The first day of Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) journalism workshop was chaotic when I first walked into Shaw Hall on the Michigan State University campus. There were lines of people everywhere, I didn’t know where to go, or what to expect. From the blank looks on others’ faces, it seemed like I was not the only one feeling that way.
In fact, Senior Alana Whitehead said, “There was chaos everywhere. Lines here, lines there…there were people wearing brightly colored clothes and students looking at you like you’re a crazy person with all those bags and you don’t know where to go.”
Once getting past the nerve-racking expectations, people start to see how great this opportunity was. Within hours, you met new people, found great places, ate great food and get to see the campus of Michigan State University. This camp had students from all over Michigan, 86 boys and 292 girls all together with the same interest, journalism.
Sarah Stevens, a returning MIPA student said, “I love MIPA. It’s an amazing experience. You get to meet new people that have the same interest as you.”
Part of what made MIPA interesting was that there were many different journalism workshops offered. Students could choose from an array of topics such as, newspaper and yearbook design, feature and opinion coverage, photojournalism and sports and entertainment coverage to name a few. “Covering to Publishing” was one of the photojournalism workshops offered.
Each day, class started at 8 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m. You learned so much about photo editing and how to take amazing photos. The photojournalism class didn’t just sit in a classroom all day. Instead, the class was hands on and able to go out and take pictures at various locations throughout Lansing, including the county fair. At the beginning of the week we were given an assignment sheet that gave us guidelines to include in our portfolio, but we had total creative freedom within those guidelines.
For writing classes it wasn’t just sitting and getting lectured. Instead senior Irving Quintero explained, “It really helped because it wasn’t just, ‘oh here is a text book read it and what ever you learn you learn.’ It was hand s on. I got to do six interviews.’” For example, the writing class was able to interview Anthony Ianni, a Michigan State basketball player who had to overcome his autism, which was diagnosed at the age of four.
“We had to write an emotional paper about his story and how he was bullied,” said Quintero.
In between and after classes you had the option to participate in other activities, like play in a volleyball tournament, tie dye a MIPA t-shirt, be in a talent show and win big in a “Las Vegas” night. MIPA gave a number of Loy Norrix students’ taste of college life.
Overall, it was hard work, but at the same time, the students were passionate about what they were doing which made it a fun and an exciting way to enhance our skills.