Would you look at that? It’s my turn to write a senior column.
I’ll start with saying hello! My name is Jaden Fields, and I’m the one who takes a lot of sports pictures and writes some stories and whatnot. You may recognize me from nervously asking if I can interview someone in your class, or distributing an Echo copy to your classroom.
I have spent nearly all of my Echo years wishing that I could write in first person, speak as if I’m pouring words into a journal, and now that I have that opportunity I am at a loss for words.
I joined journalism my sophomore year, and, as disgustingly cliche as it may be, if someone told me that in just two years I would be the editor-in-chief of the entire paper, I would probably not believe you. There are a lot of things that I have now that would be unbelievable to small little sophomore Jaden.
If you told little J that she would be accepted into her top choice school, New York University, to pursue film, she would be dumbfounded (especially since she still thought she would be pursuing engineering, fulfilling a prophecy that seems to have been set in stone ever since realizing she would receive a positive reaction from adults when saying she wished to attend Georgia Tech for computer engineering).
It may be hard to believe, but I never really had much interest in journalism. I joined the class because my mother thought it would be neat, and even once I had joined I was not sure how I felt about it. It wasn’t until I started asking to do stories on sports (since sophomore year Jaden had a crush on a certain soccer player) that I realized I actually was rather interested.
I went from sports stories to writing about things I was actually passionate about, and the rest is history. I have always been big on creativity, but I had never had the opportunity to write about real things until Echo, and it has helped me as a writer tremendously.
I know that “thank yous” are rather customary in the senior issue, so I suppose I ought to get to mine now. I would like to thank my parents for being supportive of my desire to enter film, an industry that is rather unorthodox in general.
I would also like to thank my siblings. I’m the youngest of four, and I really do have the best siblings in the world. Ryanne, Brooke and Blake, you guys are really my best friends, and I could not possibly have a better support system.
I would also like to thank a few teachers. Kristen Moore first and foremost for helping me cultivate and grow a love for English these past couple of years. I have had a plethora of amazing English classes over the years, but yours genuinely were a different breed. I’d never been in a class where I had the opportunity to interpret things so freely and actually speak my mind like I did in yours. You really are a teacher I can come to with any issue, be it personal or pertaining to school, and I’m so lucky to have had a teacher as amazing as you. I will truly miss going to bother you during the passing period between third and fourth period.
Andrew Pulliam is another teacher that deserves endless thanks from me. When you first came to Webster as our orchestra teacher, I was thrilled. You really seemed to care about our musical abilities, and expressed great interest in the music you were conducting. As a black student in an incredibly white school, it was so refreshing to be able to enter a classroom with a teacher that looked like me. I felt very comfortable talking about anything with you, and I really appreciate being able to have had you as a role model. You helped me keep a love for the violin all these years, and you were someone who I could feel truly comfortable and safe around.
Donald Johnson, I don’t even think I need to write about how thankful I am for you, seeing as me and the other Echo kids do not let you forget it. I never really had too vast an interest in journalism until I entered your classroom. The thing I appreciate most about you and your teachings is that you give so many opportunities to try out different things. I had never even considered sports photography as an interest until your class. You help me to think independently as a creative too, never giving any sort of guidelines. Every time I ask how something should be done, what angle a story should be addressed at, what I should write about, you respond with “well… you’re the editor. You tell me.” This journalistic freedom is something I appreciate more than you know. You’re an amazing teacher, and amazing person, and I am so thankful to have been a part of this newspaper.
Thank you to Sophie Delay, Abram Wilson, John Bumbera, Ezekiel La Mantia, Alex de Foy, Seneca Mahan, Sadie Moore and Luca Giordano, the entire WGHS custodial staff, and Todd Schaeffer for being (a few ) of the amazing people to make my high school experience an enjoyable one.
Well Echo. This marks the end of my last address. Thank you for all the character development. Really appreciate that one.
Guess it’s time to move on to the “College in New York” arc of my storyline.
This is senior Jaden Fields’ second year working with Echo publications, but she took journalism the year prior to joining. She works as both the Editor in chief as well as the Sports Columnist.
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