Moore News: Episode 2, Talking with MHS seniors. What does it take to prepare for sectionals?

Sydney Moore and Kyle Farmer share what it takes to prepare for IHSA journalism sectional competition on this episode of Moore News.

This week was interesting for a lot of reasons, and although this may seem like an odd way to start a blog post regarding what I learned this week, I promise there is a punchline to this story.

I started my Sunday with the time change, losing an hour of sleep, then meeting 26 parents and students at the school so we could caravan three and a half hours away to Chicago. I’m directing our high school production of Mamma Mia! I took my cast to see a production at Dundee-Crown High School, then we helped strike their set and bring it back to our school.

The day was long, trying and full of physical labor.

The rest of the week continued in much the same way, preparing for our show, getting our ducks in a row for the IJEA (Illinois Journalism Education Association) Newspaper Competition, tons of teacher meetings, starting my sophomores on their research paper unit. All the while, I had this inner voice nagging at me to get my interview podcast done.

I had a solid plan. I read the necessary course material on my prep periods throughout the week, set up a time for my interview, and set aside all day on Sunday to edit. Somewhere along the way, I misread the length of this podcast which was to be 10 minutes. I still had the five minute time from last week stuck in my head. I had plenty of wonderful material from my interview–not enough for 10 minutes, though.

My first interview was done at school, total quiet, on my desktop computer with my snowflake mic. It sounds great. When I realized I needed more material, I didn’t have access to my interviewee, my snowflake, or desktop. I had to change equipment and add another interviewee (which I had to find on Sunday afternoon).

The differences between the two sets of audio is noticeable. The first interview sounds great while the second one has serious issues. The quality in the second interview is lacking. I sound louder than she does, which meant I had to adjust the gain on each of the pieces I used from her.

The editing process took forever. I had a lot of cuts to make in order to make a cohesive podcast with both a planned and unplanned interview.

Here is my poetic moral to the story. My goal in all activities this week was to learn or to help others learn. My students and I learned how to strike an incredibly complex set. I taught my students how to prep for competition, how to choose the perfect topic for their pro/con research paper, and I learned a lot about the inner-workings of our school through my teacher meetings.

While all of those experiences went well, I feel I learned more from this experience which went wrong. I will now be able to share with my students what NOT to do and how to help them plan better. I’m counting it still a victory in my book.

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