Twice-Told Tale

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Twice-Told Tale

Twice-Told Tale

A Journalist Journeys to D.C.

Mrs. Madeline Holzmann
(Above) Senator Rick Scott was my governmental correspondent. He gave me a Challenger Coin which has his seal for when he was the Governor for the state of Florida.

From July 10 to the 15, I embarked on a journalism journey to George Mason University in Washington, D.C. The trip included going through multiple journalistic simulations including writing about First Amendment rights for schools and exposing teachers who were giving false grades on AP tests. We also spent time to debating what type of article is most important to cover. There were also meetings with important people in the journalism field such as the CEO of C-Span, Brian Lamb, and people who were in multiple positions when it came to writing for major newspapers. I also had the incredible opportunity to meet with Florida’s Senator, Rick Scott.

On day one, I woke up bright and early to arrive at MCO Airport. This was my first time flying on an airplane by myself. My flight was around two hours in length so nothing like a quick power nap. Once I landed in D.C., I walked to find the Washington Journalism Media Conference (WJMC) guide’s pickup group where I met counselors. Busses arrived, and we all drove 30 minutes to our drop-off point at George Mason University in the South Hampton Roads Hall. That night, we were thrown right into the experience of meet and greets with everyone in our color groups. Everyone in my color group was really nice. It was really cool to meet people on various newspaper teams who held the same title and position that I held. We all managed to share funny, interesting, and weird stories from our experiences.

On day two, I woke up bright and early once again. We went to Planet Word.  Planet Word was a really cool place that had different ways of explaining how words are used and from where they originate. Toward the end, we all got to meet Randi Richards from NBC News. Speaking with a well-known NBC reporter was really enlightening. Mrs. Randi Richards talked about her experience as a journalist. She shared all of the hardships she faced as a journalist. She was also able to give us tips and tricks on how to format writing. Mrs. Richards also spoke on how to differentiate fact from opinion when it came to talking about hot takes or things said on Twitter. After Planet Word we had a bit of downtime. A couple hours later we did the Washington Monument Moonlight Tour which consisted of seeing the reflecting pools and the Abraham Lincoln Monument. We ended that night on a very high note and went back to the campus to prepare for day three.

On day three, we met C-SPAN heads, Brian Lamb and Tom Jackman, at the second George Mason University campus in D.C. We then met Carmella Boykin and Nisha Chittal at the National Press Club. Meeting Brian Lamb was very formal since he has been at C-SPAN for so long. Tom Jackman followed Lamb, and he interviewed us as a group about different topics, the main one being climate change. After meeting with them, we met back at George Mason University, and we went through more simulations and overall just had fun. Day three was very exciting, but it paled in comparison to the day that followed.

On day four,  we woke up bright and early and headed to Washington, D.C. That day,  I met Senator Rick Scott. Meeting the Senator was incredible because, as a high school student, I was one out of a group of 35 who were meeting with their actual congressional representatives. Senator Rick Scott was very nice, and he gave me a Challenger Coin. The coin represented the Senator and the state of Florida. Afterward, my group and I walked around for a bit, and I got a National Library of Congress library card. Later that night, we went to the Marriott hotel for the WJMC Gala night where we ate and danced the night away. The Gala was extremely fun, and it was a night I will never forget.

Day Five was the final day. We woke up early for the final time, and we packed up so we would be able to just take our belongings and go. We met up in the main room once again for a final time, and we were given a goodbye spiel. Saying goodbye to all of the friends I made while I was there was very hard, and it made me sad. The WJMC trip was absolutely amazing, and I will never forget any of the friends I made while I was there. WJMC was by far the best summer camp I have ever been to and I am hoping I can become a camp ambassador when I am there next time!

(Above) Washington Journalism Media Conference, George Mason has an amphitheater where student journalists on the trip were able to ask questions. In this photo, I asked Mrs. Meghan ATB Reese questions. (George Mason University)
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About the Contributor
Zane Rimes
Zane Rimes, Director of Advertising
Zane Rimes is currently attending Lake Highland Preparatory School as an 11th grader. He is involved with Boy Scouts and is on Lake Highland's Wrestling team. Zane is a very big advocate for cancer research since he is a pediatric cancer survivor. He continues to serve advocacy for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Currently, he loves hanging out with friends and building Legos and various other buildable miniatures. He is very passionate about writing and enjoys being with the newspaper team. Zane now enjoys scuba diving as he became scuba certified at the end of last year!

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