I serve as the newspaper advisor at my school. It is a great opportunity to pull students into the realm of words. We live in a society which feeds on images and short bursts of texts and digital characters, so it’s satisfying to expose students to something deeper, more powerful.
This week we’ve been wrapping up our annual double issue, and things were not going very smoothly. Until today. Two of my seniors, who were officially done with their classes for the year, still came to school this morning, stepped up to the plate and sat down at two computers in my classroom to get the job done.
They grey-scaled pictures, wrote headlines and copy, and slowly puzzle-pieced together a layout design, struggling through many decisions and discoveries. And they didn’t leave until after eight o’clock this evening. It was a long day for all of us.
But when they zipped up their book-bags and prepared to leave, the golds from a setting sun poured through my classroom windows. It was the end of the day, the end of a newspaper cycle and, for these seniors, the end of high school. In that distilled moment, I had the amazing opportunity to watch their computer screen-strained eyes finally glisten with a new light. Together, they had made it to the end, and I could see a lasting gold just begin to fill their eyes.
The completion of a hard-fought journey makes for an education deeper than any textbook or list of vocabulary words. For myself included.