Thursday, October 9, 2008

Compare and Contrast

I really should be doing my homework right now. But as of this afternoon, there are far more important things I would much rather be writing about.

Because that is, after all, my subject matter of choice: topics of importance. Say, for instance, Teen Team.

After receiving my mass-produced fail letter from the San Antonio express news, I decided to do a little undercover reporting of my own: analyzing LAST year's group. And oh, the things I learned.

Justine Cantu: A twin with no other distinguishing features, aside from her "proud achievement" of a 100 on a short story in fourth grade. Her first 100. Her mother must be so proud.

Dylan Elmore: Has dreads and paints. Journalism? Oh, he's just good at it.

Zahra Farah: Her father ran for president in Somalia. She's class president and "academic editor". Fancy. In my newspaper class, we call that "proofing"- its the busy work given to people with nothing better to do. Hey- I guess I'm an academic editor too!

Samuel Gomez: He's in band. And...that's it.

Andrea Marquise: I quote:

"Marquise has gained this new independent perspective on life after a wakeup call in February.

'Earlier this year I had to have surgery because I had a fibrotic cyst, and I was told that it might have been breast cancer,' Marquise said.

'I was always thinking, what if I did have cancer? My time would have been cut short, and from that point on I was always like, 'I've got to live it up!''

Because of the surgery Marquise missed school and soccer practice.

'It was really difficult because we were studying for AP tests,' she said. 'It was during the soccer season too, and I just wanted to practice.'

Now she appreciates what each day brings.

Marquise recalled feeding a family of four raccoons while working at the Hill Country Hyatt Regency Resort.

'There is a family of four raccoons that live in a bush that we throw graham crackers at,' Marquise said. 'The mom will only come near us only but not the babies. The first time I fed the momma raccoon she walked up to me and took the graham cracker out of my hand and ate it.

'I don't take anything for granted anymore,' Marquise said.

Yeah. Very, very moving.

The list goes on and on. Melissa Martin, the fashionista. Rachael McBride, of whom we seem to hear more about her Dad in the air force and the places she has lived than anything she ever accomplished in journalism. Lindsay Medina- she made a cake out of pop tarts! Brianna Roberts, Chris Rodgers, Valdamar Tejada, and the ubiquitous Kendra Taylor, pastor's daughter and "assistant business manager for the yearbook staff".

So, Express-News: where did I go wrong?

You know, I really could have gone about this the wrong way. Talked about overcoming two severely impacted molars and Osgood-Schlatter syndrome, my fight to sing in choir (any choir), my amazing ability to pick up little ditties on the piano, the time when I got a perfect report card in fourth grade, my months of living in hotels and "cramped apartments"- even that day when I spent four hours taking care of some dumb bird that stunned itself flying into our window.

But the facts were clear. I'm no San Antonio native. I don't march or fiddle or pirouette. And I'm way more Tony than Maria, if you get my drift. *snaps fingers rhythmically*

I'm not a senior, and I may hold little more than the position of staff writer as of today. Yet already I'm putting out more content than any editor on our team. And I know for a fact that I can write circles around any of these kids- a fact I intend to prove the weekend after next, at the Texas Association of Journalism Education.

So San Antonio Express-News: I know you "informed me" that I might feel free to contribute to your newspaper through online blogging and will be contacted when your writers need "a teenager's perspective".
Don't bother. I'll give all that to you, right now.

Teenagers aren't stupid. At the very least, not this one. We can see when you're desperate because no kid with HTML knowledge would actually waste time volunteering with your program. And we know when we're not wanted. But just because my last name isn't De La Fuente and I don't make gift baskets for the troops and play the trombone doesn't give you the right to choose what looks good over what journalism is all about: the writing. Call me, but I'm not going uncredited in your paper so some other snotnose kid from the high-risk school can have their fifteen minutes of fame. Because I've been there, and no one cared in that tiny little town that I was from Whatcom Middle School: they just said I was darn good at what I do.
And I know I am, to this day. Dozens of UIL judges can't be wrong.
So you keep picking whatever looks diverse enough for you. I'll keep writing.

And Officer Krupke- Krup you!


Pyro said...

A few comments:
Zahra Farah? Like seriously?
And the raccoons caused her to look at life in a different way? What has become of the journalistic world?
And, technically, that would be 'drawing' circles, not writing them. Can't write a shape, dear.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure 'write circles' is the correct usage. She's not actually drawing anything... The original idiom is 'to run circles around'.

Pyro said...

I know that, but when you make a circles on a paper, it is generally said that you're drawing.