A look back at four years of Apex High
Editor-in-Chief and A&E Editor
When looking back at our high-school experience, it can be easy to reflect on the big moments: your first class, your first school sporting event, your first time going off for lunch, and finally graduation. There is no debating the power that these moments carry; we will remember some of them for the rest of our lives. However, it is the small things, the memories that stick in your mind for no real reason at all, that really shape who we are. There is an understandable tendency to talk about the major milestones, but the seemingly inconsequential things we experience everyday are what define us as students and people, and no one class has provided me with more of these powerful experiences than my time spent on the Apex Legacy.
I took Intro to Communications and Mass Media during freshmen year, and it was a great experience. Outside of providing me with some of the most memorable social moments of my four years at Apex, it was invaluable in how it prepared me for journalistic writing and planning. It was completely different from the writing style I had always practiced in my English classes, and I learned a lot about writing efficiently and concisely. There was something extremely satisfying about trying something new with my writing, and I came to love the idea of journalism.
In freshman year I missed the deadline to apply for the class for sophomore year, which came as a huge disappointment. The next year, I was sure to apply on time, and I remember being very nervous about sending in my sample writing. Looking back now, it seems silly, as the class turned out to be a very relaxed and fun learning environment. I took the class both semesters junior year, and I knew within weeks that I made the right decision joining Legacy. My teacher was Mrs. Knall, who had been teaching the class for years. She also taught me in my English class that year, meaning that I got to know her very well, and she was one of the best teachers I have ever had, high school or otherwise.
At first, I felt like somewhat of an outsider amongst the other students, most of whom had been in the class multiple times in the past. However, I quickly assimilated into the class and started to look forward to Newspaper more than any of my other periods. In addition to what I learned about writing itself, the class enabled me to gain huge amounts of knowledge about current events. From e-cigarette laws to police body cameras, I have covered a wide range of topics during my time in Newspaper. I have become more aware of the world around me, and each day in the class has brought something new and enjoyable.
This brings us back to those small moments that make up our time at high school. Newspaper always provided me with new and fun experiences. I remember getting my first article back, complete with three different colors of pen signaling my errors. I remember conducting a poll for the first time and loving that I could so freely talk to and interview my fellow peers. I remember the “questions of the day” that were posed by the editors, and I remember the article I am to this day still most proud of: my “New TV Review” article from junior year.
At the time it seemed like it could not get any better, but the fun I had in the class continued into senior year. I was able to take on some of the editing duties in the class, and it was great to take what I had observed over the course of a year and apply it. Mrs. Knall left Apex after my junior year, and I did not see who could fill her shoes, but our class hit the jackpot when Mrs. McGee took over as advisor. She gave me and my amazing co-editor Kenison Garratt an unbelievable amount of encouragement and support, and a good deal of the confidence I have now as an editor is due to her. In order to properly edit the articles of my peers, I had to look at my own writing more each day, and it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Not only has newspaper been the high school class where I have learned the most practical and worthwhile lessons about what I am interested in, but it has also consistently been the most enjoyable and fun period of my day for two years now. It says a lot about the quality of the class when I can joke around with people like Cameron Goz while still improving my skills as a writer, and this is the case with Newspaper. There is just something about Legacy that stands out. When I started writing this, I found it difficult to decide what I would focus on first, but I see now that there is not one specific thing that has made Newspaper so special. From the “questions of the day” that were posed by our editors in junior year to discovering and listening to new music as I wrote my articles, there has been no shortage of amazing experiences. The class would not be complete without these moments, and everyone else who takes Newspaper is able make their own and unique memories. In a way, it is reflective of high school itself.
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