Joanna’s 30

“Room 302.”

I’m met with a blank expression.

“It’s by the nurse’s office.”

A look of understanding crosses the clueless person’s face.

Most students have never stepped foot in the journalism room, let alone those who have no idea of its existence. But room 302, also Mrs. Negri’s advisory, has been a sanctuary for me the past four years. I began my freshman year clueless of what I wanted to do during high school and having no idea what sort of clubs I wanted to be a part of, but that quickly changed. I had Journalism 1 during the first semester of this year and I realized that journalistic writing was an enjoyment for me. I didn’t join the newspaper staff until my sophomore year but I was immediately welcomed into the small staff with upperclassmen that would become great friends.

This room has been the setting for a lot of high school memories. So many laughs with Nneka, Gabriel, and Alex and eventually with Jason and Phil took place in this room. Our staff has grown larger each year and the friendship between us has grown stronger. The responsibility of being editor-in-chief can be stressful, but this hard-working staff has, thankfully, always entertained me.

Jason, I remember you and Rao cornering me in advisory, debating whether or not to join the newspaper staff. I was earnestly trying to recruit more underclassmen onto staff so I wouldn’t have to write three stories each issue but I never thought  you’d eventually become the Kerronicle’s editor-in-chief. You are always willing to come up with ideas and sincerely are one of the hardest working people I’ve been around. Your constant trolling is a great stress reliever (as long as you’re not targeting me). I would wish you luck for the next year but I know you don’t really need it.

Phil, combined with being in my advisory, the immense amount of time we’re around each other during the day can be a little much. But what this time has shown me is that you’re an extremely diligent person; you have no idea how impressed I am that you can juggle the Kerronicle and Speech and Debate at the same time.

Phat your design skills always impress me and after losing Jason P. they were so welcome. You’re a great business manager, if a little quiet, but are always sensible and always on track. Hopefully you’ll continue with the same pattern throughout your senior year.

Nadia and Phi-Phi, you both were the greatest surprises of the newbies last year. You two completely floored me with fantastic first drafts that barely needed editing and I seriously applaud you on your constant hard work. Your conversations about Harry Potter and Once Upon a Time are hilarious and your wit certainly comes across in your writing. I hope you both spend the next two years and staff and I expect you two will be vying for the editor-in-chief position when the time comes.

Kevin, I think your first graphic was a piece of sushi and at first I was worried because it was taking you a really long time to finish it up – until I saw the finished the product. You’d been so meticulous to get each curve exactly like the original picture and surprisingly your work has improved from that first vector.

Tracey and Kelli, it’s clear you two have a lot of fun with each other on staff and your work is always good. I seriously don’t know where you two are most of the time but hopefully it’s on news briefs that I’m not aware of and not just socializing.

Jesus, maybe you’re wild outside of journalism but in this room you’re super quiet. I’m seriously impressed that you’re openly willing to write any sort of story for us and aren’t picky at all. That’s seriously one of the nicest qualities to have in a staff member and makes my job so much easier. The quality of your writing is constantly first-rate and a great addition on staff.

Aja and Krista, we’ve finally made it! We’ve spent four years in high school and even though we all joined the staff at different times, it’s been nice having fellow seniors in the room. I wish you guys the best of luck in the coming years at college.

I’ve spent my time in the journalism room eating, sleeping, playing Angry Birds, and of course, working hard on the Kerronicle, often days after it was supposed to be printed. I know college certainly won’t be as relaxing as this past year has been but with a bit of luck, next year will be the best year yet for the Kerronicle.