I send the last app I’ll be able to focus on the competition more,” Droogan said.

“I’m actually interested in computer science and graphic design, not the journalism or news writing career fields,” Chan said. “Shout out to Ms. Plows and Jimmy Faunce. Also VanO for helping me to convince myself to switch outta creative writing. Love the class, one of my favorites of senior year.”

About Ben Koo

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