Being honest, this article is a little hard for me to write. It is my last article that I will ever write on The Dana Mariner. It seems like only yesterday I was stepping inside of my first period class in 6th grade. My mom and I walked in Ms Ito’s classroom, she kissed me on the cheek and there it was, my first day at Dana. And yes, I was one of those kids who had their mom walk to their class with them. I still remember the very moment I walked into Dana. I knew I was going to accomplish something here, and well I did. I still can’t believe that I’m going to be a high school student this fall. The time has just slipped by. Even though I look back and wish some memories never happened, the good times were better. I discovered things that before I went into dana, I would have never thought of. Like my love and passion for writing. Without being on the Dana Mariner I would not have ever thought that I would be such a good journalist. This year I also discovered my love for law and history. I also met a lot of my best friends, and I was given some amazing opportunities as well.
We, 6th graders, were given the task of building and conducting our own restaurant to revitalize the downtown area of San Pedro. Our team created a fine dining french restaurant right next to the lot of Warner Grand Theatre. That year we also created a slideshow where we had to create a story along the lines of survival. In our story, we got stranded in the wilderness and we had to use ancient technology of building shelter and fire to stay alive. That project we won second place and it was one of my favorite times while being at Dana. In 7th grade there were two amazing PBLs that we had to do. The first one was the Future Cities Project where we had to build a futuristic city using different materials like cardboard and paint. Then we had to create a Google slideshow that described what aspects of our city would look like. The second project for 7th grade was Mock Trial, which is my favorite project that I did. Going off of the S.E. Hinton’s book, the Outsiders we had to prove if one of the characters were guilty or innocent of a crime in the novel. We were selected by our strengths to be either a defense attorney, prosecution attorney, the characters in the book, or the jury to prove whether or not Johnny Cade is guilty. Personally, I was a prosecution attorney and it was an amazing experience for me. This year or 8th grade was also an amazing project. This year’s project was on the topic of what problem the next 2020 president should address. It could be many different topics, but our group chose cyberbullying. We had to conduct a documentary trying to persuade the next president to address this issue. We also worked on The Roller Coaster Project, but because of the virus we did not get a chance to finish it.
There is no question about it. I have had some amazing opportunities that were given to me. One of those opportunities was me joining the Dana Mariner, and the journalism class. In 6th grade, my english teacher, Ms Benavidez (or currently Mrs Reyes), pulled me and another student out of our first period class. She had told us that she loved the way we wrote, and that we would be a perfect fit for The Dana Mariner. I did not think of joining journalism in the beginning, but I wanted to give it a try so I said yes, that I wanted to join. From the get go, I knew this was a perfect elective for me. I had always loved to write and this was just the beginning of a huge development in my life.I quickly found a passion for journalism and realized that I loved writing and talking about entertainment. I also loved writing about food and different restaurants to try out in the SoCal area. Three years later I am now an Editor in Chief for the newspaper, which is a big deal to me. Everything that I had worked for, for three years, was worth it. Staying up until 10 P.M. every week trying to get my paper published in the newspaper, and staying up late editing papers was with it. Another amazing opportunity that I had was taking a college level class in 7th grade. Every Saturday at 8 A.M. I had to go to Harbor College and take a class until 12 in the afternoon. At first the class was not that interesting but at the end I realized that it was kind of cool. The class was an Intro to Journalism and it talked about Digital Literacy, the printing press, and how media has developed overtime. I also got the opportunity to be in the Millionaires Club for reading over 3,000,000 words. Some of us even won trophies and medals for accomplishing a goal of reading 1 million words.
If I could change one thing from my experience at Dana, I wouldn’t. I would not change a thing. Every up and down that I had in middle school led me to this moment in my life and I am truly grateful for that. Every breakdown and every day that I was tired from staying up until 11 P.M. working on homework was truly worth it.
If I can give any advice to any incoming student or returning student is to not procrastinate with assignments because It will lead into a breakdown at the end or missing assignments which is not good. I would also tell you guys to talk to your teachers. Believe me, I never liked talking to teachers, but if you don’t communicate with them they won’t know what’s going on or that you need help. To this day I still have trouble doing this, but at the end of it all I never feel bad talking to them because they are there to help. Another thing that I will tell you is to take breaks while doing your homework. I can’t tell you how many times I push myself to the limit trying to knock out every assignment that I have that in one day it tires me out. I would try to do it all in one day and the assignment would end being done halfway which the grade would be lower.
Being at Dana has ultimately given me a great platform for my future. I am now going into San Pedro Highs SAS program. This is a huge accomplishment in my life and I am really excited for the next steps in my life. Really have to thank everyone at Dana for this. Being where I am in my life really came from the staff and teachers at Dana. From their guidance and their time working with me and developing me into the best version of myself. The memories that I have made at Dana are ones that I will never forget. The friends that I have made will last forever and I will never forget them. Every opportunity that I have had has led me to this point and I am truly grateful for all of them. I love you Dana and I will never forget the time that I spent here.