What’s your favorite memory with TBB? With Mr. O’Toole?
Mandy: I like when we as an entire class go off-topic and have in depth conversations about the stupidest things #teambonding
Grey: I loved when the whole class would get into massive debates over things I wasn’t paying attention to.
Kat: Coming in for my first year in journalism and getting put into the section editor role. It was super fun to have some leadership and be in charge of the best section (Opinions, of course). I’m glad Mr. O’Toole trusted me with the job 🙂
Alayna: I am going to cry. But this class has genuinely had such a huge impact on me. This is my first year writing for The Blake Beat, and just in this one year I discovered my passion for journalism. I enjoyed writing for TBB so much that I changed my major to journalism lol. I met so many fun, interesting people that I feel so lucky to call my friends. This class quickly became my favorite part of the day. I love being able to do my own thing, write about what I want to, and hang out with my friends in this class. Mr. O’Toole has pushed me to try lots of new things with TBB: he’s encouraged me to try new genres such as satire, to take on bigger pieces, and to pursue my passions and interests.
Sofia: As Alayna said above, this question will make my cry. Being a part of TBB had such a huge impact on me; I became much more outspoken and outgoing, I discovered that my favorite thing in the world to do was write, and I had an outlet where I could freely express myself, too, and I got to meet so many new friends that I am so lucky to have. This class is such a major part of my life and I wouldn’t trade the three years I’ve spent in it for anything. #ILOVETHEBLAKEBEAT
Viet: I’d say that it was really when me and Tokyo started New Music Monday. It was an idea that we were really passionate about and the fact that we were given such an opportunity to write about the music that not only we liked but others as well. It was the beginning of something special and it made me feel like I finally had a place within this classroom. So thanks y’all for reading. With O’Toole though it’s a pretty simple memory. I remember we were talking about what I was working on and then he just randomly asked me if I watched the tv show Atlanta. Then sent me a crazy article of the true events that the newest episode was based off of. It was an interesting moment and it showed me he had good taste in tv. Bonus points for when he talked about early 2010’s rap music.
What will you miss most and what won’t you miss in journalism?
Kat: Will miss? The amazingly talented people that I got to work with. Won’t miss? The half-dedication from some people.
Mandy: Yeah, what Kat said LOL I literally facetime into class whenever I’m stuck at home but will I miss the work? Naur
Sofia: I will miss the people so much. Coming here and talking with the class genuinely makes my day. Everyone gets along with each other amazingly and the atmosphere is just so fun and comfortable. My fondest memories are just goofing around with all the wonderful individuals I’ve met; The class is so diverse, but also so similar, which I love.
Grey: I will miss the people. The friends and relationships I made in high school were what kept me going through the toughest times of my life. Screw math and screw french. All my homies hate France.
Viet: Imma miss the people here. Mainly i’ll miss the creativity and the joy they always brought in day in day out. The debates we have, the laughs we shared, the ideas we made. One last thing though to the underclassmen. As we head out we hope you all know how truly talented y’all are. I hope y’all strive for the best of your abilities, accomplish your dreams, and remember that we believe in you no matter.
Mandy: I will not miss stats & stripes, hate it!
Will you guys continue to write journalistically after high school?
Grey: I’d like to, but probably not. That might depend on what I choose to major in.
Mandy: tee bee ache I have no idea. I might do it as a club? Maybe? But I’m not going to major in it (journalism is a declining field)
Kat: Maybe for fun
Sofia: Ideally I write for my college newspaper or freelance. I am actually a woman in STEM /Neg
Alayna: Thanks, Mandy. I actually am majoring in journalism…… So yeah, hopefully I will continue to write for a while 🙂
Mandy: My fault
Sofia: Alayna majoring in journalism will save the field
Viet: Possibly if Loyola don’t got any culture over there.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Mandy: Your father i’ve adopted you Nikhil
Kat: Part of an MLB team’s front office!
Sofia: A nurse. My back-up plan is to become a full-time niche indie Twitter celebrity and go from there.
Grey: I don’t know
Viet: A businessman but a writer as well. Just hope that we make it out into a better place.
Alayna: Ideally, I’d like to continue to write. My dream job would be to write for The Washington Post. I’m also considering going into teaching a bit later in my career. I’d like to be a high school English teacher.
If you had to say anything to any student who is not a senior what would it be?
Kat: Hey! You’re doing great so far! I’m so proud of you!
Mandy: High school isn’t as important as everyone makes it out to be. DON’T PEAK IN HIGH SCHOOL.
Sofia: It gets better. It does, I promise.
Grey: Don’t wait. Do everything you can when you can. Don’t drag your feet and procrastinate like I did. If you want to take a gap year, you still need to get all of the resources and information you’ll need when you apply. Don’t sit on your [blank] and do nothing.
Viet: Through every problem, there’s always a way out. The world won’t give you a hand out so make those opportunities for yourself. Take chances and just enjoy life to the fullest. I live by this title. LIVE. LOVE A$AP. A$AP stands for: Always Strive And Prosper. So do that! LIVE LOVE A$AP. Also, it’s my senior quote.
Alayna: Don’t take things too seriously. Stay true to yourself and your values. It’s important to balance your school work, mental health, and social life as well. There’s no shame in asking for help, too.
What did you like the least about Blake? What did you like the most about Blake?
Grey: The groups of people who walk in hallways walking shoulder-to-shoulder like a wall so nobody can get past them, and they insist on moving slower than salted snails
Kat:Ooooooo Mandy’s right
Sofia: I love my friends so much, I’m so grateful that Blake gave me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. I hated the spiral staircase. STOP STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HALLWAY.
Mandy: Can I say the people for both. If you stand in the middle of the hallway during passing periods and Don’t Move I have considered stomping on you.
Viet: Certain teachers and a lot of students. Y’all be annoying fr. I like my friends and like 4 teachers are the best. Shout out Dr. Daniels, Mr. Wieman, Ms. Cohen, Ms. Branson.
What has the Blake Beat taught you about yourself and your interests? How has it helped you express yourself? Were there times when you couldn’t express yourself?
Kat: It really gave me the opportunity to explore my writing style in a way I couldn’t do in my English classes. I also learned a lot about how active I could be in my community.
Sofia: I learned how much I love to write and how important it is to me. I’m so bad at speaking in real life and I feel as though I can never truly convey what I want to say, but with writing, I feel like I’m truly able to express myself to the fullest extent. And the Blake Beat has given me so many opportunities to talk about my interests unhinged, which is so fun and it’s such a good outlet, rather than me talking into the void. Now, I can make the student body care about whatever Sunghoon from ENHYPEN is up to!
Mandy: I think I was able to use TBB as an outlet to talk about whatever I wanted, whether good or bad. Like, I could dump about whatever game or show or niche thing was stealing all of my attention, or I could write about the different hardships that I was experiencing that other people could also relate to. Being able to explore these was to express myself and my emotions was very helpful and pretty fun! But also I wasn’t able to make fun of white people as much as I wanted to because O’Toole always shut it down look at him silencing POC smh.
Viet: TBB really let me open up about my interests. It lets me express myself in a way that not many classes really gave me the opportunity to. It made me realize that there’s a place for my geeky interests. I have an audience that loves what I do, I have friends who’re genuinely passionate about what I’m interested in talking about. I felt confident and it was nice to know that I was getting recognition for it. There were times were some ideas I have weren’t gonna work. Or I felt like I didn’t have enough. I’d say back in the day i didn’t know how to truly express myself. But classes like journalism and creative writing really helped me find out who I really am. I’m grateful for that!