The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Theogony Takes Boston!

From+left+to+right%3A+Kamilah+Lawson%2C+Rozalia+Finkelstein%2C+Ermila+Mazariegos%2C+Zoe+Sermons%2C+and+Julia+Gwin+pose+in+front+of+the+Fenway+Park+banner.+
From left to right: Kamilah Lawson, Rozalia Finkelstein, Ermila Mazariegos, Zoe Sermons, and Julia Gwin pose in front of the Fenway Park banner.

On November 1, 2023, Kamilah Lawson led me and three fellow Theogony members on a plane to Boston, Massachusetts. With our bodies wired with sugary caffeine and our spirits high on enthusiasm for the week ahead, we boarded our hour-long flight. As the plane made its ascension, I glanced over at one of Theogony’s senior feature editors, Ermila Mazariegos, who was experiencing her first ever plane ride. Next to her was Rozalia Finkelstein, a fellow staff writer and next to me was Zoe Sermons, Ermila’s co-feature editor. We were in for a memorable trip in which we’d meet fascinating people, explore a brand new city and broaden our knowledge of journalism. 

The five of us got up bright and early on our first day and hopped on a bustling bus towards the heart of Boston. Shops lined the streets, many of which we ducked into, mainly to escape the biting cold Massachusetts air. 

Once it reached 11:45, we made our way to Morrissey Boulevard to catch our tour of the esteemed Boston Globe at noon. Meredith Goldstein, advice columnist for the Globe, greeted us as she surrendered her lunch break to give us a private tour. It’s safe to say we were all fangirling as we witnessed the staff in motion, hearing the clacking of keyboards that was crafting the newest opinion pieces, spotlights and breaking news stories that would soon fill the Boston racks. A shot glass laid on one desk, a family size bag of cough drops sat unattended on another and a bottle of beer and some junior mints rested on one more. This is awesome, I thought. 

I think we could all agree that the highlight of our tour was meeting Segun Oduolowu, the host of Boston Globe Today, whose words are still replaying in my head. “Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” He, and the rest of the Globe staff, showed us a level of kindness and welcoming demeanor that you would expect anywhere but a news bureau in Boston. 

Afterwards, we got an Uber to our next stop, the Sheraton Hotel, and shamelessly online-stalked everyone at the Globe we’d just met. The hotel was hosting the whole reason for our trip: the JEA/NSPA’s National High School Journalism Convention. The event is essentially a hub where high school newspaper and yearbook members can sit in on presentations from professionals, network, share ideas and learn about colleges that best fit their chosen paths in the journalism world. 

Thousands of students and teachers nestled into one room for the opening ceremony, and partaking in enthralling people-watching helped pass the time before it began. Schools travel from all over the world for this semi-annual convention, and when the original Boston Globe Spotlight Team (yes, from the movie) came to speak, I saw why. Matt Carroll and Walter Robinson sat on a panel and gave lots of valuable advice, sharing a plethora of stories and lessons that they gained from decades of being in the business. 

The opening ceremony jolted me with even more excitement for the remaining days, in which we’d be attending hourly sessions hosted throughout the day. With session options ranging  from “How to write like Taylor Swift ” to “Reporting on Tragedy,” we chose to attend the ones which intrigued us the most and filled each other in on the details afterwards. My favorite session had to be “How to be the best writer and reporter you can be” with Washington Post reporter Geoff Edgers who’s interviewed everyone from Adam Sandler to Bill Clinton to Tiffany Haddish. After his presentation, I found myself having written pages of notes stressing “NEVER DO EMAIL INTERVIEWS” and “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS WRITER’S BLOCK!” 

Overall, this trip was an amazing experience, and I’m grateful that I was able to attend such a fun trip that allowed me to build friendships with members of the staff whom I hadn’t known well before. I’ll never forget roaming the streets of Boston after dark and posing in front of Fenway with my Theogony peers.

But I gained even more than just new friends and fond memories; this trip truly opened my eyes to the journalistic world outside of the Theogony classroom. One of the things that stuck with me the most was learning about the sheer importance of reporters, as without them, people in power wouldn’t be held accountable for their actions. Not only that, but journalists are also a voice for those who may not be able to speak up. As inclusivity and diversity grow more prioritized, it is my (and all journalists’) job to act as microphones for those who need their stories and voices heard. 

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