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Learning at the Urban Journalism Workshop

LaNayia (Grade 10 / Community of Peace) Originally published March 2004

Last summer LaNayia, a sophomore at Community of Peace Academy, spent two weeks living on campus at the U. of St. Thomas taking part in the Urban Journalism Workshop. Community of
Peace Academy is a K-12 charter school in St. Paul, Minnesota.

A learning experience that was important to me was the time that I spent at the University of Saint Thomas (UST) with the Urban Journalism Workshop (UJW). Fifteen students got to spend two weeks at UST studying journalism and I’m happy that I got a chance to be one of those people. I got a chance to learn so much about college students, journalism, and other teenagers like me, and that made my learning experience unique and memorable.

For two weeks we lived inside Brady Hall, one of the resident halls located on the St. Thomas campus. We received a key for our rooms, a student I.D., and a card to get into different places inside of the building. Before and after class we had a lot of time to meet and speak with college students. There was a student named Rex who spent a lot of time with members of our group and I later interviewed him for my article. I spent a lot of time in the library on campus
and in the computer lab in Brady Hall, so I got a chance to learn about many of the rules people at St. Thomas. I think that information will certainly be quite useful when I go to college a few years from now.

Taking classes at UST was so enjoyable because of the large variety of things to do. From 9am to 3pm we were learning something new. We visited the newsrooms of the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune and got to attend their morning meetings. We traveled to the channel 5 news station and attended a live taping which gave us a view of how things work. I personally
enjoyed making their meteorologist nervous and causing him to stumble over words. At the Guthrie Theater we went to see a play entitled “Top Girls” and got to meet the actresses. Our class even made our own 3 minute broadcast which actually took my roommate and I about 3 hours to edit. UJW taught us a lot of fun things about the Journalism major at the University of St. Thomas that I still remember vivid details about.

I think the most important thing I learned at UJW came from the other teenagers there. In the beginning everybody felt they were so different. Nobody tried to come together which caused tension and conflict between people. Then our groups had a large group discussion. I remember it so well because I have never had such a serious discussion with other teenagers in a completely adult-free atmosphere. That discussion taught me a lot about the other people there with me. It was icing on the cake to know that we were all there because we wanted to be and not because we had to be. There were nights that I sat up past curfew in the lounge laughing and playing card games. During the two weeks we were there, we had maybe five or six pizza parties when we played games, watched movies and had fun for two or three hours at a time.

The time I spent at UST will always be important and memorable to me. I learned so much about so many people and I got a chance to enjoy myself. I learned about campus life and that makes me eager to go to college. Spending time in class doing activities, and being with such very different people, gave me a lot to remember for years to come.

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