Stress, working together leads to bonding in the Journalism Room

April 5, 2008 — by Tim Tsai and Daniel Yang

Meeting yearbook deadlines

This story was originally published in the April 4, 2008 Saratoga Falcon newspaper

The J-room. This phrase is often tossed around on campus, yet many students do not know what it means. The Journalism Room can always be found filled with students screaming for their stories and editors dashing across the room to a printer. The Journalism team is nothing if not a bustling work environment, yet publication staffs have also come to share a close, familiar bond.

“Newspaper really let’s you get closer with the other people on staff because everyone is going through the same kind of stress,” said junior Brian Tsai. “You really learn how to pull through with your friends and it’s an amazing experience.”

For the newspaper staff, as much of the work on every issue winds down to the end, students begin to tighten as they scramble to finish up the issue. This rush culminates with Deadline Night every other Thursday night, when the journalism room is open until 8:30. and students need to finish layouts and stories. Students find that this rush, combined with dinner and talking, allows for a great chance for students to connect as they share the burden of finishing the paper.

“Deadline Night is great for bonding because it’s so hectic and people work together,” said junior Melody Zhang. “Newspaper helped me make new friends. Working together brings the staff closer together.”

Even though the newspaper staff seems to be a stress-filled group, students often find ways to have fun and make each other laugh while working through their issue.

“It’s really not as stressful as everyone thinks it is,” said Tsai. “We goof off more than people think we do. There’s a lot of screaming and yelling going on in the J-Room and everyone is super hyper.”

The staff also holds an annual staff dinner at either a member’s house or a restaurant. In addition, the staff has a potluck each summer at Wildwood Park, where new and old staff members can get to know each other even before the start of the year.

Yearbook, the other journalism publication, despite not having an “obvious” bonding event like Deadline Night, also smoothly brings together its members.

“We don’t have the Deadline Nights the newspaper staff has, so we aren’t together for a long period like the newspaper, but we do spend a lot of time after school as well,” said junior Sarah Zarrin. “Everyone gets along well, even if there’s deadlines and a lot of work to do.”

For some people on the yearbook staff, it’s the enormous job of putting together the yearbook itself that gets them to interact with each other. The staff knows that not getting work done will result in a dull yearbook or even no yearbook at all.

“It takes a lot of work to put together the yearbook,” said junior Felix Tuan. “The goal of putting together the yearbook helps bring us together because we know we have to work together and bond; otherwise nothing will get done.”

One way that the staff eases the transition for new staff members, called “yearbies,” is for them to be introduced to everyone and given easier assignments. Zarrin’s entry came easily.
“It wasn’t hard to fit in the group,” said Zarrin. “I knew people in the staff already, and I branched out from there.”