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J-Day 2018

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Instead of a boring school day, we took a trip to Ball State. They threw an event for journalism and newspapers students in the surrounding area. We ended up missing the opening ceremony; however, it gave us more time to tour the campus. Over the course of the day I learned a lot of new things about journalism. Many ways to write a story and ways to add detail to them were discussed. I also learned a lot of things about Ball State.

When we first got to the Student Center we were a little late, Engle tried to park in the same place he has parked in the previous ten years. Apparently, we weren’t allowed to park there anymore. He told us students to go inside and wait for him to move the busses. So a couple of us seized our moment and got some Taco Bell breakfast for the first time. I paid three dollars for three breakfast tacos untaxed and they were great. Since we got to Ball State late, we had to miss orientation. So we took a spontaneously short tour of the campus conducted by Mr. Engle and saw the news publishing area in the Atrium . After our abrupt tour of the campus, we were able to choose a class to attend.

My friends and I chose to attend a class focused on sportswriting. The main speaker had written for the Indy Star and had even covered many sporting events all over Indiana. He mentioned that his favorite thing to cover were high school sports. He explained it was because he could take his own stats and the competition was few and far between. There is usually only about one or two other reporters there. When asked about covering the NFL or NBA, he said, “There are twenty other reporters writing the same article as me and we all get handed the stat sheets after each quarter.” Eventually he told us what we can do to make our own sports stories more interesting. One of the things he told us was to ask athletes why they come back each season. He asked us to interview coaches, individual athletes, and to even follow athletes into their college career.

“Many colleges will give you press passes in order for you to see their athletes, mostly because it’s free publicity for them,” said Tom Hayes who wrote for the Indy Star.

After the 45 minute class, our small group decided to explore the campus. First we walked down the sidewalks and saw an Insomnia Cookies. Their claim to fame is that they deliver cookies until 3 a.m. We decided to go to a restaurant I’d never heard of: Scotty’s Brewhouse. The food was great and we decided to stick around to talk for a while. An hour later, we’d make our way into Insomnia cookies. I spent six dollars on a cookie sandwich and it was 100% worth it. We eventually decided to sit down and talk with the seniors at a small coffee shop. I waited in line for nearly twenty minutes, but I got the best coffee I’ve ever had. It was named “The Nitro” because it is a cold brew coffee injected with nitrogen which gives it a creamy top. Coming back to the student center, we saw a lot of students and smelt an abundance of coffee being made. Brannyn Spencer decided to get coffee from Starbucks and I wanted to try it. When I did, I got a straw full of cream and I almost choked. Once we all met up, we headed to the buses and made our way home. I might add that everyone, including myself, fell asleep on the bus.

Overall this was a great trip. We learned ways to make us better writers, ate some great food, and made memories with friends. The class we sat in on was very interesting. The teacher was a skilled writer and he had a lot of experience; there was a lot to learn from him. We ate at a couple of different places throughout the day, all of them being great. Most importantly memories were made.

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
J-Day 2018