The Garnet Mine Year in Review

An insight into The Garnet Mine's second official year.

The Garnet Mine Year in Review

This year was The Garnet Mine’s second year up and running, and it was a success for sure. Our class consisted of seniors, juniors, and one sophomore (me!), some returning and most new. Throughout the year, The Mine experienced a huge growth in the quality and number of articles published. Everyone was so determined to constantly put out new articles because we were allowed to write about whatever we wanted, within the terms of the month’s “theme.”

A highlight of the year was when Bruce Beck, News 4 New York sports anchor, came to visit our class and talk about broadcast journalism.

Each month, starting in November, was a different theme that we had to follow. It determined the number of articles we wrote and sometimes the topic, of course with a lot of leeway. These monthly themes included:

No Nonsense November:

November was all about “cleaning up” our articles and working to make them better quality. Some requirements for each article included two images, a student quote from someone outside the class, and editing from another writer before publication. Although this was November’s theme, the ideas stayed with us for the rest of the year as we worked to strengthen our articles.

Debatable December:

To wrap up 2017, one of our December articles had to be about the year in review. We had to write an opinion article about anything that happened throughout the year, as long as it was presented in a form that could be debated.  My article, “Most Controversial Moments of 2017,” focused on a number of different news stories that I considered to be the most controversial. Writing opinion articles gave us a chance to explore different styles of journalism that didn’t include straight-up fact stories. After writing this article, I discovered that I actually preferred writing opinion articles over what I had been doing before.

Just An Interview January: 

For January, we learned how to use iMovie and microphones in order to film an interview with a person of our choice. Although we had to follow the theme, we were given the creative space to film a interview about whatever we wanted. I chose to interview my English teacher about Harry Potter because we’re both obsessed with the books and movies. I ended up being really proud of how the video turned out, even though I struggled at first because I’m not tech savvy at all. The skills we learned in January helped immensely when it came to February’s theme.

Film Festival February:

February was a continuation of January’s theme, except this time we were given even more freedom about what we wanted to post. For this month, we had to create a video of any kind; it could be an interview or a documentary or whatever. I chose to make a highlight reel from Squash Nationals, where I went with my squash team at the beginning of the month. I took videos of people playing and strung them together in movie form. I was happy with the results and also learned that I should’ve filmed the video with my camera in landscape form.

Mine Your Own Mine March: 

The final theme, and my least favorite, was “Make Your Own Mine March.” This was a collaborative effort by the whole class, and our grade depended on how well we were all able to reach our daily goals. First off, there had to be at least two articles going up every day by anyone in the class. We also had to reach 150 readers every day, something that was a bit of a struggle. Overall, this month was the most stressful, but it was valuable because it’s important to extend our audience and learn how to meet tough deadlines.

The 2017-2018 school year for The Garnet Mine was very successful, and I can’t wait to see how much more it improves and grows next year!