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My First Short Story! – The Pink Sweater

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Penn State’s multimedia and broadcast journalism summer camp

The five days I spent at Penn State University was definitely an exciting, exhausting, and informative experience. And I really, really did enjoy the time I spent there.
Luckily, a friend of mine came along with me, so I didn’t have to share a room with someone I didn’t know. There were people from all over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, even Maryland and Massachusetts. Also, someone from Poland and India attended.
Every day we’d wake up, get ready and go to breakfast, then head over to a building down the street for two back to back sessions, which we learned about various things each day. Some days we practice news writing and reporting and some days we watched some Penn State student’s photojournalism projects. Then, after lunch, we’d journey off somewhere around the campus to find something to write about. Over the week we went to the Penn State Sports Museum, the Daily Collegian newsroom (which is an independent, student run newspaper), AccuWeather headquarters, a Penn State Spikes baseball game, and the Pennsylvania art festival. Then at night time after dinner, we’d either edit the photos we took throughout the day, or write a story (usually either news/reporting or a features article) centered on somewhere we went that day. Throughout the week I wrote about the Daily Collegian, featured a stand at the art festival, took photos at AccuWeather, and wrote a feature on an elderly couple that worked together as ushers at the Spikes baseball field.
To me, it seemed that there was a big focus on news, reporting, and broadcast at this camp. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the camp was entitled so, etc, etc, but there really was no focus on writing at all. Sure, we’d all practice how to write news story when our instructor gave us a fake topic and quotes and stuff, but there wasn’t much instruction on how to write, or any helpful pointers/tips. The first night, when I wrote about the Collegian newspaper, I was so stressed because there was no guidance whatsoever and not much help either. There were a few “instructors” in the room with us, all with different backgrounds (one a features writer, news reporter, two of the student counselors…) and when I’d ask for opinions on what I was writing, I got something different out of every person. Someone would say I was reporting, the next would say I was writing a features story. It was very stressful and confusing and I felt very unproductive.
Besides that, I did have a very good time at Penn State. The next few nights I felt a lot better with my writing. (I think I just didn’t have enough information to create a story the first night…) I had a lot of new experiences and did a lot of new things. I learned that I am not a news reporter nor do I want to be in broadcast journalism. I love writing, not reporting. It definitely helped me with my choices for college and so on. If I had to rate my time at Penn State, I’d give it a four out of five stars.