Unfortunately, my high school days are coming to an end, which means Blue Jay Journal TV is also ending. I cannot thank the people I have worked with, or Ms. Turner, enough for everything they have done to help me throughout my two years on staff. BJJTV is more than just a fun co-curricular class. It is something that has helped me tremendously with people skills. I highly recommend anyone who is considering a career in the Public Relations, Marketing, or Journalism fields to take BJJTV. You won't regret it.
I also want to thank WHS admininstration and staff for a great four years! I couldn’t have possibly asked for a better school. I am very glad I chose WHS instead of that school across town.
For the final time, have a great day Blue Jays!
Looking back on my time in BJJTV, it's hard to pick my three favorite productions. After much thought, I figured it out. I hope you enjoy my selections.
#3. My Disconnect Day is actually the first story I ever produced. While it may not be one of the greatest stories the Blue Jay Journal TV staff has ever produced, I love to look back at it and compare my current work to it. Seeing the improvements I have made is wonderful. It really gives me a sense of accomplishment. I had the privilege to work with Taylor Ritson on this story, which was awesome because she was great at introducing me to how things worked. She ended up becoming a great friend of mine over the entirety of the school year last year.
#2. My second favorite story I worked on was Over Tested. It was the first time Jared Lopez and I had worked alone together and it definitely gave us some challenges. Although the story seemed easy at first, it was far from it. When picking people to interview, we wanted to make sure we had a balanced story by getting both sides of the subject. Unfortunately, our first interview subjects didn’t have the views we thought they would, so we had to work with it a little bit. Given the minor setbacks we had, I am proud of how the story turned out.
#1. My favorite story I ever produced in Blue Jay Journal is Claire’s Journey. When given the topic of the rising costs of medical bills for the MIPA Broadcast Feature Story Challenge, the team I was on instantly knew we had a great resource in Ellie Scheer's family. Ellie’s sister, Claire, was born with Aicardi Syndrome and is on many different medications, including cannabis oil. Unfortunately, cannabis oil isn’t covered by insurance, so the Scheer family must pay out of pocket. This story not only looks at the rising costs of health care, it aims for the heart. I was very excited when I found out that we put together a winning piece for this contest. Not only that, but our audience seemed to enjoy our story, too. I hope you enjoy it, also.
I hear it all the time, "I can't wait to get out of Washington." But why? Washington is a great place to grow up and have a family.
The excuses for wanting to leave are often along the lines of "fake" people being a burden, but these people are oblivious to the fact that there are fake people everywhere. I believe Washington is a great place to live because the crime rate is low, school pride is high, and it still has the classic American small town vibe.
According to City-Data.com, Washington's crime rate has never been higher than the United States average. In fact, it has always been significantly lower, peaking at 210 crimes per 100,000 people, over 70 crimes less than the United States average.
Another reason Washington is a great place to live is because of the school pride. Whether you go to Borgia or Washington, you know that your school will always battle the other to show the most pride. Although we have these battles, that does not get in the way of friendships. Trash talk and pranks are always fun, but when it comes down to it, we are a tight-knit community.
Lastly, Washington is still considered a small town. Although we are experiencing population growth, we are still no where near that of a Clayton, Chesterfield, or Lindbergh. We can enjoy many things that people cannot always find in the St. Louis suburbs. We can go to the riverfront and take a stroll on the trail then go to a nearby restaurant. Also, it's not hard to find farms and open green space just outside the city limits.
Washington is a great place to be, simply because it's simple and laid back. We don't have fancy buildings or high tax rates, but we do have a safe, tight-knit community full of great people.
So, the next time you talk about how badly you want to get out of this town, just think about how lucky you are to be here in the first place.
We've had a lot of negative news lately, which is understandable. Usually, the news of the hour is over something President Trump has done. Often, it seems that Journalists are bashing our President.
I am not a fan of President Trump, but I do not want us to bash the Commander-in-Chief just because most polls show that the majority of Americans don't have faith in him. As Americans, it should be our wish to see the president succeed. Why? Well, if he fails, that affects us all.
I recall in 2009 when President Obama took office, the Republicans made it a plan to block anything President Obama wanted done. This is frustrating to think about because we never saw Obama reach his full potential. I do not want to see this same attitude from Democrats during Trump's presidency. I really want to see what he can do for this great nation. I believe that everyone deserves a chance. Sure, many Americans believe he is unqualified for the position, but that's why there are others around him to help him when he needs it.
The biggest problem we currently have is how unwilling people are to agree to disagree. When our parents were younger, they would discuss issues with each other. If they had differing views, they would take main points from each idea and try to process it. They would try to understand where others were coming from with their beliefs.
Now, people don't listen to learn, they listen to respond. That is horrible. Someone is explaining their views on something they truly care about and people who disagree don't even make time to actually pay attention. What happened to empathy and understanding? Why can't we try to hear each other out and even if we do not agree, remain peaceful with each other?
I also think it's about time everyone takes a breather and let the government do its job. I also encourage everyone to research some issues President Trump would like to address, I truly think you will be surprised.
