December issue feedback for Sidekick staff members

Sidekick staff: The comments below are from Journalism A students as they shared their thoughts on their favorite stories in the December issue of The Sidekick!

My favorite story was “Concerns for future keep teens from truly ‘Living””. I really liked it because it relates very well to most high-schoolers. It was a very good opinion piece, and I enjoyed how the author put herself in the story and wrote in first-person.

Touched. This story honestly gave me a completely different outlook towards social medias. Like it was mentioned, everyone looks down upon them for multiple reasons,not only older generations but ours too, including me. I am so glad that through so many bad outcomes we can still make good from it, setting a good example not only for our community but for our age group. Story: Social Media’s value in tragedy 
Social Affiliations Influence Academic Performance by Kimberly Del Angel
First of all, I really like the lead.  The words actually put me in the classroom, and you can already tell that this writer is a bit more different than the others. My mind can almost picture the senior girl that Kimberly Del Angel is describing, and can relate to how she feels on a very personal level. The article easily reeled me in. Her voice was strong and she had really good quotes from many great sources.The quotes make the article even better, in my opinion. Unlike some articles, not saying that they were bad, her news story had a more diverse use of words in it as well. And that’s why I like it- it’s unique in the slightest but brightest way that sets it apart from everyone else.
I picked the story entitled “Give Reasons to Smile” because it is really appropriate for this month, since it has to do with christmas. I really liked the opening paragraph with the detailed description of the ornaments of the tree. This description grabbed my interest and made me want to finish reading the entire story. The detailed description of Adopt a Family and the tags on the christmas tree also made me feel more informed and interested. The variety of quotes added a sense of reliability to the story.

Area football team’s tweets spark unusual alliances

 This story really intrigued me. I like it because it showed what kids are like outside school and how they show their opinion using twitter. This story gave a good insight to what happened on Twitter and it was cool to see how passionate people felt about high school football. Even though in the beginning Coppell and DeSoto were bashing each other it was interesting to see how fast the two schools bonded together through the power of twitter after the DeSoto Coppell game. I like the fact that she included some of the tweets in the article. This made it easy for people who did not witness the twitter fights to have a better understaning of what was happening on twitter. I also liked how she told the story of Coppell and DeSoto fighting with eachother and then the transition of supporting each other.
My favorite story out of the most recent Sidekick was ‘Artists exhibit winning works’. I really enjoyed reading about each person that won. Even better, I liked how we got to see from each artists point of view as they were creating their artwork. I was interesting to see what they saw, and I thought it was unique to show how they got the inspiration for their work. The story was really well thought out and written.
One of my favorite articles in the most recent Sidekick Newspaper is “Coppell’s very own Santa Claus keeps spirit alive”. I love the layout of this page, the graphics and pictures really get your attention and make you more interested in the story. The story is also really relatable because I live near this man. It’s also relatable to anyone who has ever believed in Santa. It talks about how the little kids are scared of him at first, but then open up and are really sweet. My favorite part in the story is when the writer mentions how parents who’ve lost children come to him to say thank you for everything he’s done. It really makes the story even more emotional and it connects with the reader.
In the story “Neff Joins Coppell Girl’s Basketball as Expeirenced head Coach”, I loved how they gave background on Coach Neff and explained how she ended up at Coppell. That was good to give the reader some background before they read the rest of the story. I also liked how she got quotes from the athletic director, because that also helped readers to know his thoughts on the new coach. This article was very detailed and I loved how it had alot of pictures. I play basketball at the high school, so it was cool to hear about where Coach Neff went to school and how she ended up at Coppell. Great Job!!

Area football team’s spark unusual alliances

 I don’t know why, but at the end of this story, I had goosebumps on my arm. Even though it started with trash talking each other, the Coppell and Desoto football team formed an alliance on twitter that made me feel warm in the heart. After reading this story, it reminded me the importance of social media and the powerful effect it can have on people. People should always think before they post something that everybody can see and think about the consequences. They should be more sensitive about how other people feel, and the pain they can cause to people.
Michelle Pitcher does a very fine job showing that we, as in Americans, and the press, hops around who to blame. She stated the example about the Connecticut shooting, first they blamed the child for being a psychopath, then they blamed the people who said to take off amendment II. She did a very good job showing how she felt that this is a problem we have had for a long time in the US. The lead, also hooked me very well, I was curious about what type of pattern she was talking about.
What really hooked me when I was flipping through the pages was the leads of the three stories on page 3 about Austin Cariker, Jayson Kim, and Lauren Ussery. It was really interesting to read how each of them went through the process of making a piece, how other people observed the process, etc. I especially like the part in the third story when it explained that Austin Cariker looked like he was working with a mess but it all worked out to create a masterpiece in the end. Also the underlying theme that each of these artists took a certain risk with their pieces was cool, because it shows the benefits that can happen only if you take a risk. The themes of these pieces represented something deep, and this article did a really good job of conveying them properly.
“Social media’s value in tragedy”
by Mabry CulpI really liked this story, not only because it was good writing, but also because I was able to connect to it. A couple summers ago, a classmate of mine had passed away when he drowned during a family vacation, and my whole school was affected by it. One by one, people started posting the way they felt about his death on his facebook profile, and to this day, his sister still manages his profile and we all write on it telling him how much we wish he was still here. I agree with the journalist on the point that social media is not all bad, and that it helps in times of grief. The lead got me hooked when she wrote about how the older generations criticize social media, because my parents are the type that often tell me to “get off facebook” or “stop tweeting,” and that was the first thing I thought of when I read the story

