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Meet the J-kids from OHCHS
OXFORD HILLS — Each year The Advertiser Democrat partners with Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School journalism class, taught by Pamela Chodosh, to work with students interested in writing.
The students get assignments, pitch ideas, have deadlines and work with their teacher and the paper to hone their skills as reporters.
This year's class is an ambitious and enthusiastic group and have offered readers a mix of stories including arts, sports and high school events.
Normally we introduce them to our readers at the end of the school year, however, we thought this year we would do so halfway through so readers might put a face to the stories they are reading.
A senior at OHCHS and a second year journalism student, Meredith Potter has a genuine interest in people.
“I like digging into people’s brains and knowing why things are the way they are,” she says.
Were Potter to become a journalist, she would like to report from Afghanistan. After attending Central Maine Community College next fall and then finishing her four-year degree, she plans to come back to Oxford Hills (where “everybody smiles at you”) so she can open a coffee shop.
Potter also loves to write. She says, “It’s [interesting] to think that something as simple as writing a story can create a change.”
Though Chase Babbidge would not describe himself as competitive, he loves the competitiveness of video games and sports.
He is a senior at OHCHS who likes Latin, mythology, history and writing. Though Babbidge does not plan a career in journalism, if he were to become a reporter, he would go to Syria’s war zone.
He was inspired by his grandfather’s military career in the Navy to join the Marines.
“It is something I always wanted to do,” Babbidge says about joining the Marines. He hopes the military will give him a way to travel and get different perspectives on different cultures, languages and people.
“I’m always busy,” says OHCHS senior, Colin Chase, referring to the fact that he acts, sings, plays sports and fights fires. New to journalism this January, Chase “loves people and writing about things we don’t get to hear everyday.”
He dreams about traveling to the rainforest, being a photographer and becoming a professional soccer player.
Though Chase is interested in the War on Terrorism, right now he is thinking about the three parts he has in the upcoming Community Musical.
“It’s harder to sing in front of people than to talk to people,” he admits. Chase will be joining the Air Force after graduation.
A junior at OHCHS, Chelsea Rugg believes the purpose of a journalist is to educate the public. She jumped right into writing for the Advertiser Democrat with a story about 4-H.
Though Rugg does not like the city, travel is something she would like to do. She is particularly drawn to Australia “for the accents and the weather.”
Rugg thinks “it’s cool” to be writing stories for the newspaper. “It’s crazy to be writing and still [only] be in high school,” she says. She so enjoys seeing her stories in print, Rugg will write for the Advertiser Democrat as a journalism student again next year.
Though Ena Farrar, a junior at OHCHS, is not currently on the high school wrestling team, she has been competing as a wrestler for the last two years. She distinguished herself freshman year with a third-place win in “Ladies’ States” and a seventh-place win in Men’s.
Besides wrestling, Farrar is interested in mortuary science and crime. When something happens, she always wants to be the first person on the scene.
“I am the type of person who wants to know why [something] happens the way it does,” Farrar says. Though new to journalism, she plans to write for the newspaper again next year.
Pamela Chodosh has been teaching at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School for the past eight years. Before teaching, Chodosh did many different things.
“I raised organic beef, I became a fashion designer and then I worked as a freelance writer for the Maine Times. I wrote a column, called ‘View From The End of The Road,’ which appeared in the Advertiser Democrat and the Sun Journal.”
Chodosh tries to make her students think like journalists.
“We’re always watching, always listening, always trying to get that story that nobody’s telling,” says Chodosh. “You never know when a story is going to hit you in the face.”