Until Next Time, Blue Jays,
It's another late night, and we're scrolling through our news feed when an insane article headline pops up, "President Obama Offers to Pay for Museum of Muslim Culture Out of Own Pocket." Yes, this is actually something that Fox News reported about 3 years ago.
Now, I know people have said President Obama is a Muslim who helped create ISIS, but I always thought those were just jokes. For people to actually believe these claims sounds insane to me, AND for one of the biggest news corporations in America to actually publish this story is just ridiculous. It just shows how unwilling the media can be to do their job the right way.
As I've read more and more about the trending topic of fake news, I've realized it's very easy to believe a ridiculous story. According to Buzz Feed News, the top 20 fake election stories grabbed more views than the top 20 factual election stories, with 8, 711, 000 shares, comments and likes compared to 7, 367, 000 shares, comments, and likes, respectively. My first thought after seeing these numbers, I believed we all just liked getting a good laugh.
That cannot possibly be the case when there are over a million more "clicks" on fake stories. The Huffington Post wrote an article to support my claim. Matt Masur wrote an article titled, "Bernie Sanders Could Replace President Trump with Little-Known Loophole."
Just like any other person amazed by the headline, I clicked on the link, expecting to see some call to action, but when I clicked I received the opposite of my expectation. In the first paragraph, the author introduces the "problem" building towards the "solution," but quickly changes tone. In the second paragraph Matt comes out and says there is no loophole to giving a random person the presidency, but many of us, like myself, clicked on the article or even shared it. He said that the recent rush of fake news on our social media accounts causes us to believe almost everything we see, without even looking into it.
There is a real problem in America when it comes to fake news. I believe that we should somehow start a Public Service Announcement campaign, almost like a buckle-up campaign, that challenges people to read a post fully and evaluate it before actually spreading the news or commenting about it. I would also like to challenge "real news" outlets to educate us all on how to tell the difference between fake news and real news.
Until Next time,
Hey, Blue Jays!
I have wrote about this before and I am going to do it again because it is something I am very passionate about....trying in school.
I believe that trying in school is very important. In my family, school always comes before fun, work, and especially sports.
Growing up, my parents did not have the best opportunities. They grew up in small town America and helping the family always came first. By no means were my parents poor or underprivileged, they just grew up in different times where school didn't always come first.
As a result of my parents experiences, they have always wanted me to do the best I can in school. No matter the circumstances growing up, I always had to get my school work done. Every day I would come home from school and do my homework.
Now you may be wondering, "Why didn't you just tell your parents you don't have homework?"
Believe me, I tried that, but my parents were smarter than what I thought. They checked my backpack and folders everyday without my knowing just to make sure I was telling the truth. Obviously, as a young elementary school student, I was caught off guard by the fact that parents saw through my lie.
Enough with the young Dylan days, though. That is just one example of why I'm so dedicated when it comes to school. Yes, Senioritis is a real thing, and yes, I do get tired of school, but I always make sure that I put in my best effort when it comes to school.
Until next time, Jays!
It amazes me how many of my peers do not get the correct amount of sleep. Many people stay up late doing homework or working, but others just like to stay up late. Personally, if I stay up late, I know that the next day will not be good.
I have to get 8 hours of sleep in order to feel great and be 100% ready for the next day. If I don't get 8 hours of sleep, I find myself blowing things off and not being driven to stay on top of things. While we can all agree that a lack of sleep takes a toll on us physically, we must realize that it also takes a toll on us mentally.
According to the Sleep Foundation, a lack of sleep limits your ability to learn, listen, concentrate, and solve problems. You may even forget important information like names, numbers, your homework, or a date with a special person in your life. We all know we don't want to miss a date with a special person in our life, because the consequences may be extreme.
Teens need about 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night to function at our best ability. The Sleep Foundation says that in a recent poll, only 15% of teens claimed to get at least 8 1/2 hours of sleep. This number is extremely low.
I find it crazy that only 15% get 8 1/2 hours. I love sleep, I'm sure most teens feel the same way, so I thought more teens would be picky about the amount of sleep they get.
I asked my friends what time they go to sleep. An overwhelming amount responded after 11 p.m. If they all wake up at 7 a.m. that means they get less than 8 hours of sleep. This is incredibly unhealthy to do every night. In the end, it could affect life in a big way.
We may all think we can catch up on sleep, but that's not really a thing. If you sleep 6 hours one night and 10 hours the next night, you didn't catch up on any sleep. You were still exhausted the day you only got 6 hours.
I am going to leave you with a challenge. I challenge you all to get 8 hours of sleep a night for a week straight. You may laugh at me and think I'm crazy, but I can assure you that you will feel so much better if you attempt it.
I currently have a 3.7 GPA and a 28 on the ACT. I would say I am an above-average student.
At times, I find myself trying much harder than many of my classmates. I'll admit, I am lazy at times and that has affected my GPA in a big way.
At other times, I see many students who just do not care. Watching this happen tears me apart.
