My journalism experience: lessons learned, memories made, friendships formed in room 6160

Emily Nash

High school, day one: lost, shy, and scared. My first class on that day was Journalism – Newspaper with Rebecca Dominy in room 6160. A series of questions ran through my head as 8:25 a.m. came closer and closer by the minute: where is room 6160? I knew the class would be filled with upperclassmen – what if they think I’m weird? I began to panic. My hands broke into a sweat. Freshmen-year Emily was not excited about beginning high school. Not one bit.

But, instead of being unwelcome to the class as I was expecting, I was greeted with amicable faces sitting around the table closest to the advisor, Mrs. Dominy. I took a seat, and she began class by walking into the closet and pulling out a hoe – yes, you read that correctly, an old, dirty garden hoe. As she held the hoe, she explained the classroom rules, the most important one being no pooping in the class restroom – however, vomiting was allowed. She then proceeded to introduce us to a lifesize cardboard cutout of Legolas, a character from Lord of the Rings, which we later placed in the window to scare everyone who walked by outside. Even though it’s been four years, it still scares me to this very day.

So began my adventures in room 6160. I became an assistant editor my sophomore year, moved on to being a co-editor my junior year, and am now editor-in-chief. But having the title of editor doesn’t even begin to compare to the awesome memories I’ve made: how Mindy the Stapler got her name, making a human-sized turtle shell out of a box, having a turtle pillow pet named Phranklin as a our mascot, class photoshoots, spending the day at Baylor for UIL regionals, the number of names Mrs. Dominy responds to (Mrs. D, Dombles, Dominini, Dominidore, Dominator, and my favorite, Doms) and participating in the Norseman Olympics. The number of awesome stories I have are endless, and I reminiscence with a sigh.

But Journalism hasn’t just been all fun and games. By my sophomore year, I became much more confident. Not only did my writing skills improve significantly, but my general self-esteem took a leap in just one year – and it was all thanks to relationships I built in newspaper. From the upperclassmen who warned me of the grand obstacles I would encounter throughout high school to the friends who endured a number of those dilemmas with me, and going to Mrs. Dominy with every single one of those troubles, years worth of our tears of grief – and, of course, laughter – are soaked into the carpet of room 6160.

High school, day ~ 700: mature (well, at least more so than freshmen year), confident, and ready for anything that comes my way. While I wish I could take the entire newspaper staff with me to the University of Texas next year, I know that this is, sadly, impossible. But I will always think of my peers with gratitude and I will keep these memories in my pocket to pull out when I’m old and longing for a taste of my youth again.

So, this being my last article, here’s to the Norseman Staff: you’ve pushed through heartache, tough decisions, stressful schoolwork, and an unlimited number of other problems, and because of that, you’ve grown with me spiritually and mentally; I couldn’t have made it through high school without you. Thank you for making me laugh when my teenage girl hormones were out of control, and thank you for being loving and loyal friends.

And of course, here’s to Doms: my teacher, my counselor, and my friend. You’ve helped me tear down walls I was scared to let people break through, and I am eternally grateful. I know that I can speak for the rest of the staff in saying that you’ve made a huge impact on our lives in more ways than one – I can’t even begin to thank you enough for being the best and most totally awesome teacher in the world.

To the rest of you seniors, I hope you’ve had a similar experience to the one I’ve been lucky enough to have with the Norseman staff throughout high school. While I hope I make new friends next year whom I grow to love and trust, I’ll never forget my old friends – my Norseturtle family.