Article: Social media’s value in tragedy

When reading the story title I wasn’t quite sure which tragedy I was going to hear about, but as I began to read I was very pleased with the content. Mabry incorporated all three losses in Coppell which was very kind of her even though she personally lost the man who raised her. It was very brave of her to write this positive story on a sad topic, and I believe she handled it very well. It is nice to hear about technology positives, rather than the usual bashing it gets many other places. Including hurricane Sandy too was a nice element because it made this article connect to places outside of Coppell. Great story Mabry, stay strong! (:
Thursday, December 20, 2012 1:37 PM
I read the article titled “Freshman skates to the top, stars on varsity hockey,” I really liked this story because it was more than just about a freshman that was on a varsity team, it told more of his background and more information about him. I like how there were a lot of quotes from other boys on the team to give you more information about Rasmus, the story was also very well written.  Another thing that I liked was that there was even a hockey article in the sidekick, I grew up in a hockey family with my brother playing and having two exchange students live with us to play hockey in Dallas. And hockey isn’t exactly the most well known or watched sport in Texas so it was pretty neat to see a hockey story.

Shoes used as new medium of artistic expression:

I find this story really interesting. I can relate to this story because I would always draw on my shoes but then I ruined so many of them because I would draw all over them. I think it’s a good way of expressing what you like to do. Walking around the school being kind of short I always manage to look at peoples shoes whenever they pass me, and out of 10 about 6 are drawn on. Which is kind of funny because my mom always got mad at me for ruining my shoes by drawing on them, but what would she think if i told her i was just expressing my self.
Cowgirls triumph in state champions, continue tradition:
I can relate to the volleyball story, because I used to play volleyball at a competitive level but just stopped playing this year because it was really hard to juggle school, social life, and volleyball. So it didn’t like it so much after a while it just became a hassle, and became unenjoyable. I can also relate because I was at the game and the intensity was super high and no one was about to give up. It was also really scary because everyone had a little doubt int heir mind, but later threw that doubt away. It was an amazing feeling to be in the stands at that game, and most importantly at the Coppell High school, during this victory after losing such great people in this community. Even though we didn’t win state volleyball it began to become less of a loss because of the volleyball victory. I am proud to say I am a Cowgirl.
I really like this story because i like how it explains originality in students. It talks about kids being different and showing their own personality, and I like that aspect of the story. I like hear about all of the things people put on their shoes; it helps the reader get ideas of their own. I also like how it tells the reader all the ways people have decorated their shoes. It gives the reader an idea of how they can personalize their own shoes. Also I like the photo at the bottom. Instead of just visualising the shoes, the reader can see the shoes for themselves, and get ideas from that.
My favorite story in this month’s Sidekick is the one titled CISD Looks to Make a Child Smile This Holiday Season. I think that the gift-giving ornament program is a very good thing to do for those in need. This makes sure that everyone can enjoy the holiday season, even if they cannot afford it. This new program now makes it easy for anyone to help out those less fortunate by purchasing clothes for them. The more people decide to donate, the more lives they can improve around the Holiday season. I believe this is a good idea, and should be continued for years to come.
“Social media’s value in tragedy” by Mabry Culp

I really enjoyed reading this article. It gave a special perspective to social media, giving it a deeper meaning. She was honest and open which allowed the reader to connect. She drew out emotion while still keeping it light and positive. I appreciated her story and liked the depth she gave it, taking it to a new level, beyond the typical use for social media.
My favorite story was the one about the volleyball team winning state. I liked the lead, because it was short but interesting. The writer also did a good job of showcasing multiple players from the team, not just one or two. It also focused on the whole season not just the last state match.
Coppell graduate continues to discover love of art

by: Corrina Taylor
This is a nice piece, I like how in the begging her lead was told like a story. I also like how she tell his experience through high school and his thoughts and how he became a dynamic character in his own life. But if this is a news piece and not a editorial then why did the writer write, ” Scott has let his creativity and determination drive him closer to his dream and is sure to be a success in the art world” (Taylor)? Isn’t this a form of opinion? I mean it is not “sure” that he could be a success, in my opinion many artist graduate from art school and live a struggling life. They are not successful. I just believe that since this is a news piece for the school then there shouldn’t be an editorial conclusion.
“Shoes used as a new medium for artistic expression”

