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See What Paw Prints Weekly Has to Say About SCJEA

Carol Li (12)- News Writing

How did you feel during the competition?

“I think it was a very different experience from previous years because this is my first time ever competing in SCJEA online, and I felt like there was a disconnection between the judges and the writers. It did not seem like it was an actual contest in a sense since there were not any interviews. Also, there is a big difference between the [contest environment]. You would usually see everyone frantically finishing their assignments, but you can do it at your own pace over Zoom.”

Did you find anything challenging during the competition?

“Something challenging would be the amount of information they released on the spot to us. For example, they did not tell us where to submit until the day of the contest and some of the forms we needed to look at were not accessible.”

What was your favorite part of SCJEA?

“My favorite part of SCJEA is the fact that the journalism class was still able to experience some form of the competition even though everything was virtual.”

What were some things you did to prepare for SCJEA?

“I reviewed the news articles and structure since that was the section I competed in. I also read some professional articles on some websites and the judges’ guidelines for ELAJEA.”

Were you content with the work you submitted?

“I would say that I am. There is some information that I would have wanted to know, but there was not an interview period. Other than that, I think I did [satisfactory].”

Bryce Addison Pineda (12)- Critical Review

What were your thoughts during the competition?

“This was the second part of ELAJEA, so I was more nervous attending this time. Since it is a higher level, there is going to be more competition. But once I had entered the competition, the tension was relieved a little since the topic turned out to be a bit easier than the one they gave us previously at ELAJEA.”

What was your favorite part about SCJEA?

“I always enjoy these types of competitions because it is a way to challenge myself and see how I can improve my writing. I liked the topic since it was an album review and I am really interested in music. Getting to review an album allowed me to be in my element and turn in a good piece of writing.”

Are you content with the piece you submitted?

“Yes, I was more than happy with the piece I submitted. During ELAJEA, the topic was something I was not as familiar with. It was about museums and I knew nothing about it.”

Did you experience any challenges during the event?

“Well, the most challenging thing would be the time limit for both SCJEA and ELAJEA. We were introduced to the topic for around 20-30 minutes. After that, we received about an hour to write, so there was a lot of pressure to write a good article within that amount of time.”

Rani Chor (11)- Editorial Writing

How were you feeling during the competition?

“A little weirded out since it was online for the first time ever.”

Are you satisfied with the piece you had written?

“I think I could have integrated more quotes into my opinion piece. Otherwise, I think I came in with a very unique angle.”

What are some things you have learned from competing in SCJEA?

“Probably understanding that interviewing people from Zoom is hard. There are a lot of technological issues that could potentially happen.”

Do you feel more confident with this piece or the one you wrote at ELAJEA?

“I think I am more confident with the one I wrote at ELAJEA because I had a lot more time to write due to technological issues during SCJEA.”

Annie Liang (11)- Editorial Cartoon

Did you experience any challenges throughout the competition?

“It usually takes a while for me to come up with concepts related to the topic. Since I was restricted on time to think and create, I had to rush my usual creative process.”

How did you feel during the competition?

“I was pretty tired since the competition started at around 9:00 a.m. There was definitely an adrenaline rush at some point because of the sudden realization that I would be limited on time.”

What are your thoughts on the piece you submitted?

“I thought my piece could have been better if I had more time to think about the topic creatively. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with what I produced.”

What could you take away from this experience?

“One thing I could take away from this experience is the ability to think of ideas on the spot. I had one hour to brainstorm an idea to use for my editorial cartoon. Getting used to timed events like these can help me with exams like the AP Language test where I would have to write an essay in under an hour.”

What was your favorite part?

“My favorite part was submitting my piece and being able to call it a finished project.”

Joseph Mendoza (10)- Editorial Cartoon

What are your thoughts on the piece you submitted?

“I am actually quite proud of it, especially when I compare it to my previous competition submissions. To elaborate further, I felt like the final product of the piece was way more polished than I had anticipated, give or take a few errors. Typically, I struggle with focusing on one idea or stance and end up simply trying too much and finishing with little, but this time I was able to focus and execute my idea coherently.”

How did you feel during the competition?

“Mostly tired to be honest. Most likely due to the fact I had woken up about a minute before the competition had started. Other than that, I tried to keep my anxieties to a minimum and just kept continuing on with the art. About 4 minutes before the submission time, I began to get a little nervous because I was still not very familiar with the processes of submitting things online with SCJEA’s guidelines.”

What could you take away from this experience?

“One big takeaway I had was the honing of the journalistic artistic process. The limited time nature of the competition certainly stressed each element of the process. From forming a stance to displaying action and information, it required me to exercise the fundamentals quickly and effectively.”

What was your favorite part?

“Prior to the event starting, all of the competitors were waiting for the briefing to start and in the meantime, the host would intermittently play random music. Since I had just woken up, I found this “journalism music” quite amusing.”

Did you experience any challenges throughout the competition?

“There were certainly technical issues as with most things online. But once those were cleared, it was smooth sailing from there on.”

Angela Xu (10)- Novice News

How were you feeling during the competition?

“During the competition, I felt a bit nervous but I was much calmer when compared to ELAJEA.”

What are some things you could take away from this experience?

“I must say that one definite thing I can take away from this experience is that writing an article can be fairly easy, but it depends on the topic and information presented to you.”

Did you find anything fun about the competition?

“Being able to read about the topic of the article was actually pretty interesting. I would not say fun, but it was definitely fascinating.”

Are you happy with the piece you submitted?

“I felt satisfied with what I submitted, but like always, there can be improvements made to the article.”

Charles Synder (10)- Sports Writing

How did you prepare for SCJEA?

“I prepared for SCJEA through mock write-offs that were held in class during both the weeks prior to SCJEA, as well as ELAJEA.”

What was your favorite part about the competition?

“My favorite part about the competition was by far the incredible people that I was able to meet. One of the standouts was Amanda Longan, the goalie for the Women’s National Water Polo Team, who is currently training for a spot to compete in the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.”

Did you experience any obstacles during the competition?

“The competition was fairly smooth, with the only real obstacle being that our moderator was experiencing some technical difficulties. Other than that, the writing process went very well.”
What could you do to improve for next year?

“In order to improve for next year, I plan on writing more long feature articles, particularly on student athletes. I feel that by becoming more familiar with that sort of structure, I will be able to place even higher next year than I did this year.”

Halo Kwok (9)- Novice News

What was your favorite part about SCJEA?

“My favorite part about SCJEA was the fact that I had the opportunity to experience competing in a journalism contest online during the pandemic. If SCJEA was not held this year amidst COVID-19, then I would have never been able to know what it was like to be competing for Paw Prints Weekly in a statewide setting.”

What are some things you did to prepare for the competition?

“In order to prepare for SCJEA, I created detailed documents that ensured that I had a cohesive structure for my news article. I also looked through the mock write-offs we have had in class so that I did not repeat my mistakes and improved in my writing technique.”

What could you do to improve for next year?

“To be a better journalist next year, I will try my best to become more open-minded about my errors in order to improve upon my faults. I need to learn how to take more criticism so that I know how to better myself.”

Did you experience any challenges during the event?

“Overall, there were not many challenges I had to overcome during the event since I already encountered most of them during ELAJEA. When I went to SCJEA, my fear of competing dissipated after my first contest and I felt very comfortable in the online environment.”

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