Optional clubs take deeper dives on skills

Cherubs are working to complete their assignments for the weekly clubs. Photo by Kelsey Henry.

Cherubs work to complete their assignments for the weekly clubs. Photo by Kelsey Henry.

Each Sunday, cherubs were given the opportunity to participate in optional clubs that allowed them to dive into different media areas. Code Off, Show Off and Write Off helped cherubs discover and develop their skills.

Code Off: Code Off taught cherubs the basics of coding. Students who participated in Code Off each week used the skills they learned to build their own websites.

“During Code Off, we usually went on Codecademy, which is an online program that starts with the basics of coding,” Sarah Pillard said. “In every lesson, we were building on what we already learned, so it reinforces things you know.”

Instructors Haley Hinkle and Sophia Bollag guided the cherubs while they worked on Codecademy. Pillard said coding will help her in her future, no matter what career she decides to pursue

“Even if I do not end up going into journalism, coding will be a useful skill to have in a modernized world where so much is online,” Pillard said. “Online provides immediacy that print can never provide.”

Show Off: Instructors Sarahmaria Gomez and Steve Ordower taught the basics of making videos in Show Off. Members of Show Off produced, directed and edited videos that were then presented every Sunday night. Each video featured a question about journalism or the Medill cherub program that students would answer.

“The question Sarahmaria gave us to ask other cherubs was a good conversation starter,” Paisley Meegan said. “It was a good way to get to know people.”

Cherubs who participated in Show Off learned where to place a subject while shooting, how to produce a video and how to edit a video with Adobe Premiere Pro.

Meegan said she applied what she learned from previous classes to the Show Off video.

“In the other labs and workshops, they taught us things I tried to use in Show Off,” Meegan said. “I definitely honed my video and editing skills. It was a great experience overall.”

Write Off: Members of Write Off learned about different types of writing from instructor Cynthia Wang and had the chance to write their own personal pieces. The purpose of Write Off was to help writers find their voices.

“We learned about blogging, college essays and types of writing you would not normally associate with journalism,” Danielle Eisenman said.

Cherubs participating in Write Off could write about personal stories they would not typically produce as journalists. Many cherubs took advantage of this opportunity to write about experiences such as struggles they or their families faced.

“I wrote about my family and how my life is different from my mom’s because she was born into Maoist China where everyone was famished,” Eisenman said. “I was not aware of the hardships people faced. I wrote something I was really proud of.”