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Thoughts from the DM Team

What did it feel like to be the first MS News press team? How did your perspective about school change? Jaden Cilliers, Grade 8 It was a great experience. I was able to know so much more about what was going on in this school behind the scenes and the meanings of a lot of the things going on in the school. No only that but I had a lot of freedom to write about what I wanted to, we all had assignments but really it was a lot of fun and we had a lot of choice. Sometimes it was really stressful but I felt good about what I was posing and that made it worth it. Sign up next year to be a part of the team. Neha Kaul, Grade 8 It was really cool being part of being the Direct Message, especially because we were the first MS news team. It was tough at first because we had to build this from scratch, but that’s what made it fun, coming up with ideas of how to be successful and what being a news team really meant and also it was really amazing watching our viewership on our blog go from 5 unique views to about 230 unique views all in one semester. When I first found out I would have this class I was really unsure because I didn’t know we would be a news team, I thought that this class would be just writing a bunch of things, but then we actually began and we got to film dance videos, music videos, and we could do anything we were interested in. For example if we liked hamilton we could make a rant video, or a podcast, or if we were interested in a certain subject we were free to write an article about anything we want and it made this class really fun and amazing to be JinYoung Jung, Grade 8 I think it was a memorable experience to take part in the first news team of AES MS in a couple of years. I got to know the stuff going around in the school much quicker than other people and got to report back on it. I wasn’t really into this class in the beginning, since I had no idea what it was going to be. However, I think throughout this semester we produced some high quality work. It was pretty stressful at times, to be honest, but I think it was worth it and our blog looks really great and professional. Harshita Jain, Grade 8 When I first entered the class, I had no idea what this class was going to be like. Honestly, no one had any idea what was coming. My initial guess was that we would practice some journalistic writing, and that would be about it. And that sounded BORING. But in our first class, Mr. Currey introduced this idea of Find your angle, Find your voice. That was really the key to this class, and what got me hooked. The idea of being the first MS News press team sounded awesome. But it was a slow start. Figuring out your angle and voice before writing an article sounds easy, but it actually requires a lot of thinking. Looking for my own voice and angle also changed the way I looked at school. Being a good journalist always requires having plentiful ideas. Behind every event and idea, I would always search for a story. Friday Night Lights is coming up, what can I write about it? My mind always wandered for stories, and that really changes the way I looked at school, and life in general. Overall, being part of the Direct Message is just a small part of it. In reality, I found my own voice- which helped me know myself better. Mackenzie Mary Griffiths, Grade 8 It was pretty cool I mean we got to work on articles about things about what other we thought they would find interesting. It was pretty hard but we wrote a lot of stuff and it was fun to watch it grow. Amaya Malik, Grade 7 It felt cool to be one of the first members on The Direct Message team and contribute with different members on the team. It was nice to write stories, articles, help make videos with different people on the team. I liked writing articles for ASIAC, doing Humans of Middle School, or just writing about anything that I feel like. Overall it was a interesting experience being on the Direct Message. Menaha Malik, Grade 7 When I joined Journalism, I didn’t really look forward to class because I thought it’d just be writing articles – which is something that’s not my strong point. But then I was wrong. Over time I was introduced to things I’d never even done before – filming and editing a music video, learning about cool graphics, taking a proper photo, photo shopping, interviewing, writing from a specific lense, advertising and much, much more. I thought that it’d be very hard to gain an audience because it’d be hard to think from a reader’s lense – but I found out that all you have to do is look at something in the perspective of a Middle Schooler at AES. Once I did this and the members of the DM team starting doing this, we started getting a lot more viewers and likes, and we were even advertised! It just amazes me to see how a bunch of MS students and faculty went from around 20 viewers to around 2,000 viewers. Every class just excites me – I’m really eager to produce content that middle schoolers enjoy and have fun looking, watching or reading.

The Direct Message has changed my view on the AES middle school in various ways. In Journalism, we’ve taken events like ASIAC, MESAC, Friday Night Lights, Socials, Talent show and plays and made a story out of them. I used to think that these events were just happening. But being a part of the Direct Message has made me open my eyes to everything and make a story out of such little things not many people take notice in. Looking at middle school through the lense of a journalist, I’ve noticed that we are more diverse, interesting and awesome than we think. Ayman Rashid, Grade 8 Initially I thought that Journalism would be the study of journalism and a class just about writing boring articles. As I walked into the first class Mr. Currey posed a very interesting idea onto us, that being “The Direct Message.” I later come to love the class, and I even stopped seeing as a class, more like a fun job. I also became attached to the work I did and helped in, and The Direct Message truly makes me proud to be one of it founding fathers. JaeHyung, Grade 7 When I first joined journalism class, I didn’t really expected a lot, I thought we are going to write any article and read aloud in the classroom. But when Mr. Currey introduced DM team website, where we can write any articles that will be shared to all the students, and teachers in AES, it was nervous, but exciting at the same time, because we can write any thing that we are interested in. At last, I’m proud to be a part of Direct message team. Sagar Castleman, Grade 7 In the first semester, I would always sort of be dreading starting Journalism in the second semester. I had looked at the class list, and had saw that I didn’t know very many people in the class. Furthermore, I didn’t even know what the class would be about. I expected some kinds of tips on nonfiction writing, and to be honest, that’s not the most exciting thing.

However, once I arrived in the first class, as shy and nervous as I was, I was immediately hooked. Mr. Currey told us about what we would be doing, and all the different media we would be using, and Journalism suddenly jumped from being the class I had been dreading the most, to one of the most exciting ones. Before I joined The Direct Message, I knew that there was a lot going on in the middle school, but I thought of it sort of like a big tangled knot that was impossible to untangle. There were concerts, ASIAC, socials, school events, MUN, Friday Night Lights, guest speakers, and those were all outside of class! But through every article that The Direct Message published it smoothed out every part of the knot. Now it is the end of the school year and I have come to see the middle school as a busy (but very fun) place where lots of wonderful events happen together. #BehindtheScenes #8thGrade #7thGrade #Endofyear #AwESome

Thoughts from the DM Team
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