I know how big of an impact school has on our future. My parents have preached to me since a young age that school is important. My parents know that it is no longer like it was when they grew up; they did not necessarily need a college degree to get a good job.
Nowadays, if you do not go to college, the prospects are not as bright for the rest of your life. Some people may be okay with that, but personally, I believe I am much better than that. I am looking down on those people. I am happy if they are able to get solid jobs as laborers or in the service industry because we have many people in this nation that don't even work. I have told myself since I was little that I don't want to live that life. I want to be able to live comfortably, and college gives me the opportunity to do that.
Trying in school impacts your future, but it is not the only thing it impacts. When I try in school, I have a sense of pride.
Picture this as an example: We have a big project for history class. It's a presentation about the most recent lesson that must include a visual aid. We start out dreading the project. Grades matter, so we know we must do it. The project takes a whole week to complete and we have to work on it all outside of class. Our visual aid is damaged, but we redo it to make sure the project is great. Through the struggle we feel like the whole project is a disaster, but we complete it with a 94%. As a part of this group, I have a sense of pride.
When projects this happen, it gives me a little taste of what life in the real world is like. Even once I graduate from college, the professional world wants people who can follow through on tasks and overcome obstacles.
I wish that all students would put some thought into whether or not they are going to do the next homework assignment, and realize how big of an impact it could have on their future. School matters. Our education matters. Our futures all matter.
Make America Great Again. It is a new slogan made famous by the Republican Presidential Nominee, Donald Trump. Do we really need to make America great again?
I believe that America is already great, but it seems some of the people in our great nation do whatever they can to prevent our nation from thriving.
For example, some people complain about how tight money is at times. I respect that complaint if the person is a hard worker, but many people try to take advantage of the hard working people in our country. This nation was made great by all the people who work hard, not those who complain without putting in the effort.
I also believe that we are one of the more advanced nations in the world. That also makes us a great country. If you visit different countries you will realize that many things we look at as "the basics" here at home aren't up to par in other nations. We have great roads, schools, museums, clean drinking water, and much more that we all take for granted.
Other countries would be amazed by some of the advancements we have, but we don't believe it is that big of a deal. I think it's time we open our eyes and see that things here aren't that bad.
Our nation is truly great, but some people in our nation are greedy and ungrateful for all America has to offer them.
Let's KEEP America Great.
Some people love staying home, while others enjoy going out and having a good time. No matter the type you may be, we all have a favorite place in our house to chill out and relax.
My favorite place in my house is probably similar to that of many other teens.
Obviously, my favorite place is my room. When things in my house get a little hectic, as they do in all houses, I tend to go to my room. It is that one place where I know I can have quiet time.
Like many other teenage boys, I will play video games for hours in my room. While this may not be the most productive activity, it's a good way for me to have fun when I can't go out with friends.
I also watch tv in my room, but this happens less frequently than playing video games. I usually watch a little tv before I go to bed just to catch up on what's going on around the world.
There's an old saying that goes like this, "a man's home is his castle." Until I actually own a home of my own, I would have to say that my bedroom is my castle.
Until next time,
Mass shootings happen way too frequently in the United States. According to Global Research, there have been 67 mass shooters in the last 30 years. Of those 67 shooters, 65 had mental health issues and 55 legally obtained their firearm.
Here's where things get sticky. In my opinion, we should have stricter gun laws.
Gun lovers are quick to say, "You can't take away my guns."
Well, gun laws won't take your guns away. Gun laws are going to make sure the person attempting to purchase the firearm is responsible, mentally sound, and safe enough to handle it.
As of now, all you have to do to in most states to a buy a gun at a store is pass a very basic background check. This method isn't always effective because it is fairly easy to pass a background check.
Aaron Smith of CNN says, "If a purchaser is a felon, has had a misdemeanor that had a sentence exceeding two years, or is named "mentally defective" by a court, they won't pass the background check."
That may sound like it's enough screening to buy an assault weapon or hand gun, but is it?
Let's not forget that background checks aren't mandatory in most states at gun shows. This means anybody can walk into a gun show and purchase a gun of their choice legally. Nobody knows whether or not this person is mentally stable and responsible enough to own a gun. This is really frightening to me. Who knows what that person will do with their newly-purchased killing machine?
Recently, we had the worst mass shooting in American history in Orlando, Florida. A man by the name of Omar Mateen walked into a night club and killed 49 people. This man was interviewed twice by the FBI in 2013 and 2014, but was deemed non-threatening. He legally purchased his assault rifle.
Let's stop and think. How does a man who has been interviewed twice by the FBI legally purchase an assault rifle? Crazy, huh?
I'm a firm believer that if we had strict gun control laws, we could prevent many of the terrible mass shootings that have happened in the United States. You may not agree with me, but I stand by my belief.
Yo, it's Dyl. 2nd year BJJTV staffer. I like sports. Baseball state champ. I've tried to quit drinking soda like 5,000 times, but every attempt ends in the same result. Pepsi is the best. Excited and ready for another year of learning what I love.