I really liked this article because it’s a topic that is interesting and yet not talked about a lot. Also, it was really good that the writer interviewed the art teacher so that she could get a professional perspective on the shoes. Instead of only interviewing those that make the shoes, however, I would pick to interview one random person to see if they were aware of the shoes to determine the existing popularity of the shoes.
Young Masters of their craft
I really liked this story because it took three different types of artists and combined their individual stories into one story. Though one person is a sketcher, one is a photographer, and the other is an etcher, there is a connection between the three that brings them together. That’s why i enjoyed reading it.
My favorite article in the sidekick newspaper is “Goesling Shoots for, scored point guard position” I was really interested in the type of player Landon was and how he fit in a Coppell. I like how they bring in quotes from his teammates to give more things to add about landon beyond a player. Also how they bring in Coach Phel and his new role as the coach. If there was something I would add it would be more on why Landon moved to Coppell and how he likes it.
My favorite article was the one about decorated shoes. I haven’t ever noticed people wearing shoes with their own art work on them and i probably never would have without reading about it in the sidekick. The sidekick should have more stories like this one, that reveal another part of Coppell that is rarely seen by a lot of people. Very interesting article.
One of my favorite columns in the Sidekick newspaper would probably be “Give reasons to smile City Council organizes gift service.” by Corrina Taylor. I love the word choice, the way they described the lights and decorations painted a clear picture in my head. It really hooked hooked me from the start, and made me want to read more. Another one I liked was the Coppell High School’s Christmas movies. I liked this one as well because it I like the idea of it. It gave the coppell students and teachers their voice and commentary on things, even if it was just on favorite Christmas movies.
  One story that really stood out to me was “Coppell’s very own Santa Claus keeps spirit alive.” I especially loved the “How to be Santa” steps on the side of the article, because it made me smile and remember the happy times of my childhood. I think the author did a great job picking pictures that represented the joy of Christmas time, and I think it is remarkable that one man has dressed up to be Santa every year for 25 years. I think the quotes used were so sweet and showed just how much parents appreciated Vrla and what he was done for their kids. The layout of the page is great, I like the big pictures of Santa and the snowflakes in the background. I think that it’s good that the author got quotes from a child who went to see Vrla and has grown up, like Carson McGurk, because it gives the story authenticity.
I really liked the layout of the Cowgirls triumph in state championship, and continue. I could tell that whoever designed it worked really hard on it. The sidebar photos added a really nice effect to the whole spread and the pictures on the page were really well taken. The center photo is really amazing and it caught my attention. The timeline at the bottom was also cool to look at. When I read the story I liked the lead, “losing is not an option.”  Also later on in the story the writer has uses quotes well as transitions throughout the article. The article flowed well and gave information that was interesting. It didn’t only talk about the volleyball team’s championship but how they got there and some of the members of the team.
            My favorite story in the most recent issue of the sidekick was “How To Be Santa”. Not only is the story appropriate, because the time of the year but it shows a story of a normal dad that on year decided to dress up as Santa Claus and entertain kids. The story focuses on Vrla’s experience over the years and what he has done to be successful.  It shows Vrla’s passion, and gives examples like him building a slay and opening his home to hundreds of kids each night.
“COPPELL’S VERY OWN SANTA CLAUS KEEPS SPIRIT ALIVE”

I like this story because it shows a perspective a father of a child. Vrla dresses up as Santa every year during the Christmas season. Vrla did this because he felt like it was giving back to the community. Vrla first started in the costume when his son was in kindergarten. He thought that it would be something nice to do for his class. About 80 people visited him this year! This neighborhood doesn’t only have Santa, it also participates in setting up Christmas lights. I think that this makes many kids very happy.
I read the story about the volleyball tournament on the front page. The reason I liked it so much was because it was a short preview and it set up the whole story and it kept the reader on their toes to read more to see if they on state. Also, the lead was really good and it hooked the reader because as an athlete losing is never an option. It was really detailed and had a lot of good information in a short preview and just by reading that I could tell that the story would be really good and give us good news about the game and players.
The story i read was the artists exhibit winning works. I picked this because i love art work and anything written about art i enjoy reading.

I liked getting to read about how the art was put into the museum and like what things the judges were looking for while picking the art work.
I thought the lead was good it made me wonder which pieces got picked and how. And the fact that a picture was added into the story sidebar
helped getting to picture what the judges got to see, and showed us the people that actually created the art work.
 And they gave good information that also made it seem like CHS really had a good chance with even more than three students making it
through the elimination process. And the ending was good, i felt it could have been a tad bit stronger but i mean for this type of story it may be hard to end strong also.
The most interesting story to me was “The Burning Question.” To start, the layout and graphic design of the article immediately got me intrigued. I was first drawn to the quotes on the side. It gave me insight from some of the student body. The actual content of the article was great. It was cool how they separated the Pros and Cons making it much easier to read and follow. The leads for both sides were very intriguing and quickly led into some good factual evidence. It was cool to see that two different riders wrote and the style change was good to keep me reading. Overall a good-looking, high quality story.
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