Once a year, Wellesley High School allows students to trade in a day of regular old school for something called Seminar Day, an event that draws over 100 speakers who share their expertise on everything from a behind the scenes look at securing the 2014 Boston Marathon to a peek into the experience of a Patriots cheerleader. Event organizers WHS Student Congress and the Seminar Day Committee decided to take a chance on The Swellesley Report for the second year in a row, so we presented “What They Don’t Teach You in Journalism Class.”
A solid crew of the curious, the desperate to get an attendance sticker on their card, and some future journalists showed up to find out what it takes to put together a community-based blog with a cheeky attitude. We told them the 5 W’s of it all (who, what, when where, why) and trotted out a few of our best-received stories from the past year. Funny thing about talking to the students about “What They Don’t Teach You in Journalism Class” is that “they” didn’t teach us any of it either. Most of the platforms we spoke about (WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit) of course didn’t exist when we were in Journalism school, so many years ago. So yes, we fly by the seat of our pants here, but it’s all terribly exciting.
Some things don’t change, however, and that’s competition. We give our attendees a lot of credit for ignoring the siren song of presentations such as “Canine Companions for Independence Service Dogs.” That one included an actual live puppy. Talk about tough competition. Or what about WHS Sing-Off, a seminar given by the school’s four a cappella groups that is so popular that the divas need the entire auditorium to house their admirers. And then there was rapper Cam Meekins (above, center), Wellesley High grad made bad (we don’t dare call him local boy made good) preaching it about the changing music industry.
If the Seminar Day Committee will have us back, we’ll give it another go next year, no matter how many puppies and rock stars they pit us against. Anything for the WHS students and blog post fodder.