The Paper Lion Senior Editors Say Goodbye

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Alecia Sclafani, Rebecca Williamson, Alexandra Jorge, Jake Heuskin, and Jack Rosen

Goodbye, For Real This Time

Alecia Sclafani, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Goodbye.

Just kidding. Well, not completely, since this letter is a goodbye letter, after all. I previously wrote an article in the last issue all about the year winding down for the celebratory 100 Days, so I suppose that is sort of similar to this. You know, mourning the loss of something we’ve been doing for about 12 years or so. No big deal. Only this time, this piece is a bit more personal rather than relatable. Not that I was intentionally trying to be relatable or anything, but the article was about something about 500 other people can relate to. Or, maybe I was trying to be? I don’t really know, it all sort of poured out of me from parts of me I didn’t think I wanted to tap into. Quite honestly, this may end up being a mash-up of sentimental words and rambling, which is most certainly not a tactic to be relatable and mushy; it’s an accurate portrayal of how I actually speak. If you’re not into that, I guess just tune out?

I’ve already properly mourned the dwindling time we have left, like I already addressed, and I’m positive it’ll come up again, but for right now, let’s talk about why I’m actually writing this letter. Presumably my last? Yuck. Believe it or not, some people enjoy writing, and I, clearly, am one of them. So much so that even though I’m an undecided major, my top choice is currently English. There’s something oddly satisfying in finding the right word and stringing together a powerful sentence that ties everything together like a perfectly wrapped gift. Anyways, I enrolled in Journalism my junior year, which I was completely nervous about doing. Not only was I clueless about what I was getting myself into, I was also clueless about how to write in that type of style. Journalists – professional ones, at least – always seem so edgy, and seem to have a sharp vocabulary and keen eye for interesting topics and perspectives. I was always accustomed to writing essays about whatever my teachers intended on grading. My point is that I was originally terrified to take this class, because I was now a junior and had no idea what I was doing or what this class would entail. In case you couldn’t figure it out, I stuck with the class. Hands down the best decision I made, and I’m not just saying that because this will be on the front cover of the paper I’m writing for.

When I first sat in Mr. Osborn’s class, I remember being hesitant to sit in the computer lab, like I was invading some ultra exclusive group that I didn’t quite fit into. Luckily enough, I sat next to someone who was also new to the class, so we made that work. But that’s not the point of this. The point of me talking about my initial hesitance towards Journalism is to talk more about my growth, which I credit to quite a few of my wonderful and personable teachers who had such a positive impact on me. My first article had me stressing out between worrying about the length and getting interviews and having a nice title. However, with every article I wrote, I was chipping away at my nerves, and slipping comfortably into the stiff computer chair I sat at. Fast forward past pieces about the school’s marching band and helping Mr. Osborn with the website to this year, where I no longer embody the uber cautious and soft spoken student. Nope, now I walk into Journalism comfortably, after greeting Mr. Osborn, of course, and feel like I fit right in. Mr. Osborn, not only did you help me with my college search and process and my writing, but you helped me to be a better and more well-rounded person. And not because you’re always talking about Star Wars or various other superhero movies with the rest of the back wall. Your excessive positive vibes and organized chaos within our exuberant clan taught me that it’ll all be okay. All the worrying in the world doesn’t change the outcome of things, so it’s best to have fun while enjoying the mess we’re fumbling around in. You never explicitly told me those things, but I sort of picked up on them, and I’m currently working on being more easy going, I promise. I cannot thank you enough for the stellar memories I’ve made in your class, two years simply hasn’t been enough. I wish I could take this class with me to St. John’s next year, but since I can’t, you’ll have to take my word for how much I’ll miss this class.

Like I wrote in my last article, high school is not all it’s cracked up to be. Except, it totally is. It’s such a trivial part of our lives, four years really is a brief window of time, but we do so much growing during it, that it’s hard to disregard. I know I did, and I owe it all to the incredible and dedicated teachers that always pushed me and believed in me, freshman to senior year. Thank you for having faith in me when I might not have. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting involved and pushing yourself just a bit. If I didn’t push myself, I wouldn’t even be writing this goodbye! As upset as I am to be leaving these memories and people behind, sadly, I’ve outgrown the building that once felt like I’d spend forever in. Time truly flies by, and it’s up to you to try to keep up and make the best of it. I can confidently say I made the best of my time here at Farmingdale High School, but not without once again thanking all of the people that helped me get to this state. It’s because of you all that I’m leaving high school with a smile and memories to last a lifetime. I really wanted to avoid a cliche ending statement, but everyone falls victim, so here’s my last statement, ever:

Goodbye, for real this time.

 

Writing the Next Chapter

Rebecca Williamson, Co-Editor-in-Chief

When I entered Mrs. Monitto’s AP Lit class this year bright-eyed and eager for the year, she bluntly told us seniors that we only had 14 days left of our high school careers. That certainly put a damper on the excitement I was feeling. At the time, I thought that she was out of her mind. I knew she didn’t mean it literally, but it felt like the whole concept was insane to think about. Now, I’m admitting that Mrs. Monitto was right. The year flew by so quickly, it was hard to savor the last few moments of my senior year. Now all of a sudden, I’m graduating in less than a month and I’m off to college shortly after. These thoughts are exciting yet slightly terrifying. Did I make the most of my time at Farmingdale? Am I ready to go to college? But most importantly, am I ready to leave everything behind and start a new chapter of my life?

