Advanced Journalism: What It’s All About & Who Does It

Danielle Lippert, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Every week stories are added to The Online Tritonian, Notre Dame’s online newspaper. You may recognize the same names who keep writing these stories. These few names are a part of an independent study called Advanced Journalism.

The class started second semester of the 2014-2015 school year to keep the online newspaper a voice for school news.

The students do not have a set period, but instead they pick a story to do once a week. The students currently involved in Advanced Journalism are me, Danielle Lippert, sophomore; Clare Ravizza, sophomore; Madi Polack, sophomore; Hannah Dercks, sophomore; Delaney Butterfield, sophomore; and Elizabeth Bolin, freshman.

I first chose to take Advanced Journalism my second semester of freshman year, and this is my third semester doing it. I joined the class because I’ve been thinking about a career in journalism and thought this class would really help. My favorite part is getting extra credits and spending my eighth hour study hall in Mrs.Brown’s room.

Besides Advanced Journalism, I am a part of student government as a senator. I am also in Writers’ Union, Sting Cancer, ASTRA and Drama Club. My favorite class I’ve ever taken at Notre Dame is Mrs. Brown’s Honors Freshman English. I learned a lot, but I also always had fun and was never bored in her class. I also enjoyed ICP with Mrs. Hearden because I learned study skills that I still use.

Outside of school, I enjoy reading, writing poetry and short stories and spending time with my family and friends. I have a brother, Colton, who is a freshman at Bellin College and UWGB, and I have a sister, Anna, who is in sixth grade at Holy Family School. I also have a golden retriever named Mya. My favorite book is To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han because they were such good books, and I couldn’t set them down.

Clare Ravizza took Journalism I her first semester of freshman year and then started taking Advanced Journalism her second semester of freshman year. This is Clare’s fourth semester being in a journalism class. Clare joined because she has always loved writing and enjoyed Journalism I and wanted to continue taking a Journalism class. Her favorite part is getting to interview people and getting to learn their stories.

“You always uncover something you never expected to,” said Clare.

Other than Advanced Journalism, Clare is in Model UN, Yearbook, Writers’ Union and the spring play, Ashland Falls. Clare’s favorite class she’s taken at Notre Dame is Mrs. Brown’s Freshman English.

It was such a fun class environment, and I made a lot of my current friends in there, including Danielle,” said Clare.

Outside of school, Clare enjoys to read, cook, and hang out with her friends. Clare is an only child, but if you couldn’t tell from the last name, she’s Dr. Ravizza’s daughter. She also has a teddy bear dog named Stella.

“I love her to death,” said Clare. Clare’s favorite movie is About Time. “It’s everything you could ever want in a movie: it makes me cry, laugh, smile, and think. Plus, the soundtrack is amazing.”

Madi Polack also chose to take Advanced Journalism her second semester of her freshman year. This is her third semester doing it. Madi joined the class because of the extra half credit and because of her passion for writing. Madi’s favorite part of Advanced Journalism is spending eighth-hour study hall in Mrs. Brown’s room.

Outside of Advanced Journalism, Madi is on the Notre Dame girls’ soccer team, and she is an APPP leader. Madi’s favorite class she’s ever taken at Notre Dame was ICP with Mrs. Hearden. “It really challenged me,” said Madi.

Outside of Notre Dame, Madi likes to play soccer, read, travel and hang out with friends and family. Madi has a twin brother, Max, who is also a sophomore at Notre Dame. Madi has a goldendoodle dog named Marley. Her favorite movie is Cheaper by the Dozen.

“I always watch it every summer on the way up north to our family’s cottage,” said Madi. Madi’s favorite artist is Bruno Mars.

“I love all of his music. He has such a variety of songs. They are sometimes upbeat, meaningful, or even slow and soft,” she said.

Hannah Dercks also joined Advanced Journalism her second semester of freshman year, and this is also her third semester taking the independent study. Hannah joined the class because Mrs. Brown convinced her to take it.