I don’t feel that it’s worth it to relive ninth grade since tenth grade became my defining year of the two. I also barely remember ninth grade it was such a blur. However in tenth grade, I was no longer new to the school, but I was still finding my place. Luckily, I found a home in Journalism. I always loved to write, and it was intriguing to me to learn about a new way of writing. I entered the class slightly nervous about what to expect. I can honestly say I was not expecting a really loud, kind of crazy, yet really caring teacher. I was ecstatic and a little shocked when I found out that my articles were going to be published for people to read. The year was filled with article after article until, much to my dismay, the end came. However, I could not fit Journalism into my schedule for the following year. Unsure of what to do, I spoke to Mr. Osborn who told me that I could speak to him the following year about continuing to write for the paper even though I was not in Journalism. That is exactly what I did. I was able to write two articles in eleventh grade with Mr. Osborn’s permission. Fast forward one very hectic junior year to the question that left me speechless. One day as I spoke with Mr. Osborn, he asked me if I wanted to be the co-editor-in-chief for my senior year. I was very confused; I didn’t even take the class that year. After explaining his reasons, I knew that I wanted to accept the offer. I didn’t say yes for the title; I said yes because I wanted to learn more and help other people like the editors helped me in tenth grade. I knew that if Mr. Osborn believed I could do it, I could believe in myself too. I left that school year eager to return and begin my last year as a Daler.

As I sat down in Journalism for the first time back in September, I knew it would be a lot of work, but I was ready to dive in. The paper was going digital, and Alecia, Mr. Osborn, and I would be in over our heads for the next couple of months. After several trial and errors, we finally got the website up and running. We let the dust settle for a few weeks before we began our work on the first print issue. Learning how to work the pain that is Quark was a challenge, but I pulled through. I can honestly say that Quark is not as terrible as it appears. Once again, it felt like time moved too quickly. Article after article was published online, and the second issue was also thrown together much quicker since the layout was already finalized. After some thought, Mr. Osborn decided that this would be the final issue of the year. I was secretly hoping for the fourth, but I understand why it was not possible to do it. At least this final issue is really amazing, but I’m kind of biased. Although I didn’t get my fourth issue, I was able to help set up the website, which will last longer than any print issue.

Journalism wasn’t the only highlight of my days. My schedule for this year wasn’t filled with off periods. I wanted to be able to take the electives I had to give up the previous year. I looked forward to Creative Writing, where I learned many completely different styles of writing. Because of Creative Writing and Journalism, I was able to decide that I wanted to major in English. I hope to become an editor or a publisher after college, but with an English degree, I can still write and hopefully be a published author of newspaper articles and books.

As the much anticipated graduation ceremony comes closer with each passing second, I’m beginning to feel the twinge of sadness that I knew would come. I am leaving behind my home for the unknown. As I reflect on the past four years, I realize that I can answer all of my questions. I know I made the most of my time as a Daler. I know that I will be ready for college when the day comes. I know that I am ready to begin writing the next chapter of my life. I just hope that I was able to write my perfect legacy before my inevitable departure into the world.

 

For My Fellow Seniors… Godspeed

Allie Jorge, Editor

This year, I joined The Paper Lion intending to pursue my interests in writing, and make sure I preserved the quality of my current literary skillsets before university came barging down my door. However, as the year progressed, Journalism – specifically, editing and publishing – became more to me, and it has now become a career I want to devote the rest of my life to.

Journalism does not focus on exposure, nor are the only forms of exciting news those that involve scandals or controversy in politics. Sometimes, it’s writing cheese horoscopes, or a morning announcement comprised entirely of pancake and syrup puns. Other times, it’s learning about those of who walked these hallways long ago and left a legacy I couldn’t possibly fathom, or revelations one can only truly encounter as a senior. I know this much to be true.

What I should hope underclassmen take from this (whoever amongst you somehow made it this far into my goodbye letter, anyway) is that high school is your chance to be someone to somebody, and to acknowledge that you belong here, somewhere. I refuse to regret the now-expired time spent realizing something so obvious, and instead use the time I have left here to apply myself. Where you have years, I have a couple days. Make it count.

And, as for my fellow seniors . . . Godspeed.

 

Shouts to Osborn

Jake Heuskin, Editor

Going into my junior year, I took journalism not knowing what I would get out of it, and it was one of the best decisions I have made in my four years of high school. I heard great things before I was on staff on The Paper Lion, and I joined because I knew a lot of people on the staff so I would be with my friends. I never would have thought that I would look forward to 5th Period on A days, I never would have thought that Journalism would become my favorite class, and I never would have thought I’d meet probably the best teacher I’ve ever had, Mr. Osborn. Although I wrote about sports about 99% of the time for the past two years, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I loved writing about sports that went on throughout the school, and I wish I still had some time left in high school to keep doing it. Peace out Dale. Shouts to Osborn.

 

Roar On

Jack Rosen, Editor

After three years on The Paper Lion staff, my time has come to an end. Sophomore year I wrote an article on the rivalry between Massapequa and Farmingdale, and nicely put, it belonged in the garbage. It was a boring and bland piece of writing. Two years later after grinding out articles for The Paper Lion and with the help of Mr. Osborn, my writing has improved tremendously and even the simplest of articles are filled with my personality. So much so that I finally received my first 100 in the class after about 10 quarters of 95s. Thank you Mr. Osborn for helping me improve not only the way I write an article, but the way I approach one. I now have a whole new perspective on journalism as a whole. I’d also like to thank all my fellow staff members who have helped make this class even more enjoyable than it already was. I am not quite sure what my future holds and if I will be writing. But at some point in my life I would like to get back to writing, whether it is for a job or just a leisurely activity. So I guess this is my goodbye to Farmingdale High School and The Paper Lion, I know you’ll roar on without me.