“I was hesitant about joining again this year, but Mrs. Brown convinced me to join. I’m so glad I did!” said Hannah. Hannah’s favorite part of the class is filming the videos and being Notre Dame’s videographer.

Other than Advanced Journalism, Hannah is in soccer, Writers’ Union, Human Kind, and NDA Witness. Hannah’s favorite classes she’s taken at Notre Dame are Honors Freshman English with Mrs. Brown and Church History with Mrs. Stanczak.

“Mrs. Brown had us read The Chosen, and she introduced me to poetry. If she hadn’t shown me how wonderful poetry could be, I would still dislike it to this day. Church History was really interesting to me. I liked learning about the history of my faith, and it inspired me to possibly pursue a career in teaching Theology. If I didn’t have Mrs. Stanczak as my teacher, I don’t think I would have found a subject I enjoyed so much,” said Hannah.

Outside of school, Hannah likes to read, write, film movies, do service hours, play soccer, lift weights, run, hang out with friends and watch Netflix. Hannah has a brother, Elijah, who is a junior at Notre Dame. She has three dogs: yellow lab named Lily, black lab named Hiller and brown lab named Tuck.

Hannah’s favorite movie is P.S. I Love You. “It’s such a good movie, and I cry every time. I love a good chick flick!”

Delaney Butterfield first joined Advanced Journalism this semester, the second semester of her sophomore year. Delaney joined because Hannah recommended it and said how much fun it was. Her favorite part of Advanced Journalism is getting more involved in the school and its activities.

Outside of Advanced Journalism, Delaney plays hockey and softball, and she is in French Club and Writers’ Union. Delaney’s favorite class she’s ever taken at Notre Dame was ICP with Mrs. Hearden. “I thought physics was a lot of fun,” said Delaney.

When Delaney isn’t in school, she likes to read or watch Netflix. Delaney has two brothers: Vincent, who graduated from Notre Dame last year, and Erik, who graduated from Notre Dame in 2001. Erik is also married and has a daughter.

She has two golden retrievers named Reggie and Ogie. Delaney’s favorite movies are Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Sandlot. Her favorite artist is Ed Sheeran, and her favorite books are The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Book Thief.

Elizabeth Bolin joined Advanced Journalism the first semester of her freshman year, and this is her second semester taking Advanced Journalism. Elizabeth decided to take Advanced Journalism because she had a friend in the class who encouraged her to join.

“I like working with Mrs. Brown, and it’s really nice to have an extra half credit for a semester,” she said.

Other than Advanced Journalism, Elizabeth is a senator in student government. She is also in French Club, ASTRA, Human Kind and the Spring Play, Ashland Falls. Elizabeth is unsure of what her favorite class has been at Notre Dame so far.

Elizabeth has a younger sister at Saint Bernard’s. She has a German shepherd and chinook mix dog named Angel. Elizabeth’s favorite book is I’ll Give You the Sun.

“It’s really interesting, and I love the characters and story,” said Elizabeth. “I like a lot of different kinds of music but right now I love Ultralight Beams by Kanye West and anything by Kendrick Lamar or Ed Sheeran.”

Deciding to take this class was one of the best decisions I’ve made at Notre Dame. I have improved immensely in my writing skills and in my people skills. I’m not the best at talking to new people, but this class gives me the chance to improve in this. I am inspired by all of the girls that I write these stories with. In different ways, they have all helped me to become a better writer and a better person. I have developed friendships through this study that I wouldn’t have made if I decided not to take Advanced Journalism.

Mrs. Brown has also been a huge help in my writing. She has helped me completely improve all of my writing skills, from grammar to interviewing. She has given me the push I needed to get out there and talk to people. This class has helped me so much, and I am so glad that I made the decision to join this class over a year ago.

If you have a passion for writing, have the time to take an extra credit and write a story once a week, I strongly encourage you to take Advanced Journalism. I can not express enough how happy I am that I decided to take this independent study.